UK Court of Appeal corrects Country Guidance Case regarding importance of Iraqi Civil Status Identity Document

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

On 11 July 2017, the UK Court of Appeal ruled on case AA (Iraq) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department, in which both the appellant and the Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD) agreed there was an error in a Country Guidance Case regarding Iraq, most specifically relating to the importance of the Iraqi Civil Status Identity Document (CSID). In the challenged decision, the Upper Tribunal had considered the CSID a simple travel document. However, according to the Court of Appeal, that document had to be considered an essential document for life in Iraq, especially for those who lack private resources to access food and basic services. Moreover, acquiring a passport or a laissez-passer for entry purposes does not guarantee that an individual would be able to obtain a CSID. In that case, the SSHD must establish whether the individual concerned will have other means of support in Iraq, in the absence of which they might be at risk of breach of Article 3 ECHR. Since both parties agreed with the error of law in the decision, the Court of Appeal corrected the country guidance without the need to remit the case to the Upper Tribunal.


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