The decision

Upper Tribunal
(Immigration and Asylum Chamber) Appeal Number PA/04689/2018


Heard at Manchester CJC Decision and Reasons Promulgated
On 28th November 2018 On 10th January 2019






For the Appellant: Mr G Madabuke (Legal Representative, Broudie Jackson & Canter)
For the Respondent: Mr A Tan (Home Office Presenting Officer)

1. The Appellant's asylum appeal was heard by First-tier Tribunal Judge Siddiqi at Manchester on the 9th of May 2018 and dismissed for the reasons given in the decision promulgated on the 31st of May 2018. The Judge declined to depart from AA (Article 15(c)) Iraq CG [2015] EWCA Civ 944. The Judge went on to find that the Appellant would be able to get assistance from his family and to relocate to the IKR and that it would be in the best interests of the Appellant to live with his aunt and uncle in the IKR.
2. The grounds of application for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal assert that the Judge erred in finding that with his profile the Appellant was not eligible for international protection. It is also argued that the Judge erred in finding that the Appellant as a Sunni Kurd from a contested area would not be at risk where there was evidence that Sunni men were targeted. The finding that the Appellant could be returned to the IKR was contrary to the guidance in AA and the Appellant would be removed as a minor. Permission was granted largely on the basis that the Appellant was a minor and that his removal as such had not been properly considered. the question was whether it was reasonable for the Appellant to relocate.
3. At the start of the hearing Mr Madabuke observed that there had been 2 fundamental changes since the appeal had been heard and permission to appeal had been granted. The first was that the case of AAH (Iraqi Kurds - internal relocation) Iraq CG UKUT 212 (IAC) had been promulgated on the 6th of June, the second was that the Appellant had turned 18 and so now an adult. It was argued that from headnote 7 in AAH as the Appellant was from a contested area he would not be welcome in the IKR and that AAH provided the answer as to how the case should be decided. In short where it was found that an Appellant was from a contested area then they should receive article 15(c) protection.
4. For the Home Office it was observed that reliance could only be placed on the grounds that had been submitted. The Judge had recognised that the Appellant was 17 but he is now an adult. So far as grounds 4 and 5 were concerned it was not for the Judge to look policies that could have been applied. In paragraph 52 section 55 had been considered. The main issue was internal relocation, ground 6 referred to proportionality which was not the test. In this case we were talking about a minor returning to the IKR and being provided for by relatives, that dealt with the protection issue.
5. The Appellant is now 18 and if his case were to be considered now, however it got to that stage, he would be treated as an adult with all that that entails. The fact that he was a minor at the date of the decision of the First-tier Tribunal is a hollow point which in my view takes the case no further.
6. The grounds treat the decision and the Appellant's history in disjointed fashion. The Appellant may have originally come from a contested area but he left there years ago and lived with his aunt and uncle in the IKR for 2 years. In going to the IKR the Appellant would be returning to the area he had last lived in and there is no suggestion he had to leave the IKR from any danger that he faced there at that time or there is a danger to him beyond an assessment of any relevant risk factors.
7. Headnote 7 in AAH states: "Whether P would be at particular risk of ill-treatment during the security screening process must be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Additional factors that may increase risk include: (i) coming from a family with a known association with ISIL, (ii) coming from an area associated with ISIL and (iii) being a single male of fighting age. P is likely to be able to evidence the fact of recent arrival from the UK, which would dispel any suggestion of having arrived directly from ISIL territory."
8. With regard to the final sentence the Appellant would not be arriving directly from ISIL territory, a point that the grounds do not address. Not only would the Appellant be able to point to his being returned from the UK he would also be able to point to his having actually lived in the IKR for a considerable period of time before he left for the UK and would be able to rely on family support, as the Judge found. The Appellant is a Sunni Muslim but equally importantly he is Kurd with links to the IKR, factors which the Judge was entitled to take into account in the decision and which are reflected in the decision that he made.
9. On the facts as found in the decision the Judge was entitled to find that the Appellant would be returned at the age of 18 and that he could return to the area where last lived, the IKR, where he would have family support. The overall consideration of his circumstances was that the Appellant did not have a profile that would place him at risk in Iraq and that relocation, if it can properly be called that, to the IKR was both reasonable and feasible. It is not a question of proportionality.
10. The decision has to be read as a whole and fairly without taking aspects out of context. It also has to be read in the light of the overall circumstances which in this case include the basic and unavoidable fact that the Appellant is now an adult. Placing that into the context of the findings that the Judge was entitled to make, I am not satisfied that the Judge did make an error in the decision but in if there was an error with regard to the approach taken in the light of his age I am satisfied that such an error could not be regarded as being material.
The making of the decision of the First-tier Tribunal did not involve the making of an error on a point of law.
I do not set aside the decision.
The First-tier Tribunal did not make an order pursuant to rule 45(4)(i) of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (Procedure) Rules 2005 and I make no order.
Fee Award
In dismissing this appeal I make no fee award.

Deputy Judge of the Upper Tribunal (IAC)

Dated: 16th December 2018