Refusal of travel documents to Syrian refugee in the UK was not contrary to ECHR, art 8


Re: R (AZ) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWHC 2717 (Admin)

The claimant was from Syria and had been granted refugee status in the UK. In 2013, the defendant refused him a travel document on the basis that there was a risk to the UK in light of his extremist Islamic views and his wish to engage in fighting in Syria. The claimant was in the process of challenging that decision by judicial review when in early 2015, the claimant’s father died and the claimant made an interim application for a travel document to travel to Jordan to bury his father.

The claimant submitted that there were cultural and religious obligations on him as the eldest son to travel with his father’s body and that there would be an interference with his rights under the ECHR, art 8.

Held: the Court found against the claimant. The defendant provided weighty public interest considerations and, given the situation in Syria, the Court was sympathetic to her concerns. Accordingly the Court concluded that the strong public interest outweighed the factors in the claimant’s favour.

Hugh Southey QC was involved in this case.