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Success for Paragon Law at the Court of Appeal

Paragon Law’s deportation solicitor, Karen Halliwell was part of the legal team that brought the case of Secretary of State (SSHD) v AM to the Court of Appeal. On 10th June 2022, the judgment was handed down by the Court of Appeal, in which it rejected the position put forward by the Home Office, and upheld the previous decision of the Upper Tribunal. In doing so, it agreed with the case as set out by Counsel Mikhil Karnik of Garden Court North throughout the proceedings (who was instructed by Karen Halliwell), and Amanda Weston QC in the Court of Appeal.

The Appellant, AM, is a Belarusian male who is currently in a state of ‘limbo’ due to Belarusian authorities failing to recognise them as a citizen, and the Secretary of State refusing their applications to remain in the UK. During the proceedings AM claimed that he was entitled to some form of status in the UK, with the Tribunal agreeing. In earlier proceedings, the Upper Tribunal had made a declaration that he should be granted a form of status.

The Tribunal refused the appeal presented to them by the SSHD, with Mr Justice Lane J and UTJ Rimington concluding that:

  • The case of R(Khadir) showed how in instances where the prospects of a person leaving the UK have become impossible then an individual cannot be subject to immigration bail.
  • Likewise, the case of RA (Iraq) v SSHD showed how an individual who is subject to immigration bail can succeed in a human rights challenge providing that their case is ‘exceptional’ and it surrounds ending an individual’s state of legal ‘limbo’.

The SSHD’s appeal to the Court of Appeal was based on the argument that the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) (UTIAC) previous decisions on this case were wrong in law and did not uphold the public interest. These grounds of appeal were rejected by Dingemans LJ who suggested that even though the judges in the UTIAC were required to take into account submissions made on behalf of the Secretary of State, they were not bound to accept their point of view.

Based on these conclusions, the Court of Appeal upheld the UT finding that AM had exceptional circumstances and that, by refusing AM’s applications for leave to remain, the SSHD were breaching AM’s rights under Article 8.

Karen Halliwell, who was instructed for AM in this case and is a deportation solicitor at Paragon Law said:

“This is a truly extraordinary case where the person in question has endured the longest running period of immigration bail of which we, as experienced practitioners, are aware. During all of that time, AM has been prevented from accessing vital help and support, whilst the period of limbo continued. This was an extremely protracted set of proceedings, but it is sincerely hoped this judgment brings it to an end, and that AM can now be allowed to move forward.”

The full decision of the Court of Appeal can be found: