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Home Office removes requirement for second check to be carried out on asylum and human rights claims certified as clearly unfounded


Immigration minister announces reform to the process for certifying claims considered to be without substance

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Immigration minister Robert Jenrick has today announced reforms to the Home Office process of certifying asylum and human rights claims that are considered to be 'clearly unfounded' or without any substance. Jenrick said that the current requirement for a second check to be carried out on each 'clearly unfounded' decision by a specially trained official was now being scrapped.

Home Office buildingImage credit: UK GovernmentThe change is being made to increase efficiency.

In a written statement to Parliament today, Jenrick stated:

"On 13 December 2022, my rt hon Friend the Prime Minister made a statement on tackling illegal migration and a clear plan to bring the system back into balance.

"Under our immigration system, where we refuse an asylum or human rights claim which is so clearly without substance that it is bound to fail, we can certify it as clearly unfounded under section 94 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. Where the claimant is from a designated safe country the claim must be certified as clearly unfounded unless the decision maker is satisfied it is not clearly unfounded. Following the Nationality and Borders Act 2022, cases certified as clearly unfounded do not have a right of appeal.

"When the power under section 94 was introduced in 2002, the then Labour Government gave an undertaking to Parliament that every case certified as clearly unfounded would be looked at by two specially trained officials, with additional quality checks on top of that.

"This Government believes it is important to have procedures in place to ensure that those who make clearly unfounded human rights and asylum claims are quickly removed from the UK. That is why only specially trained caseworkers can decide that a claim should be certified. However, the current requirement for a second check to be conducted by a different Home Office official on every certified decision is delaying the conclusion of claims which are bound to fail. We must maximise our capacity to progress clearly unfounded cases in a more efficient way.

"For these reasons, protection and human rights claims which are certified under section 94 as clearly unfounded will no longer have to be checked by a second specially trained official. This change will help ensure that the Home Office can certify unfounded cases more efficiently under section 94, so that those who have no basis to be in the UK can be swiftly removed.

"The Home Office already operates a robust quality assurance framework for non-certified decisions which helps to maintain the quality of case-work decisions and expertise. The specific quality check undertaken for section 94 decisions is no longer necessary, therefore we are improving the assurance process and aligning it with checks adopted on other decisions. Claims certified under section 94 will be regularly reviewed which will ensure that the certification process continues to be applied with careful scrutiny."