SIAC today begins the four-day preliminary issues hearing in the appeal by Shamima Begum against the 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 has a separate appeal and judicial review against the decision to refuse to grant her entry clearance.
A four-day preliminary issues hearing has been listed in her appeal. It will examine whether the decision to deprive her of her citizenship rendered her stateless; whether she is able to have a fair and effective appeal; and 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 Chair of SIAC, Laing J, will also sit as a High Court Judge to hear the judicial review challenge to the entry clearance refusal in parallel with the preliminary issues hearing.
David Blundell is instructed on behalf of the Secretary of State, led by Jonathan Glasson QC.