Sandra Akinbolu


Year of Call: 2002

Practice Group(s): Immigration, Public & Regulatory

Portrait of Sandra Akinbolu

BVC - University of the West of England 2002
LLM International Human Rights Law - University of Essex 2000
LLB European Law - University of Essex 1998

Practice Profile:
Immigration, Asylum and Human Rights.

Sandra acts at all stages, from the advisory stage through to appeals before the Court of Appeal, dealing with all aspects of public and private immigration work. She regularly appears in immigration, asylum and deportation appeals at those levels and advises throughout proceedings. Sandra is an experienced and popular trainer in this area, providing expert lectures for HJT, the leading provider of training in immigration and human rights law. She is a member of the ILPA European Subcommittee, and trains with ILPA. She is also a contributor to Lexis Nexis' Immigration law section and a guest speaker for the Solicitors Group training events.


Sandra has a busy judicial review practice, advising and appearing on refusals of fresh human rights and asylum claims, certifications, unlawful detention, and injunctive relief for removals and administrative errors, amongst others.

Direct Access

Sandra is Direct Access qualified, and accepts instructions in all areas of immigration, nationality and administrative law. Easily accessible and clear in her instructions, Sandra provides advice and representation to both individuals and organisations as appropriate.

Notable Cases:
MB (Cabinda risk) (CG) [2014] UKUT 434 (IAC): Updating the previous country guidance case on return to Cabinda (Angola). The Upper Tribunal held that there remain significant levels of human rights abuses in Angola, particularly in Cabinda. Those with real or suspected FLEC ties face real risks on return. However, those risks do not extend to all Cabindans, and internal relocation remains an option.

Shebl (Entrepreneur: proof of contracts) [2014] UKUT 216 (IAC): A contract is a contract. Nothing in the Immigration Rules redefines the ordinary understanding of the word. The Rules require evidence of trade for entrepreneurs, which is shown by production of the normal documents generated in the course of business.

RT (Zimbabwe) & Ors [2010] EWCA Civ 1285: Whether an asylum-seeker with no or only minimal political beliefs can be expected to lie in order to seek protection if the only reason for doing so was to avoid ill-treatment of the relevant kind. The Court of Appeal held, in the context of Zimbabwe, that it was a requirement of a decision-maker's investigative process to enquire whether a returnee would be required to lie in order to profess loyalty to the Zimbabwean regime, and whether s/he would in fact be able to prove that loyalty, even if s/he was willing to do so for a reason unrelated to the fear of persecution.

ZQ (serving soldier) Iraq CG [2009] UKAIT 00048: Whether a serving soldier was ever entitled to the protections of the Refugee Convention. The Tribunal held that general fears of violence faced in conflict cannot give rise to a Refugee claim, whether on or off duty. However, where the nature of the fighting is such that a soldier is placed in a situation where s/he faces a consistent pattern of military violence contrary of the laws of war, the State owes a duty of care, albeit more limited than that owed to civilians. Failure by the State to observe that duty of care may found a Refugee claim.

K [2009] EWHC 2592 (Admin): The Applicant was an adult female who sought to make a fresh claim for asylum on the basis of a fear of FGM, and a fresh claim under the Human Rights Act 1998, on the basis of her family and private life. The Secretary of State held previous findings of a lack of credibility against her, decided there was insufficient evidence of a risk of FGM on adult females on return to Sierra Leone and held this was not a fresh claim. Black J found, on the material, that this decision was not open to the Secretary of State and quashed the decision.

EB (Ethiopia) [2007] EWCA Civ 809: Whether deprivation of nationality by a government, for a Refugee Convention reason, amounted to persecution. The Court of Appeal held that the arbitrary deprivation of nationality amounted to "the loss of the right to have rights" and since it was done for reason of the Appellant's nationality, was persecution as defined by the Refugee Convention

Further Professional Information:
Public Access qualified.

Lectures regularly for HJT Training and Solicitors Group.

Immigration Law Practitioners Association
Constitutional and Administrative Law Bar Association

English, French and Spanish.

Sandra is a keen sportswoman who has played hockey and netball to a high level. She continues to play and coach on a regular basis.

Contributing author to 'The Law and Practice of Expulsion and Exclusion from the UK: Deportation, Removal, Exclusion and Denial and Deprivation of Citizenship'. The book is due to be published by Hart Publishing in 2014.
Contributing author to 'HJT Training Immigration Manual ebook edition' published regularly by HJT Training.