High Court rules that procedural protections under Article 6 apply to a challenge to conditions imposed on suspected Al- Qaeda affiliate


Re: QX v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWHC 1221 (Admin)

The claimant, QX, is a British national. In 2018, the Secretary of State applied to the court for a Temporary Exclusion Order under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 on QX for two years on grounds of national security. The Secretary of State had determined that QX had travelled to Syria and was aligned with a group that is aligned to Al-Qaeda thereby demonstrating “a high level of commitment to the ideology and aims” of the organisation. His return was considered to pose various risks to the public. QX applied for a review of two of the obligations imposed on him after his return to the UK: having to report daily to a named police station and attending weekly mentoring sessions under the Home Office Desistance and Disengagement Programme.

QX brought proceedings on the basis that these reporting and mentoring requirements interfered with his Article 8 rights and engaged Article 6. The High Court held that Article 6 was engaged and that the obligations were sufficiently onerous to interfere with the right to private life under Article 8. However, the judge ruled that it would be premature to definitively rule on whether Article 6 (1) had been breached in this case as this was a question which would be better left to or at the substantive hearing.

Joanna Buckley and Dan Squires QC were involved in this case.