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Supreme Court grants permission to appeal in Nationality Appeals (7 March 2017)

Date: 07/03/2017
Duncan Lewis, Main Solicitors, Supreme Court grants permission to appeal in Nationality Appeals

On 27th February 2017 two clients of Duncan Lewis Immigration Consultant Solicitor Naim Hasani were granted permission to appeal to the Supreme Court in three linked nationality cases. This matter looks to clarify when it is appropriate to deprive an individual of British nationality or treat the citizenship claim as a nullity, in cases where the individual has obtained citizenship by way of impersonation, fraud and/or concealment of a material fact. The cases are lined up to set a precedent for future decisions regarding nationality claims via naturalization as a result of false representations.

There are between 700-800 cases concerning potential nullity or deprivation action known to the Secretary of State for Home Department (SSHD). A number of these cases are currently listed in the Administrative Court and the Court of Appeal and have been stayed pending the outcome of this case.

The permission to appeal comes against an earlier ruling of the Court of Appeal which found that the appellants’ claim to nationality via naturalisation was a nullity based on the fact that they had made their application on fraudulent grounds. The court ruled that because the appellants had made false representations about their identity (leading to naturalisation being granted under false pretences) they never became British citizens in the first place. In dismissing the appellant’s case the Court of Appeal noted that “the interpretation of the BNA 1981 was unclear and is something Parliament should rule to clarify”.

The Supreme Court will now decide whether the appellants’ citizenship is in fact a nullity (as claimed by the Secretary of State for the Home Department) or whether they are indeed British citizens, but due to the fraudulent means by which citizenship was achieved, are now liable to have their citizenship revoked via the process set out in the British Nationality Act 1981 (BNA 1981).

The outcome of this case will have a strong impact on not just the persons facing the charge, but their surrounding family & dependants as they face the loss of their human rights.

A final judgment is not expected before spring 2018.

The third appellant is represented by Appleby Shaw Solicitors.

Counsel are Stephen Knafler QC of Landmark Chambers, Sonali Naik and Helen Foot of Garden Court Chambers acting on behalf of all three appellants.

Naim Hasani, a Consultant Solicitor with Duncan Lewis, specialises in Immigration & Nationality Judicial Review claimant matters. He has niche knowledge of British nationality deprivation appeals and deportation and has a strong client base from Albania, Kosovo and the rest of the Balkans.

Duncan Lewis Immigration Department

Duncan Lewis operates the largest immigration team in the UK with a broad practice representing business and individual vulnerable clients at all levels in all aspects of personal immigration, asylum/human rights and nationality matters and is the dominant legal firm in the UK for the provision of publicly funded immigration legal services for asylum, immigration detention, bail, deportation appeals and EC law issues. The firm’s Immigration practice was recommended by Legal 500 UK 2016 as a Top Tier Immigration Practice in London and Wales and as a Leading Immigration Practice in the Midlands area respectively. With more than 200 specialised staff providing assistance in more than 70 different languages, all of Duncan Lewis’ Immigration lawyers are specialists in their respective fields under the Law Society's Immigration & Asylum Accreditation Scheme. Duncan Lewis Immigration lawyers provide specialist immigration services from offices throughout London and across the UK.

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