The Court of Appeal has declared unlawful the application of the increased spouse visa age to the appellants in the Quila appeal. The judgment is available now: Quila & Anor v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 1482 (21 December 2010)
This blog (and the editor) have campaigned for this rule to be scrapped and can unreservedly welcome the judgment. The dishonesty involved in claiming that this measure was linked to preventing forced marriages was a disgrace, although it should be noted that the Court of Appeal does not agree that there was no rational link between the measure and the end it purported to achieve.
Some choice quotes, the first from Lord Justice Sedley:
57. The Home Secretary’s stance that only a rigid rule will serve the necessary purpose is lastly, in my judgment, undermined by the exception made by amendment in favour of members of the armed services. It is impossible to see, and no reason has been suggested, why the possibility of a forced marriage on which the rule is predicated is any less present among members of the armed services than among the population generally. The introduction of the exception, in our view, makes all but untenable the Home Secretary’s contention that an all-embracing rule, making no distinction of persons, is necessary if the objective is to be met.
Lord Justice Gross agreed:
79. The Respondent’s argument that only a blanket policy is workable, without any exception for a couple such as Mr and Mrs Aguilar, strikes me, with great respect and however sympathetically considered, as an unpersuasive counsel of despair.
The armed forced exception does indeed seem to have undermined the UKBA argument that the blanket increase was necessary.
We can only hope that the current Government will see sense and end this disgraceful episode.