All Articles: Human rights

Windrush family priced out of UK win human rights challenge

In this edition of “have I got immigration news for you”, we look at the case of Mahabir v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 1177 (Admin), in which the High Court found that the Home Office had caused a “colossal interferenc ...

11th May 2021 By

Interjacent overstaying may count in 10-year long residence application

In Asif (Paragraph 276B, disregard, previous overstaying) Pakistan [2021] UKUT 96 (IAC) the Upper Tribunal has confirmed that previously disregarded overstaying between periods of leave should be treated as lawful residence for people making 10-year l ...

30th April 2021 By

Home Office can’t just ignore human rights issues even if there is no asylum claim

The Home Office’s compartmentalised approach to applications for permission to stay in the UK can sometimes cause problems. Not everyone’s claim fits neatly into pre-defined categories. So what happens when there is overlap between, for instance, ...

23rd April 2021 By

Stripping someone of refugee status doesn’t mean they can be deported

The European Court of Human Rights in K.I. v France (application no. 5560/19) has re-affirmed that refugee status is declaratory and revocation of a person’s refugee status under French and EU law does not prevent that person from continuing to be a ...

21st April 2021 By

Belarusian man in limbo since 2003 wins permission to remain in landmark case

In R (AM) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (legal “limbo”) [2021] UKUT 62 (IAC) the Upper Tribunal considered the extraordinary case of a Belarusian man who had been in the UK on immigration bail since 2003. The fundamental question fo ...

23rd March 2021 By

Policy on fee waivers for entry clearance is unlawful, government concedes

In another blow for the Home Office on visa application fees, the department has been forced to concede that its policy on fee waivers for entry clearance applications is unlawful.  Fee waiver policies At time of writing, the relevant guidance states ...

8th March 2021 By

Lack of legal advice for migrants in prison ruled “discriminatory”

The High Court in SM v Lord Chancellor [2021] EWHC 418 (Admin) has held that free legal advice must be made available to immigration detainees held in prisons, bringing access to lawyers into line with the legal advice scheme operating in immigration ...

26th February 2021 By

Eviction of failed asylum seeker a breach of human rights

The Home Office breached the human rights of a refused asylum seeker by evicting him while his eighth attempt to reopen his asylum claim was still pending, the High Court of Northern Ireland has found. The case is Re Omar Mahmud [2021] NIQB 6. Backgro ...

25th February 2021 By

Human rights court criticises CPS for prosecuting trafficking victims

The European Court of Human Rights has looked for the first time at when the prosecution of a human trafficking victim might violate Article 4 of the Convention. In VCL and AN v United Kingdom (application nos. 77587/12 and 74603/12), it sharply criti ...

16th February 2021 By

Ignore what the Immigration Rules say about deportation, Upper Tribunal says

In Bikanu (s.11 TCEA; s.117C NIAA; para. 399D) [2021] UKUT 34 (IAC), the Upper Tribunal has confirmed that paragraph 399D of the Immigration Rules has no relevance to the human rights exceptions to deportation set out in section 117C(4)-(6) of the Nat ...

16th February 2021 By

Deportation appeal not a “dress rehearsal” says Court of Appeal

Lowe v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWCA Civ 62 is about the role of the Upper Tribunal in deportation appeals. The role of an appellate court when reviewing the findings of fact made by the court below sounds straightforward: it ...

27th January 2021 By

Man who lived in UK under assumed identity for over a decade wins right to stay

Stealing someone’s identity is not a “false representation” for the purposes of a 20-year long residence application, the Upper Tribunal has found. The case is Mahmood (paras. S-LTR.1.6. & S-LTR.4.2.; Scope) Bangladesh [2020] UKU ...

26th January 2021 By

When can an immigration decision involving human rights be appealed?

The distinction between a “claim” and an “application” was at the heart of the Upper Tribunal’s recent decision in Yerokun (Refusal of claim; Mujahid) Nigeria [2020] UKUT 377 (IAC). Mr Yerokun made an application for permission to remain in ...

22nd January 2021 By

Minor offence can trigger deportation, human rights court confirms

The European Court of Human Rights has confirmed that the final offence committed by someone before deportation action is taken against them does not need to be particularly significant if they have a history of serious offending. In Munir Johanna v D ...

21st January 2021 By

Tribunal defines “historic injustice”

Lawyers are prone to creating “terms of art”, i.e. a phrase which has a specific meaning within a particular branch of law, distinct from its usage in ordinary English. In Patel (historic injustice; NIAA Part 5A) India [2020] UKUT 351 (IAC ...

12th January 2021 By

What are the 10 and 20 year rules on long residence?

The Immigration Rules allow people to apply to remain in the UK on the basis of long residence. Those here lawfully can apply for indefinite leave to remain following 10 years’ continuous lawful residence in the UK. Those who had periods of overstay ...

5th January 2021 By

Appeal preparation tips for Article 3 medical cases following AM (Zimbabwe)

Lawyers interested in deportation will be aware of the decision in AM (Zimbabwe) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] UKSC 17, handed down in April 2020. In that case, the Supreme Court set out the correct test that should be applied to ...

29th December 2020 By

Is carrying a knife enough to get you deported?

