As reported yesterday in the Telegraph, new secondary legislation introduced by the Government means that asylum seekers will no longer be notified straight away when they lose their appeals in the Tribunal.
The legislation in question, the Tribunal Procedure (Amendment No. 2) Rules 2014, amends rule 40A of the Tribunal Procedure (Upper Tribunal) Rules 2008.
It means that from June 30th, it will be the Home Office’s duty to notify an appellant of the Tribunal’s decision, whereas currently the appellant is notified at the same time as the Home Office.
According to the Telegraph, the change was made in attempt to stop asylum seekers absconding before they can be removed.
A Ministry of Justice spokesman told the Telegraph: “This amended procedural rule allows for the first-tier and upper tribunals to serve a final decision notice on the Home Office for onward service on the appellant, as they do with other types of asylum appeal decisions.”
“This will enable the Home Office to consider any additional arrangements that may be necessary when serving the decision on the appellant, such as taking measures to prevent the parties absconding or ensuring the vulnerable receive additional support.”
Council of the European Union adopts conclusions on EU Return Policy
05 June 2014
The Council of the European Union today adopted a number of conclusions on the European Union’s policy with regard to returning illegally staying third-country nationals.
You can read the full conclusions below:
THE EUROPEAN UNION
Council conclusions on EU Return Policy
JUSTICE and HOME AFFAIRS Council meeting
Luxembourg, 5 and 6 June 2014
The Council adopted the following conclusions:
” The Council,
Whereas combating illegal immigration is a major migration policy goal of the European Union;
– Reaffirms the Council Conclusions of 9/10 June 2011 defining the EU Strategy on Readmission; and the Council Conclusions of 14 April 2014 on the implementation of the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility;
– Recalls that a coherent, credible and effective policy with regard to the return of illegally staying third-country nationals that fully respects human rights and the dignity of the persons concerned, as well as the principle of non-refoulement, is an essential part of a comprehensive EU migration policy;
– Recalls that return policy is closely interlinked with readmission and that both are an integral part of the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM), which is the overarching framework for the external aspects of the asylum and migration policy of the European Union;
– Recalls the assessment made in the United Nations International Law Commission’s 8th Report on the expulsion of aliens, in which the UN Special Rapporteur acknowledges that the EU’s Return Directive“contains extremely progressive provisions on such matters that are far more advanced than the norms found in other regions of the world”;
– Welcomes the Commission’s Communication on EU Return Policy of 28 March 2014.
Adopts the following conclusions:
1. The Council supports the overall approach set out in the Communication on EU Return Policy and points out that the focus should be placed on a more effective implementation and thorough consolidation of the existing rules rather than on new legislative initiatives.
2. The Council notes that the provisions of the Return Directive have not only contributed, in general, to well-managed return procedures but also to the protection of returnees, and shares the finding in the Commission Communication that the main reasons for non-return relate to the lack of cooperation from returnees in the return process and to problems in establishing the identity of returnees and in obtaining the necessary documentation from third-countries’ authorities.
3. With a view to improving the return rate, the Council stresses the importance of a coherent and comprehensive approach towards third-countries in identifying and re-admitting their own nationals. In that respect, the Council reaffirms the value of properly functioning Readmission Agreements for effective returns as they set out clear obligations and procedures on return and re-admission of illegally staying third-country nationals for both the third-countries and the European Union and its Member States.
In this context, the Council also recognizes the important role of countries of transit. The setting up of efficient readmission procedures with these countries contributes to avoid pressure on return systems of Member States. Moreover, efforts should be made, in the framework of cooperation with these countries, to facilitate returns of migrants who find themselves on their territories to the countries of origin with due respect of fundamental rights and the principle of non-refoulement.
4. As regards the concrete follow-up measures proposed in the Commission’s Communication on EU Return Policy, the Council:
4.1. Emphasises that a key challenge for a more successful EU return policy should be to strengthen cooperation between the EU and third-countries, in particular as regards identification and documentation of returnees. The Council considers that cooperation on return between the EU and third-countries can take place in bilateral, regional and multilateral frameworks and should preferably be built upon shared interests. With a view to contributing to the development of a more coherent and balanced relationship between the EU and relevant third-countries, the Council considers that cooperation must be in keeping with the “more for more” principle as defined and developed in the GAMM. At the same time, implementation of cooperation between the EU and third-countries should be flexible and adapted to the specificities of each case.
