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The Supreme Court has allowed two test case judicial review claims by foreign nationals facing deportation, quashing the Secretary of State’s ‘remove-first’ certificates, whose effect would have been to leave them to appeal from overseas.

In a unanimous decision overturning the Court of Appeal, the Court held that certification violated Article 8 ECHR by obstructing deportees’ ability effectively to present their appeals against deportation, given the practical barriers to their being able to give live evidence from abroad, even through video link. For such certificates to be human rights compatible, the Ministry of Justice would need to make provision for facilities to be accessible at the UK hearing centre and overseas. In arriving at its decision the Court relied on evidence filed in the Supreme Court by the intervening NGO Bail for Immigration Detainees, as to the practical problems for appellants of conducting effective appeals from abroad.

Michael Fordham QC appeared (pro bono) in the Supreme Court for the intervener, Bail for Immigration Detainees, instructed by Allen & Overy.

 

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