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Reported Case

ST Eritrea, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] UKSC 12 (21 March 2012)

Date: 21/03/2012
Duncan Lewis, Reported Case Solicitors, ST Eritrea, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] UKSC 12

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Immigration/Public Law - UK Supreme Court – Considered whether article 32(1) of the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (1951) apply only to a refugee who has been given the right lawfully to stay in the contracting state, as its domestic law would answer that question or must the words "lawfully present in the territory" be given an extended and autonomous meaning, so as to ensure that a refugee who has not yet been given a right to remain in the territory is afforded protection. *em*

The Supreme Court – Lady Hale and Lords Hope, Brown, Mance, Kerr, Clarke and Dyson – unanimously dismissed the appeal in this case. Delivering the leading judgment Lord Hope (Deputy President) defined the domestic interpretation of ‘lawful’ and said at para 49
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There are thus no sound grounds for departing from the view that “lawfully” in Article 32(1) [“The Contracting States shall not expel a refugee lawfully in their territory save on grounds of national security or public order”] must be taken to refer to what is to be treated as lawful according to the domestic laws of the contracting state. This is what the framers of the Convention intended by the use of this word in this context.
On appeal from: [2010] EWCA Civ 643*em*



 

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