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Turkish man who threatened to burn himself alive fails to overturn deportation order

Turkish man who threatened to burn himself alive fails to overturn deportation order

On 11 February 2003, a Turkish man who had been refused asylum in the UK staged a protest at Manchester Airport, burning immigration papers before dousing himself, his wife and their daughter with petrol and threatening to light a match. Thankfully, the self-immolation was prevented. The Home Office made a deportation order and removed the offender after completion of his two-year prison sentence for affray.

EYF (Turkey) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 592 was an unsuccessful attempt to overturn that deportation order, now 15 years old. EYF’s sole argument by the time of the appeal hearing was about paragraph 391 of the Immigration Rules. It states that continuing a deportation order will be the “proper course” for someone sentenced to less than four years in prison, “unless 10 years have elapsed since the making of the deportation order when, if an application for revocation is received, consideration will be given on a case-by-case basis to whether the deportation order should be maintained”.

EYT argued that there was a presumption against maintaining a deportation order once ten years have elapsed. There was Upper Tribunal authority supporting this argument: Smith (paragraph 391(a) – revocation of deportation order [2017] UKUT 166 (IAC).

The Court of Appeal, however, decided that there is no such presumption: “the plain language of the Rule supports the Secretary of State’s position”. Sir Ernest Ryder, with whom the others agreed, added that:

Once the ten year period has elapsed it becomes easier to argue that the balance has shifted in favour of revocation on the facts of a particular case because the presumption has fallen away; but that does not mean that revocation thereafter is automatic or presumed. The question of revocation of a deportation order will depend on the circumstances of the individual case.

For discussion of the legal position before ten years have passed, see Colin’s post: When might deportation orders be revoked before 10 years is up?

CJ McKinney

CJ is Free Movement's deputy editor.

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