THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
Of juries #2
Of a particular Crown Court jury

Why are we a soft touch for Albanian “asylum seekers”

As a libertarian, I’d be happy to abolish immigration controls as soon as we have dismantled the welfare state. The only immigrants then would have job offers and/or a viable business plan. Any asylum seekers would be genuine. We would have a list of persona non grata to avoid international criminals making their home here, but people off that list would be able to come and go freely.

That, however, is not where we are. As long as we provide a lifestyle for the unemployed that is — by world standards — generous, we’re going to have to control immigration.

This article in today’s Telegraph contains the following interesting fact;

Last year, 55 per cent of Albanian applicants were granted asylum in the UK. The acceptance rate for Albanians in Germany, Sweden and many other EU countries was zero, in France it was two per cent, in Ireland three per cent and in Spain four per cent. So how come the UK accepted that more than half the claims were legitimate?

It’s a good question. Especially as Albania is a safe country legally unlikely to generate genuine asylum cases.

I don’t know the answer but I have a theory. A friend retired early a few years ago from her job as a judge in the immigration courts. Asked why, she told me her courts had been packed during the Blair/Brown years with judges she thought more inclined to favour implausible asylum claims.  

Readers may remember New Labour’s policy, after 1997, to engineer mass immigration. A policy that Labour adviser Andrew Neather gloated was designed to

Rub the Right's nose in diversity

Labour presumed (with the Left’s usual proprietorial attitude to immigrants) that this would mean more votes for its candidates.

The effects of that policy on appointments to the judiciary may be what made my friend uncomfortable in her job. The “Conservative” Party in government never seems to reverse Labour policies so it’s quite likely the same approach still applies. It is a theory based on an anecdote so I can’t be sure it’s true. It would however account for this incredible disparity between the UK’s approach to Albanian asylum application and that of similar countries. 


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Same jury duty experience.

Gross inefficiency in how everything was run and remarkable common sense from 12 random people


It sounds like a very plausible theory.
Isn't, though, the judiciary supposed to be impartial, merely applying the law and if that same law is applied in different countries then how can its interpretation produce such different results? Is the law such that judges are able to exercise considerable discretion?

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