Earlier this year the Court of Appeal looked at the meaning of an offence causing “serious harm” for the purposes of deportation law. Being convicted of such an offence is one of the ways a person can find themselves facing automatic depor ...

15th December 2020 By

High Court finally calls time on asylum accommodation delays

Everyone who works with asylum seekers knows that the Home Office system for providing accommodation is not fit for purpose. In R (DMA and Others) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWHC 3416 (Admin) the High Court has finally and emp ...

15th December 2020 By

UK breached European convention in deporting man without proper human rights assessment

It’s rare to get a slobber-knocker of a case from the European Court of Human Rights like Unuane v The United Kingdom (application no. 80343/17). The court unanimously found that the UK’s supposedly Article 8 compliant deportation rules don’t pr ...

25th November 2020 By

Deporting gay asylum seeker a violation of Article 3, human rights court finds

In B & C v Switzerland (application no. 43987/16 and 889/19) the European Court of Human Rights has unanimously held that the deportation of asylum seekers to countries where they risk persecution for their sexual orientation would violate the Art ...

19th November 2020 By

Government can deport people who had successfully appealed against deportation

Last year, Nick wrote up the case of MA (Pakistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 1252, summarising it as follows: If a foreign criminal wins their deportation appeal, can the Home Office try and deport them again, even ...

4th November 2020 By

Strasbourg: removal of asylum seeker despite court order breached Article 3

The European Court of Human Rights has held unanimously that the removal of a Sudanese man by the Belgian authorities – in breach of a court order – violated his rights under Article 3 and 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case i ...

3rd November 2020 By

I stopped two unlawful removals last week – how does that make me an “activist lawyer”?

On 26 August 2020 at 7:45, a flight chartered by the Home Office took off from Stansted airport, heading for France via Dusseldorf. The passengers were asylum seekers from countries such as Iran, Sudan and Yemen. A similar flight took off two weeks be ...

1st September 2020 By

Being non-racist is not enough

Racism is the belief that one racial group is above another racial group. It is supported by structural power. Structural power shows up in different ways and ensures unequal distribution of resources through laws, policies and behaviours amongst raci ...

26th August 2020 By

Challenge to Brook House detention conditions rebuffed by High Court

The High Court has refused a challenge to the conditions at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre in 2017 on all grounds. This is despite the Home Office having made a number of changes to the regime provided by G4S since then in response to criticis ...

25th August 2020 By

No Home Office duty of care to migrants hit by delays confirming leave to remain

The case of Advocate General for Scotland v Adiukwu [2020] CSIH 47 answers the question of whether the Home Office has a private law duty to grant a person discretionary leave to remain and issue them with a letter to allow them to take up employment ...

21st August 2020 By

Human rights court approves deportation of man who arrived aged four

In Pormes v The Netherlands (application no. 25402/14), the European Court of Human Rights has approved the deportation of a man who had lived in the Netherlands between the ages of four and 29, on the basis of multiple convictions for indecent assaul ...

11th August 2020 By

There’s actually no right to family life in the UK

Everyone in the UK has the right to respect for their family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. But as a migrant from outside the European Economic Area, what do you actually need in order to be able to stay in the UK on ...

30th July 2020 By

This is what the Court of Appeal decided about Shamima Begum – and what happens next

In Begum v Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) [2020] EWCA Civ 918, the Court of Appeal has ordered that Shamima Begum be granted leave to enter the UK so that she can participate in her deprivation of citizenship appeal. The court also orde ...

16th July 2020 By

Forced prostitution covered by Article 4, says European Court of Human Rights

S.M. v Croatia (application no. 60561/14) is an odd case to read. It is very long, running to 356 paragraphs and several concurring judgments, and refers to a wide variety of international law sources. But its conclusion is straightforward: forced pro ...

6th July 2020 By

Race, racism and immigration in the United Kingdom: Black Lives Matter

The killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers has shone a light on the ongoing difference in the treatment of black and white citizens in the United States. It is right and proper to think also about racism here in the United Kingdom. As ...

10th June 2020 By

Strasbourg approves deportation of Dutch-born man from the Netherlands

Chucking people out of a country they were born in is hard. It usually takes something pretty dramatic or pretty terrible — or both, as in the case of Azerkane v The Netherlands (application no. 3138/16). The facts Mr Azerkane was born in the Ne ...

9th June 2020 By

No European Convention on Human Rights jurisdiction over humanitarian visa refusal

The European Court of Human Rights has declined an invitation to extend the jurisdiction of the Convention to cover applications made for a visa to enter a given country and claim asylum. In M.N. and Others v. Belgium (application no. 3599/18), the St ...

4th June 2020 By

“Slip rule” can be used to allow an appeal dismissed by accident

“Devani” in my native language of Punjabi/Urdu roughly translates as “crazy” or “mad”. An apt name for the case of Devani [2020] EWCA Civ 612, because it’s never promising when a judgment starts by saying “this appeal has a complic ...

14th May 2020 By

Supreme Court offers hope to seriously ill migrants facing deportation and death

In the case of AM (Zimbabwe) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] UKSC 17 the Supreme Court has widened the protection available to seriously ill migrants facing deportation from the UK and subsequent death for want of medical treatmen ...

1st May 2020 By
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