Exclusion from Refugee Status: Terrorism and the UK's Interpretation and Application of Article 1F of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis examines whether and in what ways ‘terrorism’ has featured in the UK’s interpretation of Article 1F, the ‘exclusion clause’ of the 1951 Refugee Convention, and how the provision is applied to suspected terrorists in the practice of decision makers. This research draws on a number of sources, including Freedom of Information requests, questionnaires and interviews conducted with immigration judges, the Home Office’s exclusion unit and legal practitioners. All reported UK cases concerning Article 1F were analysed, as were the Home Office’s asylum guidance documents, primary and secondary UK legislation and international legal sources pertaining to exclusion from refugee status. This research therefore provides an unprecedented and thorough analysis of whether and how terrorism is being employed in the interpretation and application of each of the individual limbs of Article 1F. Although there has been a clear governmental and political drive to ensure that refugee status is not granted to terrorists, this research reveals that the predominant practice of both courts and tribunals in the UK and the Home Office’s exclusion unit has not been to focus on whether an individual is a ‘terrorist’, but instead whether they have committed a serious crime within the meaning of Article 1F. Where the term ‘terrorism’ has been employed, courts and tribunals have looked to international rather than domestic definitions of the term in order to arrive at an ‘autonomous meaning’. While there has been an increase in the application of Article 1F in the UK over the last decade, in practice the use of the provision has remained exceptional and appears to be subject to a fair degree of rigour. Nevertheless, a number of recommendations are made by which the quality of decision making could be improved and a greater degree of fairness added to the exclusion process in the UK.
- Theses