Asylum-seekers put at risk by law, warns judge

qatari
By qatari

london (agencies)

Labour’s tough stance on immigration may have forced courts to send asylum-seekers back to their home countries to face "torture or death", one of the most senior judges in England and Wales has warned.
Lord Justice Sedley, a Court of Appeal judge, accuses the Government of threatening the independence of the judiciary by imposing a rule that obliges judges to dismiss an asylum-seeker’s story if that refugee has fled their home country using a false passport. Sir Stephen Sedley, writing in the London Review of Books, warns that such a measure "is a serious invasion of judicial independence".
The judge, who caused controversy this year over his call for a national compulsory DNA database, said: "As is obvious, many people fleeing persecution have no option but to travel on false papers. An enactment which may have the effect of prescriptively requiring a judge to disbelieve an individual’s otherwise credible story, and so possibly send them back to torture or death, is a serious invasion of judicial independence."
Sir Stephen is supported by immigration judges and other members of the senior judiciary, as well asylum campaign groups.
The law was first brought in under the 2004 Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc) Bill, which also proposed ending an asylum-seeker’s right to appeal against their asylum decisions in court. That part of the Bill was thrown out after MPs raised a political storm.
Asylum groups say scores of refugees may have been sent back to face further persecution because of the legal direction on false documents. Many asylum- seekers fleeing torture have little choice but to use false travel documents, they said.
In his article on the legal problems of introducing a written constitution in the UK, Sir Stephen said the "false-passport" rule illustrated the strains between the executive and the legislature in passing law.

Well, they can always go to other countries as well, why do they have to always come to Britain ?

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