Judicial review challenge against cancellation of passport under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, sch 1 dismissed


Re: R (AS) v SSHD [2018] EWHC 1792 (Admin)

The claimant in this case was a British citizen and on 2 Aug 2015, “was stopped whilst attempting to travel with his wife and child from the Port of Dover to Calais in France. During questioning at the port he said that he and his family were travelling to Berlin to visit his wife’s family. On the same date his passport was seized pursuant to the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, Sch 1. The travel document retention notice provided to him stated that the police officer who seized the passport had reasonable grounds to suspect that he had “the intention of leaving the United Kingdom… for the purpose of involvement in terrorism-related activity outside the United Kingdom”.

On 28 Aug 2015 HM Passport Office wrote to the claimant to inform him that there was no entitlement to a passport, and that it was not in the public interest for him to hold a passport. Accordingly, the passport remained the property of the Crown and was retained. The claimant sought to challenge the decision to cancel his passport by way of judicial review, and on Sep 2017 was granted permission on the grounds of unlawful interference and proportionality.

The Court dismissed the claim on the basis that the cancellation of the claimant’s passport was a matter for the Secretary of State and that restriction on freedom of movement was proportionate in accordance with both domestic law and EU law.

Hugh Southey QC was involved in this case.