Asylum in Crisis, An assessment of UK Asylum law and policy since 2002: Fear of Terrorism or Economic Efficiency?

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Series Details No.3, 2007
Publication Date June 2007
ISSN 1360-1326.
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This article reviews current legislation and government policy on asylum in the United Kingdom. It assesses whether asylum legislation is being prompted by the fear of threats of terrorism, or whether government strategy is a genuine attempt to solve the perceived asylum crisis. The Article examines some of the human rights issues to which the asylum legislation gives rise. The author concludes that, in particular, the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants) Act 2004 raises a number of important human rights issues. It is also concluded that some measures on asylum passed since 2002 have indeed been prompted by a fear that asylum and terrorism are linked, but that the belief that tough asylum laws will be a deterrent to terrorist activities is counter-productive. The fear of such a link has nevertheless led to a policy resulting in suffering for many who have genuinely sought refuge in this country. The author suggests that terrorism legislation should be the only proper means to increase national security, not asylum law, and that it is only in this way that the United Kingdom can maintain its respect for the human rights of genuine asylum seeker.

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