The Court of Appeal (King, Singh and Flaux LJJ, sitting concurrently as a Divisional Court) today begins a two-day hearing in the appeal and joined judicial review proceedings by Shamima Begum against the decision by SIAC to uphold the Secretary of State’s decision to strip her of her British citizenship. Shamima Begum was one of the three Bethnal Green schoolgirls who left the UK in 2015 and travelled to Syria where they aligned with ISIL. Following a series of interviews she gave to the media from a refugee camp in northern Syria in February of this year, the Secretary of State decided to deprive her of her British citizenship. She appealed against that decision and later applied for entry clearance to enable her to enter the UK to take part in her appeal. She had a separate appeal and judicial review against the decision to refuse to grant her entry clearance. On 7 February 2020, SIAC decided the preliminary issues against her, and dismissed her leave to enter appeal and judicial review claim.
A two-day hearing has been listed for the Court of Appeal / Divisional Court to consider her appeals and judicial review challenge to SIAC’s decisions. It examines two issues: first, whether she is able to have a fair and effective appeal; and, secondly, whether a direct and foreseeable risk of the decision (and of the refusal of entry clearance) was to place her at risk of Article 2 and 3 ECHR ill-treatment.
The case is being live-streamed on the Court of Appeal’s Youtube channel.
David Blundell QC is instructed on behalf of the Secretary of State, led by First Treasury Counsel, Sir James Eadie QC, and Jonathan Glasson QC.