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Credibility Assessment of Testimony in Asylum Procedures: an Interdisciplinary Analysis

Barisic, Angela LU (2015) JAMM04 20151
Department of Law
Abstract
Credibility assessment of testimony is a very important part in the asylum adjudication procedure. The credibility assessment is intended to tell decision-makers whether they should accept the facts as supported by the applicant’s statement. Only those parts of the statement which are recognized as credible will then be considered in determining the validity of the asylum claim.

This thesis examines the legal standards: consistency and coherence, sufficiency of detail and specificity, plausibility, and demeanour. It also examines the relevant psychological research and analyses whether or not these two disciplines are compatible. The general finding is that, largely, the credibility indicators that are used in the asylum procedure are... (More)
Credibility assessment of testimony is a very important part in the asylum adjudication procedure. The credibility assessment is intended to tell decision-makers whether they should accept the facts as supported by the applicant’s statement. Only those parts of the statement which are recognized as credible will then be considered in determining the validity of the asylum claim.

This thesis examines the legal standards: consistency and coherence, sufficiency of detail and specificity, plausibility, and demeanour. It also examines the relevant psychological research and analyses whether or not these two disciplines are compatible. The general finding is that, largely, the credibility indicators that are used in the asylum procedure are based on assumptions about human memory, behaviour, attitudes, values etc. that have little or no certain basis in scientific research. Psychological research also shows that very much is subjective and differs from individual to individual.

There are also other factors regarding the credibility assessment which can question the accuracy and adequacy of the procedure: There are no instructions on how to weigh the individual indicators and no explanation of their inter-relationship. As a result, decision-makers can pick and choose from the different criteria as they see fit and in addition, these indicators are not clearly defined which can lead to different subjective interpretations, resulting in an arbitrary procedure.

Lastly, this thesis recommends measures that need to be taken in order to improve the accuracy and legal certainty of credibility assessment of testimony, both in the long-term aspect within the framework of the European Union, as well as within the more immediate context which is possible within the domestic sphere. (Less)
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author
Barisic, Angela LU
supervisor
organization
course
JAMM04 20151
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
credibility assessment, veracity of testimony, asylum procedure, CEAS, Swedish asylum procedure
language
English
id
7793292
date added to LUP
2015-09-03 18:18:23
date last changed
2015-09-03 18:18:23
@misc{7793292,
  abstract     = {Credibility assessment of testimony is a very important part in the asylum adjudication procedure. The credibility assessment is intended to tell decision-makers whether they should accept the facts as supported by the applicant’s statement. Only those parts of the statement which are recognized as credible will then be considered in determining the validity of the asylum claim. 

This thesis examines the legal standards: consistency and coherence, sufficiency of detail and specificity, plausibility, and demeanour. It also examines the relevant psychological research and analyses whether or not these two disciplines are compatible. The general finding is that, largely, the credibility indicators that are used in the asylum procedure are based on assumptions about human memory, behaviour, attitudes, values etc. that have little or no certain basis in scientific research. Psychological research also shows that very much is subjective and differs from individual to individual.

There are also other factors regarding the credibility assessment which can question the accuracy and adequacy of the procedure: There are no instructions on how to weigh the individual indicators and no explanation of their inter-relationship. As a result, decision-makers can pick and choose from the different criteria as they see fit and in addition, these indicators are not clearly defined which can lead to different subjective interpretations, resulting in an arbitrary procedure. 

Lastly, this thesis recommends measures that need to be taken in order to improve the accuracy and legal certainty of credibility assessment of testimony, both in the long-term aspect within the framework of the European Union, as well as within the more immediate context which is possible within the domestic sphere.},
  author       = {Barisic, Angela},
  keyword      = {credibility assessment,veracity of testimony,asylum procedure,CEAS,Swedish asylum procedure},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Credibility Assessment of Testimony in Asylum Procedures: an Interdisciplinary Analysis},
  year         = {2015},
}