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Red Lion Chambers: The Prosecution of Asylum Seekers

30 June 2021, 17.30-18.30

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The Prosecution of Asylum Seekers

A webinar presented by Red Lion member Aneurin Brewer, with Greg O'Ceallaigh of Garden Court and Frances Timberlake at Refugee Rights Europe (RRE)

Following the successful appeal against conviction and subsequent acquittal on retrial in the case of Fouad Kakaei, this webinar will examine the intersections between criminal prosecutions and the asylum system. The case of Kakaei concerned an asylum seeker who was prosecuted for facilitating breaches of asylum law alleged to have been committed by the other asylum seekers aboard two small inflatable boats that Kakaei helped to pilot across the English Channel in 2019. The case highlighted an increasingly common practice of prosecuting asylum seekers in so called "small boats cases" and established for the first time that those prosecuted in such circumstances have a complete defence if they intended to be rescued whilst still at sea in order to claim asylum. The case potentially calls into question a significant number of previous convictions secured in similar circumstances as well as large number of pending prosecutions.

Those wishing to learn more about the case of Kakaei are invited to read more in the below links:
[Free Movement] [The Times]

The three speakers will address in turn:

• The section 11 defence developed in the case of Kakaei, its impact on previous pleas and convictions in small boats cases, and give practical advice on deploying the defence in small boats cases and other immigration prosecutions;

• The workings of the asylum process in the UK and the impact of criminal convictions and sentences on asylum claims; and,

• The stark realities for asylum seekers living in migrants camps in Northern France.

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