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UK was obliged to accept the relocation of the appellants

R (Bashir & Ors) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWCA Civ 397

Related Member(s):
Raza Husain QC, Edward Craven
Related Practice Area(s):
Immigration, Asylum and Free Movement, Public Law, Public International Law

The Court of Appeal held that, having been rescued from a Lebanese fishing boat in the Mediterranean and taken to one of the British Sovereign Base Areas (SBA) in Cyprus, as refugees, the UK was obliged to accept the relocation of the appellants to the UK rather than to the Republic of Cyprus. In so holding, the Court rejected the Secretary of State’s contention that neither the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (1951) nor the the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights extend to the SBAs and thus that the appellants do not have the right to move to the UK, considering that the SBA was not a new political entity. Thus the Court held that the Secretary of State must reconsider the decision of allowing the refugees to move to Britain, on the basis that the Refugee Convention applies directly and the United Kingdom owes direct obligations to the appellants by operation of public international law.

Raza Husain QC and Edward Craven were involved in this case.