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Upper Tribunal finds all returnees at risk in Libya.

Adam Pipe counsel in new Country Guidance case where Upper Tribunal finds all returnees at risk in Libya.

On 28th June 2017 the Upper Tribunal promulgated its decision in ZMM (Article 15(c)) Libya CG [2017] UKUT 263 (IAC) the long awaited new Country Guidance case on the Article 15(c) risk in Libya.

Adam Pipe represented the Appellant instructed by Duncan Lewis solicitors. Alison Pargeter was instructed as a Country Expert and gave evidence before the Upper Tribunal.

The appeal was allowed on Article 15(c) grounds. The head note reads as follows:

The violence in Libya has reached such a high level that substantial grounds are shown for believing that a returning civilian would, solely on account of his presence on the territory of that country or region, face a real risk of being subject to a threat to his life or person.

As will be apparent from the head note Libyan cases should now succeed on Article 15(c) grounds and fresh claims should be made on behalf of clients who have previously been refused. Paragraph 93 is very helpful:

'In light of our findings we have not considered it necessary to conduct a region by region review. We do not doubt that there are in Libya today towns and villages which are relatively calm where, notwithstanding the absence of effective government, people are going about their 'normal' lives. We cannot however be satisfied that the peace in these oases is stable or durable, or that the notional returnee to Libya would be able to safely access such locations. In April 2017 the Secretary-General of the UN reported the freedom of movement of ordinary Libyans to be "severely affected" by violence and lawlessness. Ms Pargeter agreed. As her addendum report illustrates, travel across the country is a dangerous enterprise. Those few airports that do remain open are under the control of various militias. Even if the arriving passenger were able to talk his way out of the airport without being robbed, assaulted, detained or worse, we cannot be satisfied that risks he would face on his onwards journey would be acceptably low. The evidence before us indicates that the situation throughout Libya is extremely unstable, that lawlessness and violence are widespread, and that there is not a sufficiency of protection for the ordinary civilian. We are satisfied that the Article 15(c) risk is made out.'

This decision is most welcome given the current sad state of affairs in Libya and will mean that individuals receive the necessary protection.