Asylum seekers win appeal in trial about age testing

Oslo Courthouse prostitutes trialOslo Courthouse.Photo. Norway Today Media

Oslo District Court concluded that the Immigration Service’s decision on five young male asylum seekers from Afghanistan is invalid. The board will appeal the verdict.


On Thursday, the verdict ruled that the five asylum seekers, who sued the state and the Immigration Service (UNE) for their use of age testing in asylum assessment. The case concerned the validity of the decisions of refusal of applications for protection and residence on a humanitarian basis.

‘The court has concluded that the Immigration Appointment’s decisions in all five cases are based on improper use of law, the wrong facts, and false assessments of evidence. Age surveys were obtained without a legal basis. The concrete age assessments in all five cases are incorrect ‘, stated in the court’s assessment.

The dispute is limited to the age rating. The judgment stated that ‘there is agreement that the decisions are invalid if the specific age rating is incorrect.’

The five Afghani citizens came to Norway individually between the 26th of July and 1st of October, 2015. All said on arrival that they were 15 or 16 years old. In the autumn of 2015, a medical age survey was carried out by immigrant authorities, who concluded that four of them were over 18 years of age, and that one was over 17 years old.

Sensational judgment

Attorney, Jostein Løken, an attorney at the law firm, Elden, represented all of the five men in the case. He told TV 2 that it is unclear what’s going on.

‘It is quite a sensational verdict, and means that the State has to do something to compensate for the wrongful act committed,’ said Løken.

Løken told VG newspaper that he now expects his clients to get a residence permit in Norway after the verdict.

Communications Director at UNE, Bjørn Lyster, wrote in an email to the newspaper that they will appeal the verdict.

‘Our professionals have read the verdict, and they have also talked with the government attorney about it. This verdict will be appealed. The assessments of the district court are far from what our people think are correct law or a correct result’, wrote Lyster.

Age Studies

Lyster wrote that UNE’s views on both the evidence assessments, and the age surveys, clearly emerged through the explanations in court, which he says are different from how the district court came to the judgment.

‘The results of the medical age surveys had been based on a discretionary comparison of the results from hand and dental examinations. An estimated age had been given, with safety margins downward in age to cover standard deviation,’ UNE explained in the judgment.

A new statistical model for medical age surveys, called BioAlder, was also used.


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