Refusing to return to Zimbabwe: Court of Appeal confirms Home Office cannot compel a non-consenting returnee to lie to the Zimbabwean Embassy

In The Secretary of State for the Home Department v JM (Zimbabwe) [2017] EWCA Civ 1669 (25 October 2017), the Secretary of State appealed against the declarations made by Jay J on 15 July 2016  in JM (Zimbabwe), R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] EWHC 1773 (Admin)  that:


  • she could not lawfully require JM under section 35 of the Asylum and iImmigration (Treatment of Claimants) Act 2004 to tell officials at the Zimbabwean Embassy that he agreed voluntarily to return to Zimbabwe; and

  • that he was entitled to substantial damages against the Secretary of State for unlawful immigration detention between 15 July 2014 and 25 May 2016 (save for the period between 21 April and 6 September 2015 when he was serving a sentence of imprisonment).

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Lambasting of legal representatives and Home Office: Court of Appeal clarifies Secretary of State not bound by any family court orders in deportation/removal cases

It is very depressing. The law has been clear for the best part of 50 years ……… It should go without saying, but I fear there is need to spell out what ought to be obvious ……So far as I am aware, none of these principles have ever been challenged or doubted. Is it too much to demand that people pay more attention to them?”, so queried  the President of the Family Division in apparent   exasperation  in  The Secretary of State for the Home Department v GD (Ghana) (Rev 1) [2017] EWCA Civ 1126 (25 July 2017).  This was said during the course of seeking to reiterate  the effect of family court  orders in  deportation and removal cases.


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Humanitarian Protection: Court of Appeal revises and amends current country guidance AA(Iraq)


Although the Court of Appeal  in  AA (Iraq) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWCA Civ 944 (11 July 2017) undertook a painstakingly long and  arduous  analysis of the relevant statutory provisions and caselaw  on the arising  jurisdictional  point, for current purposes  it is important to note that the current  Iraq country guidance caselaw has been amended.


The Court of Appeal could not help but observe that the case presented the unusual situation where both the Appellant and the Secretary of State agreed that  there  was an error in the  Country Guidance Case, AA (Article 15(c)) Iraq CG [2015] UKUT 544 (IAC).


The parties agreed before the Court of Appeal  that the appeal should be allowed albeit on a narrow ground.


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Zimbabwean national with 17years UK residence satisfies the rigorous “very significant obstacles to integration” requirement in both tiers of the Tribunal

Disappointingly in this case, the  First Tier Tribunal permitted  itself to be persuaded  by the Home  Office  to grant  permission to appeal in relation to an Immigration  Judge’s decision allowing  the Appellant’s Article 8 appeal.


Ironically, the same Home Office Guidance on private life which the Secretary of State  relied  upon and which formed the basis of grant of permission, was utilized  to the Appellant’s benefit in the Upper Tribunal – although neither   the presenting officer nor  myself  at the First Tier Tribunal hearing   referred to  it all.  The Immigration Judge made no reference to  the guidance in her decision when allowing the Appellant’s appeal.


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