Article 3, Article 8, Asylum, ECHR, UTIAC

Upper Tribunal gives guidance on Article 3 and suicide

In AXB (Art 3 health: obligations; suicide) Jamaica [2019] UKUT 397 (IAC), the Upper Tribunal explained that the threshold for establishing Article 3 harm is the high threshold described in N v United Kingdom[2008] ECHR 453 and a Presidential Tribunal held that:

  1. In a case where an individual asserts that his removal from the Returning State would violate his Article 3 ECHR rights because of the consequences to his health, the obligation on the authorities of a Returning State dealing with a health case is primarily one of examining the fears of an applicant as to what will occur following return and assessing the evidence.  In order to fulfil its obligations, a Returning State must provide “appropriate procedures” to allow that examination and assessment to be carried out.  In the UK, that is met in the first place by an examination of the case by the Secretary of State and then by an examination on appeal by the Tribunal and an assessment of the evidence before it.
  2. There is no free-standing procedural obligation on a Returning State to make enquiries of the Receiving State concerning treatment in that State or obtain assurances in that regard.  Properly understood, what is referred to at [185] to [187] of the Grand Chamber’s judgment in Paposhvili concerns the discharge of respective burdens of proof.
  3. The burden is on the individual appellant to establish that, if he is removed, there is a real risk of a breach of Article 3 ECHR to the standard and threshold which apply.  If the appellant provides evidence which is capable of proving his case to the standard which applies, the Secretary of State will be precluded from removing the appellant unless she is able to provide evidence countering the appellant’s evidence or dispelling doubts arising from that evidence.  Depending on the particular circumstances of the case, such evidence might include general evidence, specific evidence from the Receiving State following enquiries made or assurances from the Receiving State concerning the treatment of the appellant following return. 
  4. Where an individual asserts that he would be at real risk of committing suicide, following return to the Receiving State, the threshold for establishing Article 3 harm is the high threshold described in N v United Kingdom [2008] ECHR 453, unless the risk involves hostile actions of the Receiving State towards the individual: RA (Sri Lanka) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2008] EWCA Civ 1210; Y and Z v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2009] EWCA Civ 362.

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