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Court: Special Immigration Appeals Chamber

Shamima Begum loses appeal against removal of citizenship

Begum v Secretary of Home Department SC/163/2019

Shamima Begum, one of three east London school girls who travelled to Syria to join Islamic State (IS), has lost the first stage of the legal fight over the revocation of her British citizenship.

Ms Begum who is now 20, left the UK in February 2015 alongside two other schoolgirls from London and lived under IS rule for more than three years. In February 2019, she was discovered nine months pregnant in a Syrian refugee camp and later that month, former home secretary Sajid Javid made the decision to revoke her British citizenship. Ms Begum’s lawyers launched legal action against the Home Office at the High Court and Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC).

Held: SIAC, chaired by Mrs Justice Elisabeth Laing, ruled against Ms Begum on all three preliminary issues.  SIAC concluded that the revocation of Ms Begum’s British citizenship did not render her stateless. It said the condition in the Al Roj camp would  breach ECHR, art 3 (the prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment) but the Secretary of State’s decision was in accordance with the Home Office policy because it was not a foreseeable and direct consequence of the revocation decision that Ms Begum would be exposed to a real risk of ill treatment.  Finally, SIAC found that although Ms Begum could not meaningfully participate in her appeal from Syria that did not mean her appeal should succeed.  The High Court rejected her challenge for the reasons set out by SIAC.

Commission dismisses appeal of Russian national who poses future risk to national security

D2 v The Secretary of State for the Home Department SC/112/2012

This case discusses the ECHR, Art 8 rights of a Russian national from Chechnya who was excluded from the UK in 2010, as he posed a threat to national security.

The court was asked to determine whether there were any exceptional features of the appellant’s case that showed that refusal of his entry rights into the UK was so unjustifiably harsh, that the decision was not proportionate.. The court concluded that mere separation of the appellant from his family was not a disproportionate interference with his or their Art 8 rights and that the appellant was considered as a future risk to national security. The court consequently dismissed the appeal.

Appellant held to pose direct threat to national security

L2 v Secretary of State for the Home Department (SC/123/2013)

The appellant challenged a deprivation order under the British Nationality Act 1981, s 40(2), on the basis that it was disproportionate and amounted to a violation of the ECHR, art 8. The appeal was dismissed, and leave to appeal on the ground that the deprivation order was a breach of European Union law was refused.

Refusal of application due to good character requirement challenged

MB v Secretary of State for the Home Department SN/47/2015

MB’s two applications for naturalisation were refused on the ground that he did not meet the requirement for good character, but no reasons were given. Reasons were not given on the initial application on the grounds that it posed a threat to national security. In the second application, it was held that giving reasons would not be in the public interest. There is an open and closed judgment.

SIAC found against appellant on three issues in immigration matter

Al Jedda v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2008] UKSIAC 66/2008

The SSHD made an order depriving the appellant of his British citizenship. The appellant appealed against that decision. Before the matter could proceed to a full appeal, three preliminary issues were to be decided: •         Did the deprivation order render the appellant stateless? •         Is the SSHD required to provide a minimum level of disclosure […]