4.2. Recognises that efforts to build capacity in third-countries in the field of return, readmission and reintegration must be stepped up by, for example, improving the ability of the responsible authorities in partner countries to respond in a timely manner to readmission requests, identify the people to be returned and facilitate the issuing of travel documents, as well as to provide, when appropriate, assistance and reintegration support to those who are being returned.
Calls on the Commission to ensure that sufficient financial resources are available under the external cooperation instruments for capacity building in non-EU countries for relevant aspects of return management and for re-integration support in selected third-countries. In this context, the Council stresses that the EU should continue to offer financial support through the newly established Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund to meet the objectives of the EU return policy. The Council stresses the need to strengthen the operational aspects of cooperation on readmission as it is the case with ACP countries.
4.3.Encourages further improvement of operational cooperation between Member States, both on the promotion of voluntary return and on more efficient forced return. In this context, the Council underlines the added value of enhanced exchange of best practices between Member States’ competent authorities. The Council recognises that voluntary return is in the interest of both Member States and returnees and underlines that voluntary return is the preferred option. At the same time, the Council recognises that voluntary return is not always a viable solution and that a potential resort to forced return is an equally important element of a credible return policy. In that respect the Council acknowledges that national forced-return monitoring systems can contribute to correctly executed returns and transparency.
4.4. The Council welcomes the enhanced role of the European Migration Network as a platform to collect and exchange information in order to facilitate improved cooperation among states and stakeholders in the field of return. The Council invites this forum to examine in particular the overall efficiency of return procedures, the possible effects of incentives to voluntary return as potential pull factor for illegal immigration and the impact of entry bans on more efficient return policies.
4.5. Reiterates that there is a clear added value in performing certain operational aspects of return jointly at Union level. Against that background, FRONTEX, which has a significant coordination role in this field, should make use of this role in a proactive manner. Therefore, FRONTEX is invited to increase its operational activities by further developing the recourse to Joint Return Operations (JROs) in a way which ensures that the practical needs of participating Member States are effectively met. FRONTEX is also encouraged to continue supporting Member States by offering relevant training on return issues and to cooperate with third-countries, to make it easier to obtain the necessary travel documents for returnees.
4.6. Underlines the importance of improving the operational cooperation between Member States on return and takes note of the Commission’s intention to draw up a “Return Handbook”, in close cooperation with Member States, to support Member States’ competent authorities when carrying out return-related activities in an efficient manner. As regards the issues covered by the Handbook, the Council calls on the Commission to pay attention to the efficiency of administrative procedures, to limit itself to those issues already covered by the acquis, in full respect of the competences of the Member States, as well as to avoid any message which can be understood as encouraging illegal immigration or stay.
5. In order to ensure that return and readmission are effective instruments for a successful migration policy, the Council underlines the importance of embedding and fully integrating migration and return into EU foreign policy as a strategic priority. This would enable a better use of appropriate leverage from both EU and Member State level. Against that background, the Council endorses launching an initiative on a pilot project concerning a number of selected third-countries of origin. Member States can participate in this pilot project based on interests. The aim of this initiative should be to mobilise all adequate means in the framework of the more for more principle, to stimulate the selected pilot third-countries to comply with their international obligations, to improve the return rate and to readmit their own nationals who have been denied residence permits by an EU Member State or who entered or are staying illegally in the EU.
The Council, therefore, invites the Commission, the EEAS and the competent European agencies to take the necessary measures, in close consultation and cooperation with Member States, including on the basis of their concrete input, to launch this pilot project. The Commission is also invited to keep the Council and its preparatory bodies regularly informed of the state of play of the implementation of this pilot project.”
Reproduced from EIN website.
Alarming news from the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA): you have “two weeks” to protect yourself from a major cyber-threat.
The warning came as the FBI, in partnership with authorities in several countries around the world, shut down a network of criminally operated computers that were stealing important information from victims’ machines.
But since that announcement, which directed concerned users to a website which promptly crashed for more than 15 hours, many BBC readers have been in touch wondering what they need to do to stay safe on the internet. Here’s an at-a-glance guide.
