Updates, commentary, training and advice on immigration and asylum law

Upper Tribunal grants general permission to appeal to Afghan hijackers


Older content is locked

A great deal of time and effort goes into producing the information on Free Movement, become a member of Free Movement to get unlimited access to all articles, and much, much more


By becoming a member of Free Movement, you not only support the hard-work that goes into maintaining the website, but get access to premium features;

  • Single login for personal use
  • FREE downloads of Free Movement ebooks
  • Access to all Free Movement blog content
  • Access to all our online training materials
  • Access to our busy forums
  • Downloadable CPD certificates

In one of the longest running bits of immigration litigation ever (not quite as long as the Cyprus Sovereign Base Area refugee cases…), the Afghan asylum seekers who arrived on a hijacked plane in 2000 have been granted general permission to appeal by the Upper Tribunal. The legal point is a short one. The First-tier Tribunal judge who granted permission to appeal did so in ambiguous terms and Alan Payne for the Home Office attempted to argue this was a limited grant of permission. Not so, says President Lane. From the headnote:

(1) It is essential for a judge who is granting permission to appeal only on limited grounds to say so, in terms, in the section of the standard form document that contains the decision, as opposed to the reasons for the decision.

(2) It is likely to be only in very exceptional circumstances that the Upper Tribunal will be persuaded to entertain a submission that a decision which, on its face, grants permission to appeal without express limitation is to be construed as anything other than a grant of permission on all of the grounds accompanying the application for permission, regardless of what might be said in the reasons for decision section of the document.

The case is Safi and others (permission to appeal decisions) [2018] UKUT 388 (IAC).

Relevant articles chosen for you
Colin Yeo

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.