All Articles: Procedure

The government wants to make it much harder to appeal from the tribunal system to the Court of Appeal. The Ministry of Justice is consulting on changes — sorry, “reforms” — where appeals that have already been heard in both the First-tier and Upper Tribunals in England and Wales would...

3rd December 2020
BY CJ McKinney

2020 has presented huge challenges for people trying to navigate the immigration system, for immigration advisers trying to support them, and for the Home Office and the courts. At Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit (GMIAU) we’ve analysed six immigration changes made because of COVID-19 that have proved beneficial for all...

2nd December 2020
BY Amanda Shah

The Court of Appeal has decided in Alam v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWCA Civ 1527 that sending a decision letter to a person’s last known address will generally be sufficient proof that the letter has been received. To prove otherwise, it must be shown the...

23rd November 2020
BY Iain Halliday

The High Court has declared that the arrangements for dealing with Upper Tribunal immigration appeals during the coronavirus pandemic are unlawful. Mr Justice Fordham held that the President of the Upper Tribunal’s guidance leans too heavily in favour of deciding cases on the papers rather than having a hearing, a...

20th November 2020
BY CJ McKinney

In the recent case of Topadar v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWCA Civ 1525 the Court of Appeal considered two questions: At what point is an immigration application decided by the Home Office? Is it procedurally unfair for the Home Office to refuse an application due...

18th November 2020
BY Iain Halliday

The Supreme Court held today in R (Pathan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] UKSC 41 that the Home Office’s treatment of a Tier 2 skilled worker, Mr Pathan, was unfair. Mr Pathan had applied for an extension of his visa as a sponsored worker in good time...

23rd October 2020
BY Colin Yeo

The joy of working in immigration law is writing a 4,000 word briefing on the English language requirement, only to see a new provider added to the list three days after it is published, before an entirely new English language section of the Immigration Rules is announced two weeks later...

23rd October 2020
BY Alex Piletska

In Odubajo v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] CSIH 57, it was hoped that the Inner House of the Court of Session would provide some much-needed guidance on the vexed issue of when the three-month clock starts ticking to lodge applications for judicial review. Instead, it ruled...

15th September 2020
BY Bilaal Shabbir

The case of JH (Palestinian Territories) v Upper Tribunal [2020] EWCA Civ 919 builds on the principle that the Home Office can be found liable for expenses in Cart/Eba type judicial review cases. The Court of Appeal has confirmed that the issue of costs should not be decided by the High...

31st July 2020
BY Bilaal Shabbir

As the immigration tribunal begins to reopen and cases are listed for what have become known as face-to-face hearings, lawyers, clients, witnesses and supporters, and any other court user, will need to know what to expect. Local practices may vary and having attended a handful of such hearings at the Newport immigration...

23rd July 2020
BY Hoa Dieu

In the case of Ashfaq (Balajigari: appeals) [2020] UKUT 226 (IAC), the Upper Tribunal reiterates its previous findings that First-Tier Tribunal hearings provide appellants with the necessary opportunity to rebut findings of dishonesty by the Home Office. If the Home Office process was unfair, this deficiency is remedied where a...

21st July 2020
BY Nath Gbikpi

The President of the Upper Tribunal, Mr Justice Lane, has ordered the Home Office to pay for and facilitate the return to the UK of a man who was removed to Nigeria in March 2018. The judgment is R (L) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] UKUT...

13th July 2020
BY Daniel Grütters

Scottish litigation would not be the same unless we had fancy words for everything. “Judge”? – too plain. We have “Lord Ordinary”. “Appeal”? Pah! We have the “reclaiming motion”. “Court of Appeal”? Too simple. We have the “Inner House”. This brief lesson on Scots litigation terminology is by way of...

30th June 2020
BY Bilaal Shabbir

Statement of changes HC877, of 11 March 2016, gave the Home Office yet another power to refuse applications for leave to enter or remain in the UK. For all applications made on or after 6 April 2016, having a “litigation debt” to the Home Office may be a ground for...

