The CPS has stated that migrants who steer small boats with the sole intention of claiming asylum in port will no longer be prosecuted.
The CPS said it created the new guidance for clarity and transparency and took into account a successful appeal by an Iranian asylum seeker who was jailed for steering a dinghy. Fouad Kakaei’s case sparked a review of ongoing CPS prosecutions that saw charges against 11 migrants for steering small boats dropped last month.
RLC member Aneurin Brewer, who represented Mr Kakaei, said:
“Far from this new policy being born out of compassion, this guidance merely states what the law has always been, which the CPS have been forced to concede having fought it at every turn.
It is also at odds with the recently published Nationality and Borders Bill, which seeks to amend the law to make it easier to prosecute asylum seekers who pilot Channel crossings.”
The government unveiled the new Nationality and Borders Bill earlier this week which sees an increase in prison sentences for immigration offences and includes clauses to allow the UK to be able to send asylum seekers to a “safe third country” and to submit claims at a “designated place” determined by the home secretary.