Court of Appeal says statelessness must be proved on balance of probabilities

In AS (Guinea) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWCA Civ 2234, the Court of Appeal has in effect rebuffed an attempt by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to make it easier to establish statelessness. The court ruled that the standard of proof for determining a statelessness application is the normal civil standard, i.e. the balance of probabilities. The appellant had argued that the “real risk” standard of proof, which is used for determining refugee status, should be applied. That lower standard is recommended by the UNHCR in a 2014 handbook on how to apply the 1954 Statelessness Convention. Instead, the Court of Appeal chose to…

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