We cover cases from the very beginning, with initial advice on how to make an application, to the end including representation at court. Our cases range from the simple, to complex cases in the High Court, Court of Appeal and European Court of Human Rights.

ASYLUM AND HUMAN RIGHTS

If you or your family are at risk of persecution in your own country, and hence cannot return,
you may be recognised as a refugee. Claiming ‘asylum’ essentially means applying for the
protection of the UK Government and permission to remain in the UK.


To make your case, you must successfully argue that to require you to leave the UK would
breach your Human Rights.


Under UK law (the Human Rights Act 1998) is unlawful for the Government or any public
authority, or anyone working for them, to act in a way that is inconsistent with the European
Convention on Human Rights (the UK is still bound by this legislation post-Brexit). Most
commonly, this is when requiring you to leave would expose you to a real risk of death,
torture or ill-treatment.


Sutovic & Hartigan have been involved in asylum work since the firm opened. We have been
involved in many significant cases which have helped shape the law (see our Notable Cases
page), from the establishment of the country guidance case system, to cases concerning the
proper interpretation of legislation and the lawfulness of government policy.


We cover cases from the very beginning, with initial advice on how to make an application,
to the end including representation at court. Our cases range from the simple, to complex
cases in the High Court, Court of Appeal and European Court of Human Rights.


We can offer legal aid and take referrals from individuals and organisations and work with a
wide range of organisations and charities to channel expertise and provide the correct
support and assistance to give you the best possible service.

 


We offer advice and assistance with the following areas:


Pre-asylum advice
We can advise you prior to lodging your claim for asylum with the Home Office so
that you know what to expect when you attend the initial interview. We can provide
you with an initial assessment of the merits of your case.

Claiming asylum
We can advise and assist you to lodge your asylum application with the Home Office.
This includes arranging the appointment on your behalf, advising you on the
procedure and what to expect and attending the Initial Interview with you.


Interview process
Usually there will be two interviews as part of the asylum process – an initial
interview at which your basic identity details will be taken along with details of your
journey to the UK and your main reason for claiming asylum – and a main interview,
known as a Substantive Interview, at which the Home Office will ask you lots of
questions about your case, what has happened to you and why you fear returning to
your country of origin.


We will assist you to document your account in a detailed statement for the Home
Office and discuss the merits of your case with you in light of both subjective and
objective evidence that is available.


We will assist you to make any clarifications or further representations to the Home
Office following your interviews and advise you regarding possible supporting
evidence.


Considering decisions
We will advise you regarding any decision made by the Home Office, whether this is
positive or negative and explain the implications of this to you. Where you are
granted permission to stay in the UK, we will ensure that you are fully aware of your
rights and entitlements as a consequence of that leave. If your application is refused
we will advise you regarding the right of appeal and the appeal process.


Appeals before the First-tier Tribunal, Upper Tribunal, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court
We have significant experience in representing clients before the Tribunal and the
Higher Courts in immigration matters. We work closely with experienced Barristers
and will present your case in the strongest possible way. We will advise you
regarding the court procedure and what will happen at each hearing.


Family reunion
Those granted Refugee Status or Humanitarian Protection are entitled to apply for
their family members to join them in the UK under the Family Reunion process. The
only family members who are automatically entitled to apply are the spouse and
children under the age of 18. Any other family members would be required to apply
under the normal Immigration Rules which is more complex.


Family Reunion applications are free of charge. If your family members are outside of
the UK, then the application is made online. Your family members will then need to
attend a Visa Application Centre to provide biometric information. If your family
members are in the UK, an application can be made to the Home Office.