Special Immigration Appeals Commission finds refusal of British citizenship unfair

Wednesday 20 April 2016

The Special immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) has found that two refugees from Turkey were unfairly refused British nationality when their naturalisation decisions were refused in 2007. Edward Grieves, leading Raza Halim, both of Garden Court Chambers, acted for the successful applicants.

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The applicants complained that the Secretary of State had failed to give them a reasonable opportunity to address any concerns the Secretary of State had about their character prior to making the adverse naturalisation decisions.

The Commission found that there was no evidence that the Secretary of State had analysed how the decision-making process for naturalisation decisions ought to be changed in accordance with R v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex parte Fayed [1998] 1 WLR 763 to ensure applicants were given adequate notice of areas of concern. It went on to conclude that the Secretary of State was not relieved from this duty simply because there were claimed national security reasons for not disclosing areas of concern in advance of the decision: there was no reason why the disclosure (or a gist thereof) which occurred during the SIAC process could not have been made in advance of the naturalisation decision itself. It was not for the Commission to relieve the responsibility borne by the Secretary of State of prior disclosure and the Commission rejected the notion that if further disclosure emerged during the SIAC process the applicant should make a fresh application and incur a further fee.

Edward Grieves and Raza Halim were instructed by Rudi Ramdarshan at Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP for ZG and Anita Vasisht at Wilsons Solicitors LLP for SA.

Edward and Raza are both members of Garden Courts Public Law and Immigration Law Teams.

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