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Ali Bandegani

Year of Call: 2009

"He is a fighter who is able to bring a judge around to his case in the most uncompromising cases."

Legal 500, 2020


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Ali Bandegani specialises in international protection, human rights and public law.

Notable cases

DH (Particular Social Group: Mental Health) Afghanistan [2020] UKUT 00223: The Refugee Convention 1951 provides greater protection than Directive 2004/83/EC. A Particular Social Group may include a person who has or is perceived to have a disability or mental illness even where no firm diagnosis is possible.

MSU (S.104(4b) notices) Bangladesh [2019] UKUT 00412: the Upper Tribunal (IAC) has the power under S25 of the TCEA 2007 to extend time for continuing with a refugee status appeal otherwise deemed abandoned by statute and the procedure rules.

KV v SSHD (Helen Bamber Foundation, Freedom from Torture, and Medical Justice intervening) [2019] UKSC 10: Landmark Supreme Court ruling reasserting the role of the Istanbul protocol for the investigation of torture and medical expertise in asylum claims. AIi represented all three intervenors.

R (on the application of MW) v SSHD (Fast track appeal: Devaseelan guidelines) [2019] UKUT 00411: The “starting point” principle in second asylum appeals is not a legal straitjacket. Judicial fact-finders may depart from the earlier judicial decisions on a principled and properly-reasoned basis.

AS (Afghanistan) v SSHD (UNHCR intervening) [2019] EWCA Civ 873: A guideline case on the correct approach to ‘internal relocation’ under Art 1A(2) of the Refugee Convention 1951. Ali represented the UNHCR whose core submission was accepted by the court.

R (N) v SSHD (JR/ 7389/2018): By consent the SSHD amended her policy “Withdrawing Asylum Claims Version 5.0” introducing a range of procedural safeguards to protect disabled or incapacitous persons from inadvertent withdrawal of their asylum claims, and created a procedure for re-opening claims incorrectly treated as withdrawn.

R (FB and another) v SSHD (Public Law Project Intervening) [2018] UKUT 428 (IAC): In the course of this claim, the SSHD amended her removal policy to allow individuals to request access to advice, documents and the courts. Lane J held the amended policy was legally deficient in two further significant respects.

S.A.C. v United Kingdom, App no. 31428/2018: The ECtHR granted S.A.C. interim relief under Rule 39 of the court’s procedures. On communicating the case it asked whether concealment of sexual orientation to avoid ill-treatment is compatible with convention rights. Before trial the UK conceded and granted SAC refugee status.

R (Bah) v SSHD [2018] EWHC 2942: Mr Bah was a serious offender posing a high risk re-offending. When his mental health deteriorated, the decision maker appeared to “focus on looking for reasons not to release rather than a clear application of the AAR policy in light of the new evidence.” Substantive damages awarded for the last 35 days‘ detention.

KV (Sri Lanka) v SSHD [2017] WLR(D) 159: Successful intervention on behalf of the Helen Bamber Foundation in which the Upper Tribunal's controversial guidance in KV (scarring - medical evidence) Sri Lanka [2014] UKUT 00230 was disapproved.

LT (Kosovo) v SSHD [2016] EWCA Civ 1246: Authority on the tribunal's approach to deportation orders made on the basis that an individual's offending had caused "serious harm" per para. 398(c) of the immigration rules.

R (HN and SA) (Afghanistan) v SSHD [2016] EWCA Civ 123: Ali secured 15 individual injunctions from McCloskey J, and an historic generic injunction from the Court of Appeal preventing removal to Afghanistan by charter flight which led to the suspension of charter flights to Afghanistan.

Sanneh & Ors v SSWP [2015] WLR(D) 62: Authority on issues concerning the entitlement to social benefits of non-EU nationals who were the primary carers of children who were EU citizens and British nationals.

R (Ali Zahid) v SSHD [2013] EWHC 4290: The SSHD's failure to give the Claimant notice of removal, then telling him removal would not occur, amounted to an illegality and the Claimant was entitled to more than nominal damages.

FA (Iraq) v SSHD [2010] 1 WLR 2545: Authority on the tribunal's jurisdiction in 'upgrade appeals' (s83. NIAA 2002) to determine status pursuant to subsidiary protection in addition to refugee status. Ali drafted initial permission applications for permission to appeal.

SM (Section 8: Judge's process) Iran [2006] INLR 149: Authority on approach to and meaning of s.8 of the 2004 Act concerning the Judge’s assessment of credibility.

Country Guideline cases

KH (Article 15(c) Qualification Directive) Iraq CG [2008] UKAIT 00023
Effectively became QD & AH (Iraq) -v- SSHD [2009] Imm AR 132, authority on the core scope and meaning of subsidiary protection in situations of armed conflict pursuant to Art. 15(c) of the Qualification Directive.

