353 Certification & The Window of the Soul

An interesting judgement has been issued in SA (IRAN) V SSHD 2012 EWHC 2575. This concerned the successful challenge to certification of a fresh claim as being "clearly unfounded". There were some harsh words for the Secretary of state from the Court with regards to how her department had casually dismissed new medical evidence - " expert psychiatric and psychological evidence cannot be simply set aside in the manner adopted by the Home Secretary..." And further harsh words in respect of how corroborating witness evidence cannot be overlooked or routinely dismissed in the manner adopted.

The most interesting point of the judgement for some, will be found in the Court's comments regarding the credibility of christian converts -

" it is a dangerous thing for anyone and perhaps especially a judge, to peer into what some call a man or woman's soul to assess whether a professed faith is genuinely held...I am at a loss as to how that is to be tested by anything other than considering whether she is an active participant in the new church...."

However, the Court notes that the issue of the conversion must be considered not solely upon the genuine nature of said conversion, but also to consider the risk "that if she has professed herself to be a Christian and conducted herself as one, whether true or not MAY be taken in Iran as evidence of apostasy "

Fair comment.