Rory Cellan-Jones reports on a “powerful computer attack”, which people have two weeks to protect themselves from
If your computer does not run Windows, stop right here. This does not affect you – but other problems might, so always keep your antivirus up to date.
If you are using Windows, read on.
Gameover Zeus is a particularly nasty piece of malware – malicious software – that will fish around your computer for files that look like they may contain financial or other sensitive information. Once it finds them, it steals them.
The FBI has said that the criminals in this case used “phishing” emails to install Gameover Zeus on victims’ computers. A phishing email is one that looks like it came from somewhere official, like your bank, but didn’t – instead directing you to mistakenly download the malware.
The NCA has estimated that around 15,000 computers may currently be infected in the UK. Worldwide, it runs into the millions.
Those in the UK will be receiving correspondence from their internet service provider (ISP) soon, warning them that they are at risk. If you get one of these notices, you must act immediately.
But while the 15,000 figure is relatively low, this warning should not be ignored. Everyone should run a scan on their system.
GetSafeOnline.org – a government-backed initiative - published a list of downloads it recommends to run a sweep of your system and get into shape. Unfortunately, overwhelming traffic is causing the site to falter, and so people are also being directed to the UK Cyber Emergency Readiness Team (Cert) instead.
What’s going to happen to me in two weeks?
The operation carried out by the FBI was able to knock out many of the servers used by criminals to control this particular threat.
But nobody involved has been arrested, and therefore it is extremely likely that very soon the operation will start up again.
It is estimated it will take around two weeks for the botnet – that’s the network of criminally-controlled, hijacked computers – to be fully operational again.
That’s why the security experts are advising people to use this relatively quiet two-week period to make sure they’re up to date.
In truth, the advice given should be applied at all times. The message is always the same – make sure your antivirus software, and firewall, and everything else designed to protect you is up to date.
I had to change my passwords last week. And the week before that. When is this going to end?
To quote an FBI spokesman who spoke on Monday: “This is the new normal.”
One of the big talking points from this latest security threat is the idea of “notification fatigue”. Barely a week seems to go by without us being told about a cyber-attack putting our personal data at risk.
This is not going to go away – but there is a risk that the security industry may sound like it is beginning to “cry wolf” about cyber-threats.
But we may begin to see the way we deal with major cyber-risks changing.
In the case of Gameover Zeus, this is the first time security firms have worked directly with ISPs to target particular users it knows are infected.
In the future, it may mean that rather than millions of people being told to change passwords as a precaution, a much smaller number will be notified that they are immediately at risk.
Advice in the meantime is to use different, complex passwords for all the important sites you use.
If this seems like a bit of a faff, one easy way, experts suggest, is to use a password manager. We can’t endorse products here, but a quick look on your favourite search engine will point you in the right direction.
Reproduced from BBC.
The Guardian: Home Office making secret payments to obtain travel documents from embassies
22 May 2014
The Guardian reported yesterday that the Home Office is making “secret” payments to embassies to obtain travel documents in order to deport migrants and failed asylum seekers.
According to the Guardian, diplomatic sources from embassies in Asia, Africa and the Middle East said the Home Office offered money in return for providing travel documents as quickly as possible.
The payments do not appear in the Home Office’s annual report.
One African diplomatic source told the Guardian: “I know that some embassies do accept payments from the Home Office for providing travel documents, but we do not because we consider it to be improper to take money for this. Sometimes it takes us a long time to check out whether someone the Home Office wants to remove is actually from my country.”
A Home Office spokesman told the Guardian: “We work closely with embassies from a wide range of countries to obtain travel documents to assist removal.”
According to the Guardian, the Home Office said it would not make more than a three-figure payment for travel documents, though some diplomats said they had been offered substantially more.
The Guardian says that it made a Freedom of Information (FoI) request about payments made to the Nigerian embassy, but officials rejected the request to reveal it.
Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn is seeking more information about the payments. He told the Guardian: “It sounds odd on two grounds. Firstly why the secrecy and secondly what effect does this have on the potential deportee in that their details would have been flagged up in advance to the authorities in the country concerned?”
Theresa May says she still has the target of cutting net migration to the UK to below 100,000, but admitted it had become “more difficult”.
