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Tribunal says foreign law is a question of fact normally determined by expert evidence


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The Home Office proposed to remove the father of a family and three children to India and the wife and mother to Pakistan, thus separating the family. The family argued that they would be permanently separated because the immigration laws of India would not allow entry for the mother. The Home Office argued to the contrary, but the evidence on which the Home Office arguments was based was found to be, um, a bit flawed:

It follows that the cornerstone of the Secretary of State’s case crumbles and collapses. The main pillar upon which the Secretary of State has sought to justify the impugned removal decisions has been shown to be devoid of foundation. The expectation on which the Secretary of State’s decision was based is misconceived.

Stop beating around the bush, just tell us what you really think, Mr President!

You don’t have to be an engineer to know that when your cornerstone is without foundation and your main pillar has collapsed, the edifice is in some difficulty.

Anyway, the official headnote:

The content of any material foreign law is a question of fact normally determined on the basis of expert evidence.

It does rather feel as if the burden of proof may have been reversed here on the foreign laws question, but a good result for the long suffering and unrepresented family nonetheless.

Source: CS and Others (Proof of Foreign Law : India) [2017] UKUT 199 (IAC) (2 May 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.