25th June 2020
BY Colin Yeo

BH (policies/information: SoS’s duties) Iraq [2020] UKUT 189 (IAC) was the case of an Iraqi Kurd, heard by the Upper Tribunal sitting in Edinburgh. The issue was whether the First-tier Tribunal judge had erred in law because he had not considered the case of AAH (Iraqi Kurds – internal relocation)...

22nd June 2020
BY Alison Harvey

With statistical assistance and input by George Symes. A person whose immigration application to the Home Office has been refused sometimes has a right of appeal. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, people essentially had a choice. Their appeal could be heard in person, at court, in front of a judge...

8th June 2020
BY Maria Gherman

The Upper Tribunal has found that the Home Office’s policy for waiving the immigration application fee for destitute immigrants — the fees can add up to thousands of pounds for a family — is unlawful and needs to be widened. The judgment is R (Dzineku-Liggison & Ors) v Secretary of...

21st May 2020
BY Colin Yeo

Immigration lawyers are warning that changes to legal aid for appeals lodged online during the coronavirus pandemic “will do irreparable harm”. The Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA) says that adjustments to legal aid rates will deter lawyers from taking on the most complex cases and push already cash-strapped legal aid...

19th May 2020
BY CJ McKinney

“Devani” in my native language of Punjabi/Urdu roughly translates as “crazy” or “mad”. An apt name for the case of Devani [2020] EWCA Civ 612, because it’s never promising when a judgment starts by saying “this appeal has a complicated and unsatisfactory procedural history”. Page contentsAsylum appeal accidentally dismissed“Slip rule”...

14th May 2020
BY Bilaal Shabbir

The abandonment of an ongoing appeal seems to be a hot topic for the Upper Tribunal recently, with the case of Ammari (EEA appeals – abandonment) [2020] UKUT 124 (IAC) following on the heels of MSU and Aziz. This time the facts concern an appeal against a refusal by the...

5th May 2020
BY Darren Stevenson

Two important (but completely different) points arise from the Upper Tribunal’s decision in MH (review; slip rule; church witnesses) Iran [2020] UKUT 125 (IAC), one concerning religious conversion cases and the other concerning clerical errors in a written decision. “Expert” evidence on religious conversion The first is quite a significant...

24th April 2020
BY Bilaal Shabbir

The Upper Tribunal has reprimanded an immigration judge for granting an adjournment during the cross-examination of an appellant. In WA (Role and duties of judge) Egypt [2020] UKUT 127 (IAC), the President and Vice President of the Upper Tribunal provide guidance on how tribunal judges should manage hearings: During the...

22nd April 2020
BY Alex Schymyck

D, P and K v Lord Chancellor [2020] EWHC 736 (Admin) is a rare example of the High Court making a costs order against a lower tribunal. The context is a dispute between a well-known immigration law firm, Duncan Lewis, and the President of the First-tier Tribunal, Michael Clements. President...

9th April 2020
BY Alex Schymyck

The Upper Tribunal has again considered section 104 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. Following on from the case of MSU, which I wrote about here, we have Aziz (NIAA 2002 s 104(4A): abandonment) [2020] UKUT 84 (IAC). The official headnote reads: Where a person brings an appeal...

8th April 2020
BY Darren Stevenson

Arshad Bano’s appeal for leave to remain in the UK on human rights grounds was listed for 13 December 2018, with documents to be submitted no later than five days in advance. She provided a statement on 10 December, a couple of days late. In response, the Home Office sought...

2nd April 2020
BY CJ McKinney

This was the question answered by the Upper Tribunal in R (Bajracharya) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (para. 34 – variation – validity) [2019] UKUT 417 (IAC). Mr Bajracharya made an application to remain in the UK on the basis of his private and family life. He...

1st April 2020
BY Iain Halliday

The case of MY (refusal of human rights claim) Pakistan [2020] UKUT 89 (IAC) represents yet another cutback in the rights of migrant victims of domestic abuse, and in appeal rights more generally. The Upper Tribunal has ruled that the Home Office can simply refuse to engage with a human...

