Aneurin Brewer has successfully appealed the convictions of six separate asylum seekers who steered small boats of asylum seekers across the English Channel and were convicted of facilitation of breaches of immigration law by the other asylum seekers on board. The cases concerned a mixture of appellants who had pleaded guilty as they had not been advised they had a defence in law or had been convicted after their jury at trial had not been directed they had a defence available.
The Court of Appeal ruled the convictions should be quashed as the cases had been based on a “legal heresy” that the migrants had entered the UK illegally simply by entering UK territorial waters. This follows Aneurin Brewer successfully appealing the conviction of and securing the acquittal on retrial in the case of an Iranian asylum seeker in R v Fouad Kakei  EWCA Crim 503.
Having successfully appealed on the same basis in the case of R v Bani & others  EWCA Crim 1958, the Prosecution conceded that these remaining appellants’ convictions were unsafe and did not contest these appeals or seek retrials.
RLC member Aneurin Brewer said:
"It is an immense relief to have corrected these miscarriages of justice. It has to be hoped that further asylum seekers also wrongly convicted of facilitating breaches of immigration law for piloting small boats across the Channel will also now be identified to appeal their convictions.”
Aneurin Brewer was instructed by Canel Halil of Emery Halil Brown.
Read news story here: [Independent]