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Tribunal gives guidance on general principles in deprivation of citizenship appeals


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Interesting case on deprivation of citizenship, not least as the Home Office spectacularly messed up by refusing on an unjustifiable grounds when there was a justifiable one staring them in the face.

Official headnote:

(i) The Secretary of State has two separate powers of deprivation, exercisable on different grounds, as set out in sub-ss (2) and (3) of s 40 of the British Nationality Act 1981.

(ii) The power under s 40(2) arises only if the Secretary of State is satisfied that deprivation is conducive to the public good.

(iii) The power under sub-s (3) arises only if the Secretary of State is satisfied that registration or naturalisation was obtained by fraud, false representation or concealment of a material fact. The deception referred to must have motivated the grant of (in the present case) citizenship, and therefore necessarily preceded that grant.

(iv) The separation of sub-ss (2) and (3) makes it clear that obtaining naturalisation by one of the means of deception set out in sub-s (3) cannot of itself amount to a reason enabling the Secretary of State to be satisfied that deprivation is conducive to the public good for the purposes of sub-s (2); but, in an appropriate case, there would appear to be no reason why the Secretary of State should not be satisfied that the conditions under both subsections exist.

(v) The restrictions on the rights of appeal imposed by s 84 of the 2002 Act do not apply to appeals against a s 40 decision: therefore, any proper ground of appeal is available to an applicant. The grounds of appeal are, however, limited by the formulation of s 40 and must be directed to whether the Secretary of State’s decision was in fact empowered by that section. There is no suggestion that a Tribunal has the power to consider whether it is satisfied of any of the matters set out in sub-ss (2) or (3); nor is there any suggestion that the Tribunal can itself exercise the Secretary of State’s discretion.

Source: Pirzada (Deprivation of citizenship: general principles : Afghanistan) [2017] UKUT 196 (IAC) (20 April 2017)

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Colin Yeo

Immigration and asylum barrister, blogger, writer and consultant at Garden Court Chambers in London and founder of the Free Movement immigration law website.