Litigation Recent Decisions 30/04/96

Applications and renewed applications for asylum

R v Secretary of State for Home Department, ex parte Ravichandran; R v Secretary of State for Home Department, ex parte Sandralignam (1996).

QBD (Dyson J).

Summary: What elements are necessary to constitute a fresh claim for political asylum?

Applications for judicial review of the refusal of the Secretary of State Michael Howard to grant political asylum to two refugees from Sri Lanka. Both applicants had had limited involvement with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) by digging air raid shelters for the local population and both had been detained and tortured by government forces or the Indian peace-keeping force. Both appealed against the refusal of leave to enter the UK on the Home Secretary's decision that the LTTE was a terrorist organisation and those who supported it were not entitled to convention protection. On 19/1/95 their appeals were dismissed by the Immigration Appeals Tribunal and on 11/10/95 appeals to the Court of Appeal were also dismissed. Leave to appeal to the House of Lords was refused in both cases. Removal directions were given by the Home

Secretary on 15/2/96. On 14/2/96 applicants' solicitors made new applications for leave to enter the UK as refugees after further hostilities broke out in Sri Lanka.

On 15/2/96 the Home Secretary rejected these applications as not constituting fresh claims for asylum.