In a time where the entire country has been left uncertain about things like the changes to the UK work permits, and the issues that will affect UK visas after Brexit, the Supreme Court has issued a positive ruling for asylum seekers. On Wednesday the 6th of March, the Supreme Court made a landmark decision about British naturalisation and the right to remain in the UK for people from other countries who have been victims of torture.
The court overturned previous findings that a Sri Lanka asylum seeker organised his own torture so that he could improve his chances of acquiring British naturalisation. The courts also said that greater weight should be given to medical evidence provided by experts when determining what to do about torture claims from asylum seekers. The ruling affects Immigration UK guidelines by dictating that Home office and immigration judges follow the Istanbul protocol. This is one of the current established standards for torture cases.
The crucial ruling from the Supreme Court is the first of its kind across the globe, and many regards it to be a blow to the Home Office's "hostile" approach to UK visas and immigration management so far. The rules laid down by the Supreme Court will make it more difficult for the Home Office to ignore credible accounts of torture, particularly when strong medical evidence is available.
The changes to the level of support given to asylum seekers that have experienced torture came as a result of the Supreme Court's consideration of a 36-year-old man's case, referred to as KV. His medical evidence showed that he was tortured with a hot metal rod. However, it was suggested that that the injuries were "self-inflicted by proxy". The Supreme Court ruled against this claim, stating that it was very unlikely for an individual to want to suffer the continued pain resulting from such an injury.