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Court of Appeal dismisses Shamima Begum’s appeal against deprivation of her British citizenship

Published:

The Court of Appeal (Baroness Carr LCJ, Bean and Whipple LJJ) has today handed down judgment in the appeal by Shamima Begum against the deprivation of her British citizenship.

On 19 February 2019, the Secretary of State for the Home Department deprived Shamima Begum of her citizenship, pursuant to s 40 of the British Nationality Act 1981. Ms Begum exercised her right of appeal pursuant to s.2B of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission Act 1997. On 22 February 2023, the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) dismissed Ms Begum’s appeal.

Today, the Court of Appeal has dismissed Ms Begum’s appeal from the decision of SIAC.

The judgment addresses a number of significant issues of principle concerning the exercise of the power to deprive an individual of their citizenship, including:

  • The relationship between the power to deprive an individual of their citizenship, and the obligations owed by the United Kingdom to potential victims of trafficking under Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights;
  • The scope of the Secretary of State’s mandatory relevant considerations in exercising the power to deprive an individual of their citizenship;
  • Whether, as a matter of procedural fairness, the Secretary of State owes an obligation to provide an individual with an opportunity to make representations prior to taking a decision to deprive them of their citizenship; and
  • Whether obligations under the Equality Act 2010 arise in connection with decisions to deprive an individual of their citizenship.

Dan Squires KC, Samantha Knights KC, Ayesha Christie, and Tim James-Matthews (with Julianne Kerr Morrison) acted for Ms Begum, instructed by Birnberg Peirce.

Jonathan Glasson KC (with Sir James Eadie KC, David Blundell KC, Jennifer Thelen, and Karl Laird) acted for the Secretary of State for the Home Department, instructed by the Government Legal Department.

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