Rough Justice: Inside the British Asylum System


  • Harvey Burgess Elder Rahimi and Clore & Co.



United Kingdom, British asylum system, asylum policy, human rights


This paper constitutes a detailed analysis and critique ofthe British asylum system from 1997 until the present day. It covers all the clearly defined areas of government policy, including funding, detention, deportation, human rights, European Union obligations, and asylum welfare. It also addresses the role of the judiciary and cites many of the landmark legal cases that have had a major impact on the sector. In providing a comprehensive overview of asylum and immigration that spans the entire period of the Labour government and the first few months of the new Coalition’s tenure, the author aims to show that an often illiberal UK asylum policy is largely governed by principles of deterrent and political expediency. Only an enlightened House of Lords, now the Supreme Court, has served as a bulwark for justice and mitigated the effect of draconian government policies.


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How to Cite

Burgess, H. (2012). Rough Justice: Inside the British Asylum System. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 27(2), 122–132.

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