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Saber v Secretary of State for the Home Department

A final decision on an asylum claim should be made on the basis of the most up-to-date evidence available and concessions made by either side did not deprive the court of its responsibility to decide the most appropriate course of action.

8 January 2008

S appealed against a decision that his asylum claim should be considered by a fresh adjudicator. S was a Kurdish citizen of Iraq who had been involved in recruiting for a Kurdish political party. He had smuggled machine parts and medicines into the Kurdish Autonomous Region (KAR) for use by his political party. He entered the UK illegally in 2000 and claimed asylum. His claim was accepted by an adjudicator in July 2001. The adjudicator found that if he did not grant S asylum, returning him to Baghdad would put him at risk of torture or death, and returning him to the KAR would put him at risk of capture by Iraqi secret agents who moved with impunity throughout the region. The adjudicator’s findings were overturned on appeal, partly because in March 2001, the secretary of state had given an undertaking not to return failed asylum seekers to territory controlled by the Iraqi government and the adjudicator ought to have accepted that undertaking, and partly because there was no perce...

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