MA (Palestinian Arabs - Occupied Territories - Risk) CG [2007] UKAIT 00017
Held Palestinian males suspected of terrorist involvement by the Israeli state will be at real risk of persecution and/or Article 3. Denial of right of return without more does not give rise to a real risk of persecution, a finding upheld by the Court of Appeal: MA (Palestine) -v- SSHD [2008] Imm AR 617.

FK (FGM - Risk and Relocation) Kenya CG [2007] UKAIT 00041
Held a woman will be at real risk in her own home area if she comes from an ethnic group (or sub-group) where female genital mutilation (FGM) is practised but such women can reasonably relocate and will not be at risk of FGM from the 'Mungiki'. In the Court of Appeal it was held the tribunal did not consider FK's case with sufficient specificity: FK (Kenya) v SSHD [2008] EWCA Civ 119.

NS (Iraq: perceived collaborator: relocation) Iraq CG [2007] UKAIT 00046
Held those suspected of perceived collaboration with Multi National Forces are at real risk of persecution and/or Article 3 ECHR breach in Iraq. No internal relocation to the Kurdish Region.

LM (Educated women - Chaldo-Assyrians - risk) Iraq CG [2006] UKAIT 00060
Held that Christian, English-speaking Iraqi women are at real risk of persecution because of the armed conflict in Iraq. There is no possibility of relocating to the Kurdish Region.

Contact Ali

Latest News

Lord Chancellor accepts unlawfulness of new Legal Aid scheme for immigration and asylum appeals

Sonali Naik QC and Ali Bandegani of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration and Public Law Teams represented the claimants in two separate claims.

12 August 2020

Duncan Lewis Solicitors challenge amendments to the Legal Aid Remuneration Regulations

Ali Bandegani of the Garden Court Immigration Team instructed by Toufique Hossain, Jeremy Bloom, and Simon Robinson of Duncan Lewis.

28 May 2020

Court of Appeal remit Upper Tribunal Country Guideline case on Afghanistan and provide guidance on correct approach to internal relocation

Sonali Naik QC, Ronan Toal and Gemma Loughran were instructed by JD Spicer on behalf of the appellant. Ali Bandegani was instructed by Baker McKenzie for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

28 May 2019

Supreme Court reasserts the role of medical experts in asylum claims by torture survivors

The appellant was represented by Ronan Toal and Michelle Brewer. Stephanie Harrison QC, Ali Bandegani and Mark Symes for the interveners.

6 March 2019

Upper Tribunal find the Home Office's amended removal window policy unlawful in key respects

Sonali Naik QC and Ali Bandegani are instructed by Duncan Lewis for the applicants. 

14 December 2018

KV (Sri Lanka) v SSHD (Helen Bamber Foundation, Freedom from Torture, and Medical Justice Intervening) UKSC 2017/0124

Stephanie Harrison QC, Mark Symes and Ali Bandegani are instructed by Freshfields on behalf of all three intervenors.

30 November 2018

Home Office amends Removals Policy in response to legal challenge

Garden Court's Sonali Naik QC and Ali Bandegani represented the applicant.

25 May 2018

Home Office to review its policy on returning Afghan military interpreters

Ali Bandegani of Garden Court Chambers represented the Afghan interpreter, who has been granted asylum, in this case.

31 March 2016

Unprecedented generic injunction from the Court of Appeal secured ahead of removal flight to Afghanistan

The Appellants, whose asylum claims had been refused, were represented by Sonali Naik, Louise Hooper, Ali Bandegani and Bryony Poynor of Garden Court Chambers.

25 August 2015

Court of Appeal rules that Zambrano carers are not entitled to mainstream welfare benefits after 8 November 2012

Ms Sanneh was represented by Stephen Knafler QC, Desmond Rutledge and Ali Bandegani.

10 February 2015

Resounding victory for environmental protesters

After a 13-day trial, six environmental activists protesting against the Bexhill to Hastings Link Road have been acquitted of aggravated trespass.

14 March 2014

All related news


  • Ali is a contributor to Macdonald's Immigration Law and Practice, 9th Ed
  • We will make you forget everything: torture in Iran since the 2009 election - Freedom from Torture - Advised and edited FfT's clinical report on human rights abuses in Iran
  • The UN Special Rapporteur on Iran drew heavily on the research for his report to the UN Human Rights Council (2013)
  • Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) - case summaries posted on the JCWI blog (2008 - 2010)
  • Assessment of UKBA Operational Guidance Note on Occupied Palestinian Territory (2012) - Amnesty International (Still Human Still Here)
  • Closing Protection Gaps: Handbook on Protection of Palestinian Refugees in States Signatories to the 1951 Refugee Convention. BADIL Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency & Refugee Rights, University of Cairo (2010) - UK contributor
  • Country Information in Asylum Procedures: Quality as a Legal Requirement in the EU- Hungarian Helsinki Committee (2008) - UK contributor

Training and Seminars

  • Immigration Law Practitioners' Association (ILPA)
  • Joint Council for Welfare of Immigrants 

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