Human rights claim succeeds after 16-year immigration ordeal

Human rights

A man in his 60s has won his immigration appeal on human rights grounds following a successful Upper Tribunal hearing.

The Claimant, a Baptist pastor from Guinea, entered the UK in 2006. He was convicted of a false documentation offence and became subject to an automatic deportation order. Over several years the Secretary of State repeatedly tried to deport the Claimant to Guinea, but by 2020 she had formed the view that he was a national of Ghana. However, the deportation order in respect of Guinea remained in force.

Over a period of many years the Claimant made several unsuccessful asylum, Article 8 and statelessness claims. The most recent claim was refused in 2020. The First-Tier Tribunal heard the latest appeal in June 2021.

In the First-tier Tribunal, the Judge allowed the Claimant’s human rights claim on the basis that he was in a state of “immigration limbo”, having regard to the case of RA (Iraq) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 850. The Judge agreed with the Claimant that the Secretary of State’s position on where he was from and where he could be deported to was contradictory and unacceptable and that, applying a proportionality assessment, his appeal should succeed under Article 8 of the Convention.

The Secretary of State was granted permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal on the basis that the decision did not expressly refer to the statutory deportation tests that needed to be applied. In the Upper Tribunal, the UT Judge accepted the Claimant’s submission that the First-tier Tribunal had referred to the relevant statutory provisions obliquely and that, in any event, the First-tier Tribunal had in substance carried out the exercise that was required.

Alex Shattock represented the Claimant in the First-tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal, instructed by Duncan Lewis.

Alex Goodman KC and Matthew Fraser represented the Claimant in separate proceedings concerning the Claimant’s longstanding immigration bail arrangements, in the High Court, Court of Appeal and in an application for permission to the Supreme Court, instructed by Duncan Lewis.

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