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Home Office written question – answered on 30th November 2016.

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Photo of Roger Godsiff Roger Godsiff Labour, Birmingham, Hall Green

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will issue a response to the report by Freedom from Torture, Proving Torture: Demanding the Impossible, Home Office mistreatment of expert medical evidence; and if she will assess the implications for her Department's policies of the findings of that report.

Photo of Robert Goodwill Robert Goodwill The Minister for Immigration

The underlying policy objective when processing claims involving allegations of torture or serious harm and when considering medical evidence in the context of an asylum claim is to ensure that all relevant medico-legal (and any other) evidence provided in support of the claim is properly considered and given appropriate weight.

We consider all asylum claims in a sensitive manner on an individual, objective and impartial basis ensuring that all cases are managed effectively throughout the asylum process to avoid unnecessary delay.

The policy guidance sets out how to properly consider, and afford appropriate weight to, medico-legal evidence as part of a claim for protection. It states explicitly that it is not the role of decision makers to dispute clinical findings in the medico-legal reports or make clinical judgments of their own about medical evidence or medical matters generally and all decision makers are trained in the application of this policy.

Officials will review the cases that are referred to in the report and will continue to work closely with Freedom from Torture and others to review and develop further our policy and training

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