Coping with the Outcomes: Responsibility and Accountability

No, as an individual I can’t feel responsible because I think if you become

too personally involved, you’re losing, you may lose your objectivity.

Chief Immigration Officer[1]

As has been argued, the official perspective strongly promotes and maintains the fallacy about officers’ lack of liability and need to account for initial asylum decisions. The official line presents officers as bureaucrats, cleared for asylum decisions, forcing them to deny their decision-making power. Yet, there are still reasons why officers may still have the need to account for their decisions. This relates to the personal feelings that officers may have for a case, but is more relevant when it comes to justifying their position about a case in which other actors have been involved, such as legal representatives. In addressing this topic officers raise the idea of being responsible to some degree for their decisions, at a personal level, and introduce the reality of dealing with the consequences of asylum screening rather than with its mere legal parameters.

  • [1] DI/V-UK15-AR00-CIO.
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