UK: Upper Tribunal orders Secretary of State for the Home Department to admit four asylum seekers in Calais to the UK

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

In a landmark decision by the Upper Tribunal on 20 January 2016, it has ordered the Secretary of State for the Home Department to admit four asylum seekers, currently residing in the ‘Jungle’ in Calais, to the UK, with a view to determining their applications under the Dublin III Regulation. The four applicants are nationals of Syria, including three unaccompanied minors and the adult dependent brother of one of them, who suffers from mental health problems. Each has a brother in the UK who has been recognised as a refugee. The Tribunal heard evidence on the trauma suffered by the applicants in Syria, as well as in Calais, due to the dire humanitarian conditions at the ‘Jungle’ camp.

The judicial review challenge was based on the argument that the applicants should have their asylum applications processed in the UK based on the family unity provisions of the Dublin III Regulation. This would require them to apply for asylum in France, and the French authorities to request the UK authorities to ‘take charge’ of their applications. However the Upper Tribunal judges accepted the argument that these provisions were not functioning as they should due to bureaucratic failings, thereby preventing the applicants from accessing the UK in a safe and legal manner. Evidence of a written claim for asylum in France would be sufficient to prove that the applicants had initially sought safety there, with no need for them to wait for the French authorities to act. The UK government must now admit the applicants to live with their siblings while their asylum claims are being assessed under the Dublin Regulation.

The ELENA Weekly Legal Update would like to thank Charlotte Kilroy for providing us with a copy of the order. Further information on this case will be shared once the full judgment is available. 

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the weekly ELENA legal update supported by the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Funding Programme and distributed by email. The purpose of these updates is to inform asylum lawyers and legal organizations supporting asylum seekers and refugees of recent developments in the field of asylum law. Please note that the information provided is taken from publicly available information on the internet. Every reasonable effort is made to make the content accurate and up to date at the time each item is published but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE, the IRC or its partners.



Dublin Transfer
Family unity (right to)
Request that charge be taken
Responsibility for examining application
Unaccompanied minor
Vulnerable person