How effective are tribunals at determining asylum appeals?

28 January 2011

A new book from Robert Thomas examines how the idea of adjudicative quality works in practice. Administrative Justice and Asylum Appeals presents a detailed case-study of the tribunal system responsible for determining appeals lodged by foreign nationals who claim they risk persecution or ill-treatment on return to their country of origin.

The book is the product of an empirical legal research project into the procedure and determination of asylum appeals by the responsible administrative tribunal, the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT). The research was funded by the Nuffield Foundation under its Law in Society programme. 

Over recent years, the asylum appeal process has become a major area of judicial decision-making and the most frequently restructured tribunal system. Asylum adjudication is also one of the most difficult areas of decision-making in the modern legal system.

Integrating empirical research with legal analysis, this book provides an in-depth study of the development and operation of this tribunal system and of asylum decision-making. The book examines how this particular appeal process seeks to mediate the tension between the competing values under which it operates. There are chapters examining the organisation of the tribunal system, its procedures, the nature of fact-finding in asylum cases and the operation of onward rights of challenge.

Robert Thomas
is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Law, University of Manchester. Administrative Justice and Asylum Appeals is published by Hart Publishing