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3: The Use of Expert Evidence in Asylum Procedures

Summary of the impact

Since the mid 1990s, Social Anthropology staff have provided expert advice as part of UK asylum procedures. Impact has taken two main forms:

  • Shaping lawyers' arguments and informing individual decision-making by the UK Border Agency and Asylum Tribunals, and by immigration authorities in the US, France, and Canada, through the provision of `expert country evidence' on the socio-political circumstances in specific countries (Zimbabwe, Israel/Palestine, Sri Lanka),
  • Shaping professional practice through providing guidance and/or training for immigration practitioners and judges on the general limits and potentials of expert evidence, helping practitioners to adapt their evidential strategies in asylum claims and allowing rival protagonists in adversarial hearings to discuss mutual concerns.

Submitting Institution

University of Edinburgh

Unit of Assessment

Anthropology and Development Studies

Summary Impact Type


Research Subject Area(s)

Law and Legal Studies: Law

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