Duncan Lewis Solicitors has won the right to challenge the Home Office's certification of an Albanian asylum seeker's claim as clearly unfounded, a rare victory in such cases.
The case involved a young man ('H') fleeing Albania due to fear of a blood feud and violence by money-lenders.
Despite established Upper Tribunal guidance indicating the limited ability of Albanian authorities to protect against blood feuds and the impracticality of relocation within Albania, the Home Office increasingly certifies Albanian blood feud claims as clearly unfounded, denying asylum seekers the right to appeal.
H's claim was similarly certified, leading to his detention and imminent removal from the UK.
Duncan Lewis Solicitors’ public law team represented by director Bahar Ata, Erin Alexander McGowan, and Joshua Chua, in collaboration with Alex Grigg of Garden Court Chambers, successfully obtained permission to challenge both the certification decisions and H's detention.
The High Court found it arguable that the Home Office was deviating from existing Country Guidance without adequate justification. This decision holds significant implications for numerous Albanian asylum seekers facing similar certification, depriving them of the right to appeal.
Of particular concern was the omission of crucial information in the Home Office's Country Policy and Information Note on blood feuds, a point raised during the Court proceedings without satisfactory explanation.
This legal triumph underscores Duncan Lewis Solicitors' commitment to protecting the rights of vulnerable asylum seekers and challenging unjust decisions. For more information or legal assistance, please contact public law director Bahar Ata, who has more than 17 years of expertise in handling intricate cases, including unlawful detention claims and appeals before influential bodies like the Special Immigration Appeals Commission and the High Court, and who led the case.
Bahar is a Recommended Lawyer The Legal 500 2024 edition for her public law, immigration, and civil liberties work across London.
Our award winning public team is one of the most successful in the country, frequently taking on some most complex, high profile challenges and holding the Government to account, with recent success including the Rwanda challenge, Manston House and the Brook House detention centre inquiry.