In Chowdhury v United Kingdom, under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has decided to indicate to the Government of the United Kingdom that the Applicant should not be removed for the duration of the proceedings before the Court.
This is a notable decision as a very small percentage of Rule 39 applications are granted by the ECtHR. Only two applications against the United Kingdom have been granted in the two years between 2015 and 2017.
History of the Case
In this case, the Applicant was accepted by the First-Tier Tribunal to be a gay man, who was held to have a subjective fear of persecution. However, the First-Tier Tribunal was not satisfied that the Applicant had established that he would be at real risk of persecution on return to Bangladesh.
Alea Begum of Duncan Lewis prepared further submissions for the Applicant on the grounds that he would be at risk were he to be removed to his home country. These submissions were refused by the by the Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD).
Duncan Lewis then represented the client in a judicial review application against the SSHD’s refusal of further submissions. The Upper Tribunal and Court of Appeal denied the Applicant permission to challenge this decision by the SSHD and refused interim relief.
The Applicant was detained by the Home Office, and directions were set for his removal to Bangladesh.
Duncan Lewis acted on a pro bono basis to make a Rule 39 application to the ECtHR. In response, the Court granted the Applicant interim relief to prevent his removal from the United Kingdom.
The Applicant’s removal has since been deferred by the Home Office, and he has been released from immigration detention. Duncan Lewis continue to act for the Applicant in his substantive case before the ECtHR.
The Applicant is represented by Ahmed Aydeed, Javeria Ijaz, Farhan Ahmad and Karen Staunton. Samantha Knights QC of Matrix Chambers and Ali Bandegani of Garden Court Chambers are instructed as counsel.
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