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High Court dismisses challenge to exercise of Royal Prerogative in terrorism case involving family proceedings

DATE: 13 Jul 2018

In R (AS) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWHC 1792 (Admin), the High Court (Supperstone J) dismissed a challenge to the exercise of the Royal Prerogative to cancel the Claimant’s passport on the basis that he sought to travel to Syria to engage in terrorism-related activity with his wife and young child. The Claimant’s wife was an EU national and so he sought to rely on rights under the EU Treaties and Directive 2004/38 (the Citizens Directive) to challenge the decision. In addition, the Family Court had, in earlier wardship proceedings brought by a local authority, made an order by consent between the parties, declining to make any findings as to whether he did, in fact, seek to engage in terrorism-related activity. The Claimant sought to rely on this order as binding the Administrative Court in terms of the findings it could make as regards his intentions, notwithstanding the use of a closed procedure to consider his claim.

Supperstone J dismissed the claim and upheld the Secretary of State’s decision. The early Family Court proceedings did not bind the Administrative Court on this issue. A copy of the judgment is available here.

David Blundell acted as junior counsel for the Secretary of State for the Home Department, led by Nathalie Lieven QC.