We would all like to think that wherever our case is heard, the same procedures and standards of fairness will be applied. But sometimes things differ between hearing centres. Perhaps these differences have little bearing on the case. But if factors related to the fair running of an asylum appeal differ between centres or countries this could be problematic. This study examines the process of appealing against initially negative asylum decisions in different countries in Europe in order to see if processes are consistent. Also see here.
We are conducting observations of asylum appeals at hearing centres in France, Germany and the UK. Various courts in Europe will be visited by our researchers, who will do everything in their power to remain unobtrusive, undisruptive and respectful of the legal process and legal practitioners.
You can find more information about our court ethnographies here.
Later in the project, we will also be examining the way hearings are experienced by different groups including appellants and legal professionals, which will involve interviewing them. During interviews we might ask personal questions such as the professional and personal experience and views of asylum appeal procedures. The interview would last for approximately 45 minutes and will be audio recorded for later transcription.
You can find more information about our interviews here.
In accordance with current Data Protection legislation, all the information we collect is strictly confidential, and all researchers working on the study will respect the respondents’ privacy. Some of the data that we collect may be sensitive data and we will therefore store it securely and treat it carefully. Any material that we collect through the research will be anonymised to the fullest extent possible, including taking out identifying names, job titles and responsibilities, places, as well as altering unusual events, characteristics and aspects of participants and the things they describe or that are associated with them where appropriate in order to protect anonymity. We will ensure that there will be no information in our published research or in the data available to other researchers in the future that would allow others to identify research participants.
The data will be used to write academic research that will be published in academic journals and discussed at academic conferences. In addition, as the study aims to improve asylum adjudication, we may use anonymised data to present to policy makers, the public and the media (e.g. in form of public reports).
Preliminary findings from the project will be made available in 2019. The project itself will run until 2021 in order to carefully analyse and understand the observations, and a final report will be made available in 2021.