Key Nationality Judgment Delivered

Tuesday 12 May 2015

On the 11 May 2015, Mr Justice Hickinbottom dismissed Ric Williams' application for a judicial review of the refusal of the Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD) to process his application for registration as a British citizen, under section 1(4) of the British Nationality Act 1981, when he was unable to pay the fee because he was destitute.

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Mr Justice Hickinbottom rejected submissions that the fee regulations were (1) ultra vires the British Nationality Act 1981, in that they went beyond regulation by defeating the substantive entitlement to register, (2) in breach of Article 8 European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), the right to respect for private and family life, in that they were a disproportionate interference with Ric's entitlement to recognition of his status, (3) in breach of Articles 8 and 14 ECHR (prohibition of discrimination), in that they resulted in the SSHD treating affluent and impecunious children differently from one another.

The Williams family intend to appeal to the Court of Appeal. They were represented by Stephen Knafler QC, who was instructed by Michael Bates of Birmingham Community Law Centre.

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