Archives For Cases

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The case of R (on the application of Muwonge) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (consent orders: costs: guidance) (IJR) [2014] UKUT 514 (IAC) makes for interesting law and interesting reading. It is, apart from anything, the first case I can immediately recall featuring a Prologue, a section entitled The Plot and and an Epilogue and which opens and closes with quotation from Hamlet. More importantly for litigants in person and claimant lawyers, though, it should put an end to dodgy dealing by Treasury Solicitors when it comes to costs. Continue Reading…

By Rock Cohen

When the Grand Chamber handed down its judgment in Dano v Jobcenter Leipzig (C-333/13) on 11 November 2014, it was the subject of much media attention: Germany can deny benefits to jobless EU migrants, court rules (The Guardian), Landmark ECJ ruling boosts David Cameron’s bid to clamp down on EU benefit migrants (The Independent), EU court ruling backs curbs on ‘benefit tourism’ (BBC News) and The end for benefit tourism: European court rules unemployed EU migrants can be denied welfare payments (The Mirror).

Such media interest for a judgment of a Court of Justice of the European Union is unusual, and for cases on social security it is practically unheard of. But the reason for the interest is obvious. The restriction of benefits paid to migrants from the European Union has been a major issue on the Government’s political agenda for most of 2014: see The political row over benefits and EU migrants (Free Movement). Clearly the Grand Chamber judgment in Dano has legal significance, but are the newspaper headlines about its impact – ‘the end for benefit tourism’ etc – accurate? In order to answer that question, the best place to start is with the judgment.

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The Supreme Court will today hear a case, Secretary of State for the Home Department (Respondent) v B2 (Appellant), concerning the definition of statelessness in international law and in which the Secretary of State’s power under section 40 (2) of the British Nationality Act 1981 to deprive a naturalised British citizen of that status will be examined. The case could determine the limits of the Secretary of State’s power to deprive a person of British nationality. Continue Reading…

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Back in 2006, even before this blog first began and in the aftermath of his predecessor’s resignation, then Home Secretary John Reid declared that his department was “not fit for purpose”. A huge backlog of some half a million cases had been uncovered and the department would aim to deal with this “legacy”, one way or another, within five years. Since then the immigration functions of the Home Office have been farmed out to a separate agency, brought back in house and, as with its malformed parent, the Legacy somehow staggers on like an extra in a bad zombie flick. Plus ça change. Continue Reading…

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In Tarakhel v Switzerland [2014] ECHR 1185 (04 November 2014) the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (“ECtHR”) has issued its long-awaited decision as to the lawfulness of returning asylum seekers to Italy, a subject that has engaged the refugee lawyers of Europe for some years. The ECtHR rules that individualised enquiries leading to individual assurances will be necessary in the case of child returnees including families with children. Continue Reading…

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Long-awaited guidance on returns to Mogadishu poses significant, but not insurmountable, challenges to Appellants

It may be 286 pages long but the apparent effect of the new Somalia Country Guidance — MOJ & Ors (Return to Mogadishu) (CG) [2014] UKUT 442 (IAC) — can, from the Home Office’s perspective, be summed up in one phrase: a green light for returns to Mogadishu.

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In the case of Jeunesse v. The Netherlands (Application no. 12738/10) the European Court of Human Rights has considered a refusal to allow a woman to settle in the Netherlands with her husband and three children. The case is particularly interesting because it is a Grand Chamber decision and because the court recognises that much of its case law on Article 8 and immigration issues involves the rather different scenario of expulsion of an already settled person as opposed to their admission. The court ultimately finds that there was a breach of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Those affected by the harsh requirements of Appendix FM and the spouse minimum income rule will be particularly interested in the case.

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Angry cat

In the case of YM (Uganda) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWCA Civ 1292 the Court of Appeal has examined the effect of the new Immigration Act 2014 human rights statutory considerations and the accompanying changes to the Immigration Rules. The court concludes that the new regime is irrelevant when considering whether an error of law was made but will be relevant where an appeal is being remade if an error of law is found.

The case concerned a thirty year old man born in Uganda who had entered the UK aged six. He had committed some violent offences between the ages of 15 and 19 and then later was convicted of attending a terrorist training camp. He was married to a British citizen and had three children. Continue Reading…

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In the case of Nwaigwe (adjournment: fairness) [2014] UKUT 418 (IAC) the unnamed First-tier Tribunal judge had refused to adjourn a case. This was despite a letter from the appellant’s solicitors requesting a short adjournment on the grounds that the appellant was ill and stating that they had been unable to obtain evidence from the doctor or hospital “mainly to legal restraint under the Data Protection Act”. The appeal was dismissed but the appellant sought permission to appeal with a note saying that he had recently been diagnosed as diabetic and had been struggling with the medication. Continue Reading…