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Sweden: criticism of the Migration Courts

The fact that asylum assessments are now taking place in court has not increased the security of the assessments – on the contrary. It shows new research: asylum seekers are silenced during oral talks, judges have difficulty reporting their credibility assessments and the Migration Board’s processor is sitting on double chairs. 

Via: Jaqueline Balcer Bedanarian

For more than ten years, the Migration Board’s asylum decision has been reviewed by migration courts.

Livia Johannesson is a researcher in political science at Stockholm University and has studied the daily work in the courts. Her research has resulted in the report “In Courts W Trust: Administrative Justice in Swedish Migration Courts”.

Three of the key problem areas were also presented in  a debate in DN.

Double roles 
Research indicates, among other things, that processors have dual roles. The Migration Board‘s representative is a process driver and acts counterparty to the asylum seeker in court proceedings. At the same time, the same persons shall act as neutral experts in so-called country information.

“Processors describe how they can strategically hide behind their role as neutral expert in submitting country information in a way that helps to make the asylum seeker’s protection reasons less likely.”

Livia Johannesson writes that the judges lack resources to control prosecutors arguments and therefore choose to regard them as neutral experts instead of parties in the case.

The solution, according to the research report, is to counteract the prosperity of processors compared with the asylum seeker. The court should not be dependent on the Migration Board’s expertise, says Livia Johannesson.

Must not be heard
Fors The increase also shows that asylum seekers do not have the opportunity to tell their story during the oral proceedings.

If the Migration Board questions the credibility of the asylum seeker, an oral hearing shall be held in court. The aim is for the asylum seekers to “get in touch” before making a decision. But Johannesson’s report shows that this is not the case.

“Instead, they are asked to say as little as possible during the hearing and preferably only answer direct questions. Processors, on the other hand, have the opportunity to ask questions that suspect the credibility of the asylum seeker and it is also used as a conscious strategy to undermine the details of the asylum report. ”

Asylum seekers must instead have real opportunities to tell their story without being suspicious, writes Livia Johannesson:

“It requires well-trained and well-trained interpreters, dedicated public assistants, plenty of time and a balanced chat environment.”

Difficult to explain assessments
Another problem area is that it is  unclear how the subjective impressions that oral negotiations give rise to are handled by the judges when they make credibility assessments.

“In my study, the judges and processors describe how they can ‘look at someone’ or ‘get a feel’ of speaking of the truth through the oral hearing. At the same time, the judges have obvious difficulties explaining how they actually make use of converting these subjective impressions into objective assessments of credibility. ”

More transparency
The report states that in its decision-making decision the court should openly describe how the credibility assessment has been conducted.

“Although greater transparency in the credibility and credibility of credibility assessments would make the assessments more vulnerable to objections, transparency in decision-making increases. Enabling individuals to understand the reasons for the state’s power exercise is, after all, that legal certainty is ultimately aimed at”

Read the full research report here .

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