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Family life

Family life

My train

I thought I’d highlight another case that came out before Christmas and which I didn’t have time to write up at the time. I’m sometimes asked where I find the time to write this blog. Today is a good example: I’ve prepped my case like a good barrister and I’m on the train. And will be for some time today. I find that writing posts on developments is a really good way of making sure I’ve properly assimilated them, and it is very useful when it comes to writing articles and training notes later on.

Anyway, the case is Etti-Adegbola v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2009] EWCA Civ 1319 and, a rare thing on this blog for case law, it is NOT an example of the tribunal being overturned. The immigration judge does come in for criticism for blatantly unfair comment about the appellant abusing immigration laws (he was a child!) but the conclusions are upheld.

It is unfortunate when judges makes these unnecessary and unjustified comments. If a case is to be dismissed it is perfectly possible to do it humanely, as this judgment itself shows. Putting the boot in just leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

The appellant came to the UK as a minor but was now an adult, living with his mother and adult sibling. Unlike in the case of JB (India) & Others v Entry Clearance Officer [2009] EWCA Civ 234, it was found that this did not constitute family life for the purpose of Article 8. The earlier case was considered by the court, but all three judges felt that it was to be distinguished because the facts of this instant case were not exceptional. ZB (Pakistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2009] EWCA Civ 834 does not seem to have been considered. The judgment recognises that there is no hard cut-off for family life when a child turns 18, but the absence of financial dependency seems to have been a significant factor in this case.

It is a reminder that solid evidence is needed of dependency, and even then the facts of a sad case such as this may be insufficient.

Free Movement
The Free Movement blog was founded in 2007 by Colin Yeo, a barrister at Garden Court Chambers specialising in immigration law. The blog provides updates and commentary on immigration and asylum law by a variety of authors.

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