Jenni Dempster QC and Aneurin Brewer consider the potential impact on the Government’s recently announced asylum policy of the successful appeal against conviction and acquittal on retrial of an asylum seeker prosecuted for piloting a dingy across the Channel. The case calls into question a large number of previous convictions of asylum seekers in similar circumstances as well as numerous pending prosecutions. They comment:
"Success in Kakaei’s case raises serious doubts about the viability of numerous similar prosecutions already in the pipeline and could well reopen scores of previous convictions" and "Kakaei’s case has also demonstrated the flaw at the foundation of the government’s reasoning. It is not illegal when fleeing persecution to attempt to arrive in the UK to claim asylum, no matter the route; nor can it be if the UK wishes to remain faithful to the spirit of the 1951 Refugee Convention. The irony is that the single most effective means the government had for deporting asylum seekers and thereby deterring crossings was the Dublin Convention, which Britain withdrew from as part of its departure from the EU."
Read more here: [The Times]