One of James’ recent successful asylum appeals concerned an Appellant from Guatemala. The case was unusual given the country of origin (no Home Office guidance or UT case law exists for Guatemala), and demonstrates a variety of instructive points for practitioners.
Firstly, it was essential to obtain effective evidence establishing, in the absence of any UT authority or Home Office guidance, risk on return in the event of credibility being established.
Secondly, the need for an expert report was indispensable, not only for addressing issues of sufficiency of protection and internal relocation but also for bolstering the evidential weight of the country information evidence which was relied upon.
Thirdly, the expert report also, of course, attested to the reliability of documents exhibited on the Appellant’s behalf (e.g. police reports from the country of origin). Immigration lawyers are now familiar with this practice, given the requirements of Tanveer Ahmed  UKIAT 00439. The form and content of such material is governed by Part 10 of the FTT and UT Practice Direction.
Fourthly, it was important to anticipate the Home Office raising points which had not been taken in the refusal (the SSHD did not take issue with sufficiency of protection or internal relocation within the RFRL).
The facts of the case were that the Appellant had nearly been assassinated as part of a political scandal involving extensive political corruption. The FTT judge held that “I find the appellant’s account plausible, credible, consistent and truthful.”