*sm*Immigration Law- In the High Court of Justice- Queen’s Bench Division- Administrative Court- CO/7815/2013, CO/14160/2013 & CO/5725/2013*em*
These three cases were heard together because of the common issues which they raise. All are Albanians who were naturalised as British citizens between 2004 and 2006. The Secretary of State has since discovered that, in their applications for naturalisation, they all lied about their nationality in claiming to be from Kosovo, two lied about their age, making one a minor on his claim for asylum, and one of those also lied about his name. She wrote to each saying that their naturalisation was in consequence a nullity.
They challenged those decisions first on the grounds that those admitted lies did not mean that they had impersonated anyone. Impersonation was the test for whether naturalisation was a nullity, rather than, as with other lies, providing grounds for deprivation of nationality, with its statutory right of appeal. The decided cases should be given a very narrow reading on this point, if they had not been wholly overtaken by changes in the statutory regime. Second, all three had Indefinite Leave to Remain, ILR, at the time of their applications for naturalisation, satisfied the statutory tests and so by definition were the persons to whom citizenship was granted.
Mr Knafler submits that as each of the Claimants was granted ILR, the persons to whom certificates of naturalisation were granted were the people to whom ILR had been granted and who continued to enjoy it. It is not contended that these grants of ILR are nullities, even though they may be revoked. The only statutory requirement each had to satisfy was satisfied. This is not a point which has been raised in other cases.
Mr Justice Ouseley held that; “I am unable to conclude that I should distinguish the decisions of the Court of Appeal, powerful though Mr Knafler's submissions were. The Court of Appeal may feel that it should now distinguish its earlier decisions in the light of this new point raised by Mr Knafler. In my judgment, however, the naturalisation of each Claimant is a nullity.”