Iraqi hijacker wins High Court challenge to Home Secretary

Wednesday 18 July 2012

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An Iraqi man who hijacked a Sudanese airbus in 1996 has successfully challenged the Secretary of State's refusal to grant him indefinite leave to remain. Mr Abdul Hussein had his conviction for hijacking quashed by the Court of Appeal in 1998 on the basis that the trial judge was wrong to withdraw the defence of duress from the jury. Mr Hussein claimed to have been acting in fear for his life, having been detained, tortured and sentenced to death under the Iraqi regime led by Saddam Hussein.

Mr Hussein challenged by way of judicial review the Secretary of State's decision to refuse him indefinite leave to remain ('ILR'), and grant instead three years' discretionary leave. In a judgment handed down last Friday, the Administrative Court accepted Mr Hussein's argument that the Secretary of State's decision was flawed for want of failure to treat like cases alike, given the public law requirement of fairness and consistency in decision making. Others involved in the hijacking had been granted ILR and there had been no meaningful engagement by the Secretary of State with their respective positions. The Court also held that the Secretary of State had not taken into account relevant considerations, namely Mr Hussein's defence of duress, and had adopted a position inconsistent with the findings of the Court of Appeal.

The case has been reported in the Independent, the Evening Standard and the Telegraph.

David Jones and Helen Foot represented Mr Hussein, instructed by Wilson Solicitors LLP. To read the full judgment, click here.

David Jones and Helen Foot are members of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration Team.

David Jones

Helen Foot


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