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Pankina upheld by Supreme Court

Pankina upheld by Supreme Court

[UPDATE: for more analysis see new post The Case of the Lost Prerogative]

This is huge news in immigration law: the Supreme Court has dismissed the Home Office appeal in Alvi [2012] UKSC 33, upholding the earlier Court of Appeal judgment in Pankina. The press summary can be found here and the full judgment here [here for BAILII version]. This means that substantive requirements in immigration control must be laid before Parliament in the form of proper Immigration Rules under s.3(2) of the Immigration Act 1971. Attempting to import or incorporate requirements in documents such as ‘policy guidance’ outside the proper rules is unlawful.

This will have huge implications for the awful new immigration rules on family members. At a stroke it almost certainly renders all of the attempts to specify required documents to prove income and so on unlawful, rendering the Appendix FM largely ineffective. Looks like the Home Office lawyers have gambled and lost on this one.

The claimant appeal in Munir [2012] UKSC 32 was, however, dismissed. This concerned whether concessions and policies outside the rules needed to be formally incorporated into the rules. The press summary is here and the full judgment is here [here for BAILII version].

More to follow.

Colin Yeo

Immigration and asylum barrister, blogger, writer and consultant at Garden Court Chambers in London and founder and editor of the Free Movement immigration law website.

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