Article 8, ECHR, Entry Clearance, Guidance, UTIAC

Presidential Guidance on the Scope of Human Rights Appeals

Recently, two cases have been handed down comprising presidential guidance on the scope of human rights appeals. In the case of Baihinga (r. 22; human rights appeal: requirements) Sierra Leone [2018] UKUT 90 (IAC) (5 February 2018), Mr Justice Lane gave the following guidance:

  1. The scope for issuing a notice under rule 22 of the Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) Rules 2014 (circumstances in which the Tribunal may not accept a notice of appeal) is limited. A rule 22 notice may be issued at the stage where the First-tier Tribunal scrutinises a notice of appeal as soon as practicable after it has been given. Where no rule 22 notice is issued at that stage and the matter proceeds to a hearing, the resulting decision of the First-tier Tribunal may be challenged on appeal to the Upper Tribunal, rather than by judicial review (JH (Zimbabwe) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2009] EWCA Civ 78; Practice Statement 3).
  2. An application for leave or entry clearance may constitute a human rights claim, even if the applicant does not, in terms, raise human rights. In cases not covered by the respondent’s guidance (whereby certain applications under the immigration rules will be treated as human rights claims), the application will constitute a human rights claim if, on the totality of the information supplied, the applicant is advancing a case which requires the caseworker to consider whether a discretionary decision under the rules needs to be taken by reference to ECHR issues (eg Article 8) or requires the caseworker to look beyond the rules and decide, if they are not satisfied, whether an Article 8 case is nevertheless being advanced.
  3. The issue of whether a human rights claim has been refused must be judged by reference to the decision said to constitute the refusal. An entry clearance manager’s decision, in response to a notice of appeal, cannot, for this purpose, be part of the decision of the entry clearance officer.
  4. A person who has not made an application which constitutes a human rights claim cannot re-characterise that application by raising human rights issues in her grounds of appeal to the First-tier Tribunal.

In the case of Charles (human rights appeal: scope) Grenada [2018] UKUT 89 (IAC) (1 February 2018), Mr Justice Lane gave the following guidance:

(i) A human rights appeal under section 82(1)(b) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (“NIAA 2002”) can be determined only through the provisions of the ECHR; usually Article 8.

(ii) A person whose human rights claim turns on Article 8 will not be able to advance any criticism of the Secretary of State’s decision making under the Immigration Acts, including the immigration rules, unless the circumstances engage Article 8(2).

(iii) Following the amendments to ss.82, 85 and 86 of NIAA 2002 by the Immigration Act 2014, it is no longer possible for the Tribunal to allow an appeal on the ground that a decision is not in accordance with the law. To this extent, Greenwood No. 2 (para 398 considered) [2015] UKUT 629 (IAC) should no longer be followed.

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