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High Court in Belfast dismissed application for judicial review of decision that asylum seeker would be deported pending appeal

In the matter of an application by Chilinda Fula for judicial review [2017] NIQB 11

The facts were that the Secretary of State made a decision to deport the applicant to Zambia.  He wished to appeal this decision, but this case is not concerned with the appeal.  Instead it relates to a challenge to the certification that any appeal relating to whether the deportation decision breached his human rights, could only be brought after he had left the UK.  That challenge was limited to the question of whether that certification would breach Article 8 of the ECHR.

The applicant arrived in the UK with his mother when he was fourteen years old in 2005.  Both were granted indefinite leave to remain in November 2010 and the applicant’s mother is now a naturalised British citizen.  In February 2013 the applicant received a custodial sentence of 5 years and ten months, with half the sentence to be served on licence, for having caused death by dangerous driving in December 2011.

In April 2015, the applicant was served with deportation documentation, which informed him that the Home Secretary was minded to deport him.  He was invited to make representations.  He made the case that such a decision would breach his human rights, in particular, Article 8 of the ECHR.  The applicant proceeded with only one ground of challenge, which was that the Home Office acted irrationally by failing to take into account relevant factors and evidence in relation to Article 8 of the ECHR when considering the certification.  It was asserted that this stance was wrong in law as it gave no weight for Article 8 purposes to the applicant’s rehabilitation.

The Court would have to be satisfied that there was material relevant to the Article 8 assessment which was not considered and was therefore left out of account.  The Court was not satisfied that the applicant had established this.  Even if it had found a material factor, the Court stated that it would not have quashed the certification decision, but would have considered whether the outcome would have been the same even if the issue of rehabilitation had been considered.  It held that this would not have made any difference.

Deportation, ECHR Art. 8