Ben Douglas-Jones recently appeared in two Court of Appeal cases (Z, 7 July 2016 and Chikho, 13 October 2016) which considered the status of Turkey as a stopover point for refugees seeking to rely on the asylum seeker’s defence to criminal offences.
The 1951 Refugee Convention, as a post-Second World War instrument, was originally limited in scope to persons fleeing events occurring before 1951 within Europe. A 1967 Protocol removed the geographic and temporal limits of the Convention.
Turkey however maintained the geographical limitation. Thus no Convention protection was historically afforded to refugees from outside Europe seeking asylum in Turkey. A stopover in Turkey could (historically) not prevent a refugee from relying on the refugee defence. In Chikho the importance of advice given at the Crown Court was highlighted.