There is 1 scenario which carries 100 marks. You must answer all the questions. is from Zimbabwe and came to the UK as a student in September 2013 to study journalism at Birmingham University on a three year Tier 4 student visa. Vinnie had always been interested in politics from a young age as his parents were both teachers but they had never encouraged him to be actively involved as they considered it to be too dangerous. His parents were active supporters of the main opposition party the MDC (Movement for Democratic Change Zimbabwe – Tsvangirai (MDC-T) and so Vinnie was always a supporter of the MDC. It was partly fear that had kept him from being an active supporter although he had many friends who went to MDC meetings and rallies. Vinnie occasionally attended meetings with these friends but always kept a low profile as it was rumoured that government agents attended these events and took names and pictures of activists. Vinnie grew up in Chitungwiza, just outside Harare. He had lived there all his life, attending school there before coming to the UK. His parents and two younger sisters remained in Zimbabwe as well as his extended family. He had two aunts and 4 cousins who lived here in the UK. Whilst Vinnie was a student in the UK, he became increasingly interested in getting more politically active. He began writing articles about politics in Southern Africa for his student magazine and started an internet blog commenting on political issues in Southern Africa generally, with a focus on Zimbabwe. In Birmingham there was a very active MDC – T branch and he heard about their activities not long after his arrival here. Vinnie started going to some of the branch meetings and was very excited to find so many articulate young Zimbabweans involved in politics. Vinnie found the meetings very stimulating and attended the weekly meetings regularly. Within a few months he had put himself forward as a volunteer in the fundraising committee and the youth committee. Within a year he was elected as the treasurer and remained involved with fund raising. He attended meetings, was involved in fund raising activities and regularly liaised with MDC-T MPs in Zimbabwe to come here on visits. His name and picture was on the MDC-T website, and in minutes of meetings. He became involved with the MDC UK and Ireland executive and his name was put forward for treasurer for the MDC UK and Ireland. He was rapidly becoming a high profile MDC activist. He continued to write articles and his blog became more aggressive in criticising the ruling Zanu-FP party of Robert Mugabe. Vinnie met Nyasha, at an MDC-T meeting and they became good friends. Nyasha was also Zimbabwean and had been granted refugee status as a child accompanying her parents who fled from Zimbabwe in 2002. Nyasha was now settled in the UK but had not applied for British Citizenship. Nyasha had a 3 year old daughter, Melody, but was separated from Melody’s father who did not maintain any contact with either of them. Melody was British and whilst she did not see her father, her paternal grandparents did keep in contact and saw her every few months. Vinnie and Nyasha started living together in September 2014. A few months later Nyasha became pregnant and their son Tendai was born on 16.11.2015. Vinnie became a father figure to Melody and treated her as his own. They were planning to get married but first wanted to save up enough money for the wedding. In July 2016 Vinnie received a phone call from his father to say that their home had been visited by some people whom he believed to be from the CIO (Central Intelligence Organisation). They were asking where Vinnie was, that they had heard that he was involved with the MDC -T in the UK, that he was a traitor because he was being very critical of Robert Mugabe in his writings and MDC activities and inciting people to rise up and overthrow the government. They had forced their way into his parent’s home and searched the home, but found nothing. Vinnie’s parents were very shaken by this incident. The CIO told his parents that they had their means of monitoring Vinnie’s activities and someone could get badly hurt if he did not give himself up to the authorities. His parents told Vinnie that they suspected that their house was under surveillance and that he should not risk coming back to Zimbabwe. This scared Vinnie a lot and he began to consider whether he should apply for asylum, as he did now fear going home. He was considering whether to apply for a Masters course and extend his student visa but now was not sure what to do. Question 1 Using the reports and documents supplied together with the Refugee Convention 1951 (not supplied), assess the strengths and weakness of a claim for asylum. Your answer should address the following issues: • the requirements that need to be fulfilled to be defined as a refugee • which Convention reason might apply to Vinnie • With reference to the Country of Origin and Policy Note; Zimbabwe: Opposition to the Government Jan 2017, the Amnesty International Annual report on Zimbabwe 2016/17 and the Human Rights Watch report Zimbabwe 2016 an assessment of whether Vinnie would face persecution if he returned to Zimbabwe, • Your discussion should refer to the latest country guidance case of CM (EM country guidance; disclosure) Zimbabwe; and when that country guidance states that a returnee would be at risk of persecution. This case was heard a few years ago, in October 2012 and things in Zimbabwe have changed since then. Relate this case to Vinnie’s asylum claim and to the up to date Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch reports. [30 marks] Question 2 Identify what documentary evidence Vinnie should submit with his asylum application and whether there is any further information that may be needed from him. [10 marks] Vinnie claims asylum before his student visa expires in September 2016. He is interviewed by the Home Office in November 2016 and submits lots of documentary evidence but his application is refused on 16 January 2017. The basis of the refusal is that the Home Office do not believe that his political profile is high enough to bring him to the attention of the Zimbabwean authorities if he was removed. He has a right of appeal and has to raise all the grounds he wishes the Home Office to take into account under the Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights [ECHR]. Question 3 Assess the strengths and weaknesses of an appeal based on Asylum and Human Rights grounds, identifying each of the Human Rights grounds he could raise and relating the grounds to the facts of the case. [20 marks] Vinnie lodges his appeal and whilst he is waiting for the appeal hearing date relations between him and Nyasha become difficult. They are struggling under the pressure and uncertainty of Vinnie’s immigration status and arguing a lot. This gets worse and worse until Nyasha asks him to leave. Vinnie moves out on 10 February 2017. He adores the children and has always been a very engaged and involved father. He keeps in close contact with the children. Whilst relations between Vinnie and Nyasha are not good, Nyasha agrees that he can see the children a couple of times a week which he does. After a few weeks Nyasha drops a bomb shell and tells Vinnie he cannot see the children. She is seeing someone else and wants him completely out of her life. Nyasha tells Vinnie that he will need a court order if he wants to see the children. Vinnie is adamant that he will maintain contact with both children and wants to update the grounds of his appeal based on the change of circumstances. Question 4 Discuss what this change of circumstance is going to mean for the merits of Vinnie’s appeal. Discuss what additional evidence and documents he could use to support his case. [10 marks] Question 5 If Vinnie’s appeal is successful on asylum and human rights grounds, what leave will be he granted by the Home Office, and what are the prospects of settlement in the UK taking into account the Home Office document ‘Refugee Leave’? [10 marks] Assume that Vinnie’s appeal is successful and he achieves settlement in the UK. However, after getting drunk one night he is involved in a heated argument about UK politics with a UKIP supporter and in a fit of anger, being drunk, Vinnie lashes out with his bottle and badly injures the UKIP supporter. Vinnie is prosecuted and spends 3 months of a 6 months sentence in prison. On release the Home Office serve him with a Notice of Intention to Deport. Question 6 What arguments against deportation can Vinnie raise and assess the merits of each argument? [10 marks] Question 7 If Vinnie’s asylum and human rights appeal was dismissed and all his appeal rights were exhausted including Judicial Review, what would be the implications for his return to the UK in the following circumstances. a) Vinnie makes a voluntary departure to Zimbabwe. [2 marks] b) Vinnie is removed from the UK. [5 marks] c) Vinnie is deported from the UK [3 marks] [Total 100 marks]
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