IM (Pakistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, Court of Appeal - Civil Division, March 28, 2018, [2018] EWCA Civ 626

Resolution Date:March 28, 2018
Issuing Organization:Civil Division
Actores:IM (Pakistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department
 
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Case No: C5/2015/3133

Neutral Citation Number: [2018] EWCA Civ 626

IN THE COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)

ON APPEAL FROM THE UPPER TRIBUNAL

(IMMIGRATION AND ASYLUM CHAMBER)

Upper Tribunal Judge Hanson

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand, London, WC2A 2LL

Date: 28/03/2018

Before :

LORD JUSTICE LEWISON

LORD JUSTICE HAMBLEN

and

LORD JUSTICE COULSON

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Between :

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Mr Richard Drabble QC and Mr Paul Draycott (instructed by Wimbledon Solicitors) for the Appellant

Mr Russell Fortt (instructed by Government Legal Department) for the Respondent

Hearing date : 22nd March 2018

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JudgmentLord Justice Hamblen :

Introduction

1. This is an appeal against the Upper Tribunal's (``UT'') determination of 22 July 2015 which allowed the appellant's appeal against the decision of the First-tier Tribunal (``FTT'') of 3 December 2013 which dismissed the appellant's appeal against the Respondent's refusal of his asylum claim by a refusal letter (``RL'') dated 19 February 2013.

2. The issue on the appeal is whether the UT erred in law in deciding to remit the case back to the FTT rather than remaking the decision itself and allowing the appeal. The appellant contends that no outstanding legal issues remained such as to require further amplification of the facts, with the result that the UT was bound to substitute the FTT's decision and allow the Appellant's appeal outright, without the need for a further hearing.

Factual and procedural background

3. The appellant is a national of Pakistan and previously lived in the Sheika Bur Luv-e Darya village in the Jhelum district of the Punjab. He first entered the United Kingdom on 10 April 2010 with valid leave to enter as a student. After his leave expired on 16 August 2011 the appellant remained as an overstayer and eventually made a claim for asylum on 17 September 2012. He relied on three grounds for doing so, but the only one now relevant is whether he was at risk of an honour killing due to the fact that he had entered into an agreement to marry which he had reneged from.

4. In the RL the respondent stated as follows in relation to this ground of claim:

``14. In October 2009 you state that you got engaged to your cousin Waheeda Bibi. The engagement was arranged and you did not know the girl but did not want to disrespect your father so agreed to marry her. It was a verbal agreement, no rings had been exchanged so it was not definite....

15. By your own evidence you have stated that it was a verbal agreement, no rings had been exchanged so it was not definite ... there is no evidence to support your claim that you were engaged to Waheeda however by your own evidence you had willingly agreed to marry her and it was merely a verbal agreement ... and therefore given the low standard of proof required it is accepted that you had agreed to become engaged to Waheeda.

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18. You believe that you were attacked because the Waheeda's family assumed that you did not want to marry Waheeda. It is not understood why, if the family assumed that you did not want to marry Waheeda that they would harass or intimidate you into marrying their daughter by having two men attack you but not tell you that this is the reason that you were being attacked, or why they would choose to pretend that the attack was to do with your political affiliations. It is considered that as the engagement was arranged by family members, that if Waheeda's family were in doubt as to whether you were still wanting to marry her then as family members they would simply ask rather than create a charade of having you attacked by strangers who then pretended that the attack was because of your allegiance to N League.

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24. You have submitted an expert report dated 22 November 2012 written by Christoph Bluth. .... It is noted at section 5 of the report that the author has given general background information regarding families who disapprove of marriages stating that this is relevant to this case as family honour is at the centre of it. However as noted above, you have stated the marriage arrangement was not definite, nor was there disapproval of the proposed marriage. For the reasons noted above it is not accepted that you are being persecuted because you refused to marry Waheeda nor is it accepted that you are the target of an honour killing. Other than the threatening emails from Mustafa demanding you repay him his money you have offered no evidence that you are being persecuted in the name of honour.

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30. You claim that Waheeda's uncle is a super constable in the police and if you try to live somewhere else he will find you. Additionally you claim that Waheeda's family are wealthy and they will hold a grudge against you ... you have submitted no substantive evidence to support your claim that he is a super constable, nor have you offered any evidence that this uncle would want to find you ... as previously noted it is not accepted that Waheeda's family has a grudge against you and therefore taking your claim at its highest, and accepting that Waheeda's uncle is a super constable it is not accepted that the family have a grudge against, nor is it accepted that they are actively perusing a fine (sic) from you, it is considered that you could if you wanted to move away and relocate to another area ... in conclusion, taking your claim at its highest, it is considered that there is a sufficiency of protection in Lahore and it would not be unreasonable to expect you to relocate there.''

5. The appellant appealed against the refusal of his asylum claim and his appeal was first heard by the FTT on 30 April 2013. In support of his appeal, the appellant relied upon an expert country report of 19 April 2013 from Professor Christoph Bluth (Professor...

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