Archives For Cases

refugee action

The present Government has declared its intention to create a ‘hostile environment’ for migrants. True to its word, the Go Home vans, the ‘papers please’ raids on public transport hubs, the targeting of foreign students, the increasingly demented bureaucracy of the immigration rules and the harsh family migration rules are all delivering on that pledge. Perhaps as part of that campaign, Theresa May decided in June 2013 to maintain a freeze on the level of support for destitute asylum seekers in the UK.

The High Court has now held in the case of R (On the Application Of Refugee Action) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWHC 1033 (Admin) that was an irrational decision that abysmally failed to take into account the real needs of that destitute group of vulnerable individuals. Continue Reading…

The Eve of the Battle of Edge Hill, 1642 (Charles Landseer, 1799 - 1879)

The Court of Appeal has in the case of Edgehill & Anor v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWCA Civ 402 settled the question of whether the new human rights rules introduced on 9 July 2012 apply to applications made before that date: they do not. Specifically, it is unlawful to apply rule 276ADE on long residence to applications that were already outstanding at the date the new rule came into force. Continue Reading…

Court of Appeal grants permission on Article 3 and 8 health cases

Important grant of permission from the Court of Appeal in six linked cases addressing issues arising from D and N cases at Strasbourg and subsequent treatment by the UK courts. For some legal background see this earlier blog post. In granting permission Maurice Kay LJ says:

I have indicated that I propose to grant permission to appeal in this case. I do so for a number of reasons. The first is that I accept the submissions on behalf of the applicants that there are arguable issues as to the precise scope of D and N, given the factual circumstances in which those decisions were made. They concern effectively illegal entrants who can properly be described as “health tourists”. None of these six applicants falls into that category, although BA has never enjoyed lawful status in this country.

The second point is that not only are there features in the cases such as lawful residence prior to diagnosis and treatment, or long and mainly lawful residence, there is room for clarification of the criterion of exceptionality which derives from D and N. For example, virtually certain death within two weeks on return following a period of lawful and sometimes lengthy residence in this country may be susceptible to accommodation within exceptionality. It may be that Lady Hale’s judgment in N permits such an approach. In any event it seems to me that there is room for a decision providing clarification.

My colleague Rebecca Chapman is acting for one of the appellants and Duran Seddon for another.

european-flag2

The ‘Surinder Singh route’ has become well known to British citizens seeking to be reunited with their family members. The toughening up of UK immigration rules in July 2012 – particularly the introduction of the minimum income rule and its labyrinthine documentary requirements and the awful elderly dependent relative rules – is resulting in an increasing number of split families. To understand their misery and anguish, take a look at some of the comments left here and here on this blog. As recently reported, over 3,000 families had applications on hold by the Home Office pending the outcome of a test case, and that was only as of the end of December 2013. That was at least 6,000 adults and it is unknown how many of those couples have children. The numbers can only have increased since then.

The old Court of Justice of the European Union case of Surinder Singh provides a potential means of bypassing the harsh UK immigration rules by relying instead in European Union free movement laws. But a new European case, O v The Netherlands Case C‑456/12, brings some good news and a bit of bad news. Continue Reading…

Blog - Scales of Justice

In a handy case that arrived just after I’d finished a Court of Appeal skeleton on the same subject, Mr Justice McCloskey has delivered another of his characteristically interesting determinations. This one is MM (unfairness; E & R) Sudan [2014] UKUT 105 (IAC), on the subject of procedural fairness amounting to errors of law. The key question is whether an appealable error of law can arise through no fault on the part of the judge.

As an aside, most lawyers would consider this a bit of a no brainer, but it is interesting to see a detailed analysis and the context in which the issue arose in this case is also an interesting one. Continue Reading…

Shahzad (Art 8: legitimate aim) Pakistan [2014] UKUT 85 (IAC)

Like a bad itch that it can’t help but scratch, the tribunal returns again to the subject of Article 8 and ‘the proper approach’. Regretfully the distasteful, injudicious and simply impolite phrase “a run of the mill case” is again deployed, albeit this time in the context of a student rather than a pensioner and his wife. The Home Office appeal succeeds against an allowed First-tier Tribunal determination. Headnote as follows: Continue Reading…

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In Hiri v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWHC 254 (Admin) the Administrative Court found for the Claimant in an application for Judicial Review of the Secretary of State’s decision to refuse naturalisation on grounds of ‘good character’. The judgment provides useful judicial comment as to how the Secretary of State must approach assessments of an applicant’s character by reference to her policy and otherwise. The Secretary of State’s policy on ‘good character’ has undergone several iterations since the justiciable decision in this case; however, the utility of Mrs Justice Lang’s remarks reach beyond the relevant policy in Hiri and bears application to the Secretary of State’s broader approach to these cases. Continue Reading…