(Un)Professional Relationships and the Struggle for Expertise in Asylum Appeals
Berne Asylum Adjudication Workshop, 2014
Posted: 26 May 2015
Date Written: September 1, 2014
The paper considers the role of advocates in asylum appeals and their perspectives on the decision-making process. In particular it looks at relationships between advocates, Judges and Home Office representatives: issues of trust, the development of informal norms and the existence of common professional goals. The paper draws on organisational approaches to decision-making such as Eisenstein and Jacob’s ‘courtroom workgroup theory’, in addition to previous work on court cultures, to examine differences between advocates’ experiences at two different hearing centres. From interview and observational data, a picture emerges of asylum tribunals as sites of struggle; not only between asylum-seekers and the state, but between different professional identities, backgrounds and levels of expertise.
Keywords: Refugees, Asylum, Tribunals, Lawyers, Home Office
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