BH (Policies/Information: SOS’s Duties) Iraq: UTIAC 14 May 2020

(a) The Secretary of State has a duty to reach decisions that are in accordance with her policies in the immigration field. Where there appears to be a policy that is not otherwise apparent and which may throw doubt on the Secretary of State’s case before the tribunal, she is under a duty to make a relevant policy known to the Tribunal, whether or not the policy is published and so available in the public domain. Despite their expertise, judges in the Immigration and Asylum Chambers cannot reasonably be expected to possess comprehensive knowledge of each and every policy of the Secretary of State in the immigration field.
(b) In protection appeals (and probably in other kinds of immigration appeals), the Secretary of State has a duty not to mislead, which requires her to draw attention to documents etc under her control or in the possession of another government department, which are not in the public domain, and which she knows or ought to know undermine or qualify her case.
(c) There is a clear distinction between information and policy: the fact that country information is contained in a COI (country of origin) document published by the Secretary of State does not, without more, make that information subject to the duty in sub-paragraph (a) above.

[2020] UKUT 189 (IAC)
England and Wales


Updated: 30 November 2021; Ref: scu.653921