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The Court of Appeal grants permission to appeal against latest Zimbabwe Country Guidance

On 20th December 2011 in JG & CM (Zimbabwe), the Court of Appeal granted permission to appeal against the current Zimbabwe Country Guidance, issued in March 2011 by the Upper Tribunal in EM and Others (Returnees) Zimbabwe CG [2011] UKUT 98(IAC). Turpin & Miller LLP are acting for the Appellant CM.

In EM and others (Returnees) Zimbabwe CG the court found that the situation in Zimbabwe had improved to such an extent that it was now safe to be returning failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers to Zimbabwe.

We lodged an application with the Court of Appeal to appeal this decision on behalf of our client with Lambeth Law Centre (the representatives of JG). After a half day hearing permission to appeal was allowed. The basis for this grant of permission was that the Tribunal had relied on anonymous evidence produced by the Secretary of State for the Home Department and that there were issues of non-disclosure of evidence by the Government. The Court of Appeal found that if the Upper Tribunal had had access to this additional evidence they may have reached a different decision.

On 24th January 2012 there was a Directions hearing at the Court of Appeal when a timetable for disclosure was set out. The full Court of Appeal hearing has been delayed due to disclosure and PII issues. We expect it to be listed later this year.

The outcome of this Country Guidance case will affect many Zimbabweans here in the UK; most notably those whose asylum claims have been refused or who have pending fresh asylum claims. When the Court of Appeal makes its decision we will be contacting all our clients who will be affected by this decision. If you think this case could have a bearing on your situation please contact us and speak to Clare Miller.