United Kingdom: Immigration and Asylum Tribunal reviews decision refusing to re-assess age of Afghan national

Friday, November 22, 2019

On 22 November 2019, the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal (the Tribunal) published its ruling on the request for judicial review of the decision to refuse to re-assess an applicant’s age.

The applicant, an Afghan national, fled from Afghanistan on an unknown date, believed to be around May 2017, due to a fear of adverse interest from Daesh and the Taliban. He entered the UK irregularly in November 2017 and claimed to be 15 years and four months old. In May 2018, the Secretary of State assessed the applicant’s date of birth to be 1 July 2000, rather than 1 July 2002. The applicant submitted that there was no evidence undermining his account and that assessments of his physical appearance were unreliable.

In assessing the credibility of the applicant’s account, the Tribunal considered, inter alia, the applicant’s alleged lack of emotional response to questions concerning distressing events, his knowledge of shaving and account of shoe-lace tying, as well as his demeanour and knowledge of finances. While it was noted that inconsistencies were present in the applicant’s account, the Tribunal noted that challenges to his credibility were not sustained and did not go directly to the issue of determining his age.

The Tribunal found the applicant’s core account of events, including his recollection of fleeing from Afghanistan, to be broadly consistent. Indeed, the Tribunal affirmed that age assessments must be determined on a balance of probabilities with consideration for all available evidence. In light of the totality of evidence, the Tribunal concluded that it is more likely than not that the applicant was born was on 1 July 2002.

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the ELENA Weekly Legal Update. 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 pusexblished but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE.



Individual assessment
Standard of proof
Unaccompanied minor