Court of Appeal concludes that refugee’s relatives are not refugees themselves

The Court of Appeal ruled that the UN Refugee Convention should not apply to members of a refugee family. As a result, anyone who has received refugee status in accordance with UK law, as a member of a recognized refugee's family, is not covered by the Refugee Convention.

In fact, the Court of Appeal ruled that the Home Office was mistaken in granting refugee status to members of a genuine refugee family.

Refugee family member convicted of crime

Secretary of State v. J.S. (Uganda) [2019] EWCA Civ 1670 concerned a Ugandan citizen who was admitted to the United Kingdom to reunite with his mother. At that time, she was already recognized as a refugee under the Refugee Convention.

J.S. was allowed to remain in the United Kingdom, apparently on the grounds that he was also a refugee. However, no investigation into his personal circumstances has ever been conducted to determine whether he himself was at risk of persecution in Uganda.

J.S. was convicted of a serious felony, and Home Office decided to extradite him. At that time, officials still believed that J.S. was a refugee under the Refugee Convention. Therefore, they proposed annulment of his refugee status, as he was convicted of a serious crime.

In the Court of Appeal, the Home Office changed its position, arguing that J.S. never received refugee status in the first place.

Posted in English on Oct 15, 2019.