Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2004


Analysis of asylum policy in the United Kingdom thus requires examination of the complex interaction between domestic and international pressures, between legislative and judicial action, and between expansionism and restrictionism. In Part I, this paper considers the history of asylum in the UK through the 1990s, looking at the changes that occurred over the 20th century, and the international legal obligations at the core of the UK's asylum policy. The paper specifically addresses Britain's new commitments to European Union asylum policies, and the ways in which Britain's overall relationship with the EU affects Britain's domestic asylum policy. In Part II, the paper examines the two most significant recent changes in UK asylum law, namely the passage of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act of 2002, and the passage and implementation of the Human Rights Act in 1998. Finally, in Part III, the paper situates each of these major developments in the wider context of the various forces for expansion and restriction, in the UK and Europe. The paper concludes by examining the balance that may be struck as these forces interact.



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