The home secretary refused to admit the target would not be met by the 2015 election, even though the latest figures showed 212,000 more people moved to live in the UK than left.
She admitted “heated” coalition discussions over immigration measures.
And she outlined plans to act to cut down on immigration from within the EU.
Mrs May was speaking as the UK’s political parties await the results of the European Parliament elections, which are due after 22:00 BST on Sunday.
- There were two sets of elections on Thursday. The results of the local elections in England and Northern Ireland are already known.
- The results of the UK-wide elections to the European Parliament will be announced later. There is a Vote 2014 special on BBC One from 23:00 BST and a joint BBC Radio4/5live radio special from 22:00 BST. You can follow all the latest news, reaction and results onbbc.co.uk/vote2014
Mrs May said the coalition had “yet to get agreement” on the measures that should be introduced to reform the current system.
We haven’t yet got agreement across the coalition to do that. But these are the sorts of measures we keep looking at”
Theresa MayHome secretary
“It’s no surprise to anybody that there has been some long-standing, possibly heated at times, discussions among the coalition on issues of immigration,” Mrs May told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.
She said that if you excluded immigration from the EU, the migration figures were back down to 1990s levels, but the government recognised it needed to do something about European migration.
Tightening up on benefits was one of the government’s plans, she said.
Mrs May confirmed a report in the Sunday Telegraph that consideration was being given to deporting people who came to the UK to work, but who could not find a job after six months.
‘It’s a target’
She said changes already coming in would mean EU migrants would have to be in the UK for three months before being able to claim benefits.
They were now looking at cutting the length of time migrants could claim benefits from six months to three months, she added.
“We haven’t yet got agreement across the coalition to do that. But these are the sorts of measures we keep looking at,” she said.
By Vicki Young, BBC political correspondent
Theresa May’s acknowledgement that it has become “more difficult” to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands is a statement of the obvious, but it shows there is little ministers can do to control who arrives in the UK from the rest of Europe. The economic recovery here has brought a new wave of workers from countries like Poland and ministers are left tinkering with the rules on benefits for EU immigrants – they hope restricting eligibility further will deter some from coming and prove to British voters that the system is fair. The Liberal Democrats, Labour and the Conservatives have all promised to listen to the message voters are sending on immigration, but there’s little sign that radical policy changes are on the way.
The Conservatives went into the 2010 General Election pledging to “take steps to take net migration back to the levels of the 1990s – tens of thousands a year, not hundreds of thousands”.
But the Lib Dems stopped that pledge being included in the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition’s “programme for government” after the election, instead pledging to ensure immigration “is controlled so people have confidence in the system”.
Although net migration fell early on in the coalition government, figures from the Office for National Statistics show that net migration bounced back to 212,000 in the year to December, from 177,000 the previous year.
“We still have that aim of the tens of thousands. But of course it has become more difficult and net migration is too high,” she said.
“That’s why I want to continue working to bring it down. In those areas we can control – that is, immigration from outside the European Union – everything we have done as a government has been having an impact.”
She said that net migration from outside the EU was now back at levels last seen in the 1990s.
Pressed on whether the government would make a “pledge” or a “promise” to reach its target, Mrs May responded by saying: “I’ve still got that target, it’s always been a target.”
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles was asked on the Sunday Politics whether he would admit that net migration would not be below 100,000 by the next election.
He said there would be measures announced soon and “it is our intention to move towards that target – we will do our damnedest to do that”.
When programme host Andrew Neil put it to Mr Pickles that the target was not going to be hit, Mr Pickles said: “I don’t know that to be fact – I cannot confirm that.”
The questions about immigration policy came in the wake of the English local election results which saw the UK Independence Party, which focused its campaign on leaving the EU and regaining control of UK borders, taking seats off the more established parties.
In response to Mrs May’s interview, shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper, for Labour said: “Theresa May says she is sticking to her net migration target yet it is badly failing and no one believes she has any chance of meeting it next year.”
Eric Pickles says David Cameron has got “a better record than just about any prime minister” on Europe
“For the home secretary to keep making big pledges and failing to meet them undermines trust in the whole immigration system.
“Having lost so many votes and seats while their net migration target is failing badly, the Tories seem to be rushing for more headlines before they have policies worked out.”
Report from BBC.
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