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Law and Global Justice (LGJ)


Dr James Sweeney invited to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

(23 April 2010)

Dr James Sweeney visited the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) in London on the 23rd April.  Dr Sweeney, who is a convenor of the 'Law and Conflict at Durham' research cluster at Durham Law School, is an expert on human rights and refugee law.  UNHCR have taken an interest in Dr Sweeney's recent publication, 'Credibility, Proof and Refugee Law' which appeared in the International Journal of Refugee Law in late 2009.  In the article Dr Sweeney has argued that Home Office official advice about asylum law supplied to its case-workers is defective.  Dr Sweeney contends that the Home Office advice does not sufficiently clarify that the standard of proof in asylum applications is low: the applicant has to show a 'reasonable degree of likelihood' that they will be persecuted in their home state.  Unfortunately the Home Office guidance introduces a pre-requisite step of asking whether the applicant's story is 'credible', which can end up bypassing the formal standard of proof.