30th March 2020
BY Nath Gbikpi

Over recent weeks we have all had to spend more of our personal and professional lives online. The justice system is also shifting towards holding hearings via live video or audio link wherever possible. Taking stock of what we stand to lose from the expansion of these technologies may help...

27th March 2020
BY Jo Hynes

In Birch (Precariousness and mistake; new matters : Jamaica) [2020] UKUT 86 (IAC) the Upper Tribunal looks at the “precarious leave” provisions where a person wrongly believed that they had indefinite leave to remain. It also identifies a loophole – a term not used without hesitation, but it is difficult...

26th March 2020
BY Nick Nason

The Home Office has accepted the need to simplify the “complex and confusing” Immigration Rules and says that the work is already underway. In an official response to the Law Commission’s recent report on the subject, the department says that “we have already begun the process of reviewing, simplifying and...

25th March 2020
BY CJ McKinney

With international travel closing down due to the coronavirus it is becoming not just unwise but impossible to move from some countries to others. Even if inbound flights are not banned by a country, airlines are finding it increasingly difficult to keep flights going anyway. This raises the question of...

20th March 2020
BY Colin Yeo

You’ve met with your client, taken detailed instructions and advised them on the intricacies of the Immigration Rules, the maze of policy guidance and possibly even made highfalutin’ reference to case law relevant to their situation. Now you’ve actually got to put in their immigration application. And this is where...

6th March 2020
BY Bryony Rest

MSU (S.104(4b) notices) Bangladesh [2019] UKUT 412 (IAC) considers section 104 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (as heavily amended), which says that an appeal shall be treated as abandoned if the appellant is granted leave to enter or remain. For many appellants section 104 won’t be a...

31st January 2020
BY Darren Stevenson

The headnote of Rana (s. 85A; Educational Loans Scheme) Bangladesh [2019] UKUT 396 (IAC) deals with two matters: 1. There was nothing in s 85A of the 2002 Act preventing the Secretary of State from adducing evidence. 2. The requirement to show that a loan was “part of an Academic...

21st January 2020
BY Darren Stevenson

In Odubajo v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] CSOH 2, the Court of Session has ruled that the three-month time limit for raising judicial review proceedings starts on the date of the decision, even though the person affected may not have been notified of that decision. This...

14th January 2020
BY Bilaal Shabbir

In SB (vulnerable adult: credibility) Ghana [2019] UKUT 398 (IAC) the Upper Tribunal has provided a steer on how immigration judges should approach evidence given by vulnerable adults, in addition to that provided in the Joint Presidential Guidance Note No 2 of 2010. The key point is that adverse credibility...

9th January 2020
BY Alex Schymyck

Can an appeal be both finally determined and pending at the same time? This conundrum, akin to Erwin Schrödinger’s famous thought experiment involving a cat in a box with a lethal substance, was tackled by the Upper Tribunal in Niaz (NIAA 2002 s. 104: pending appeal) [2019] UKUT 399 (IAC)....

7th January 2020
BY Iain Halliday

The Upper Tribunal clearly has a tough time getting into the holiday spirit. Ejiogu (Cart cases) [2019] UKUT 395 (IAC), reported just before Christmas, is the equivalent of a judicial smack on the hand. It is another reminder of the importance of what the tribunal describes as the “duty of candidness”,...

6th January 2020
BY Bilaal Shabbir

The impact of disclosing information from family proceedings in immigration matters has been in the news of late but the reverse situation rarely arises. One such is the recent case of R v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Disclosure of Asylum Records) [2019] EWHC 3147 (Fam), which explored the...

30th December 2019
BY Karma Hickman

On a warm summer’s day in late July, five sets of appellant lawyers found themselves in Court 4 of the Upper Tribunal in Field House, huddled together on what could only be characterised as “the naughty step”.  Unaware at the start of the day the rationale for the hearings before...

9th December 2019
BY S Chelvan
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