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High Court hands down judgment on scope of ZZ (France) disclosure obligations in Royal Prerogative passport case

DATE: 06 Jul 2016

On 6 July 2016, Ouseley J handed down judgment in R (MR) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] EWHC 1622 (Admin). The case is one of a number of challenges to the use of the Royal Prerogative to withdraw or cancel passports on public interest grounds where an individual is suspected of wanting to travel to engage in terrorism-related activity abroad. An important issue in the cases is whether EU law is engaged by the decisions and, if so, whether the requirement in Case C-300/11 ZZ (France) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] QB 1136 to disclose the essence of the grounds against the individual, but not necessarily, the evidence on which the grounds are based, applies. 

Ouseley J held that EU law was engaged and that the full ZZ (France) disclosure test applied, rather than an attenuated test based on a spectrum of intensity of engagement of the free movement rights in question. 

David Blundell appeared as junior counsel on behalf of the Secretary of State, led by First Treasury Counsel, James Eadie QC, and the recently appointed British Judge to the European Court of Human Rights, Tim Eicke QC.