IN THE SPECIAL IMMIGRATION APPEALS COMMISSION
5 November 2019
Secretary of State for the Home Department
ON the Appellant’s application for an anonymity order pursuant to rule 39(5)(h) of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Procedure) Rules 2003 and for an order restraining publication pursuant to section 11 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 (‘the application’)
ON the Legal Representatives’ having been notified of the application by email firstly on 23.08.19 and subsequently with a revised Explanatory Note on 20.09.19
ON considering the documents (‘the documents’) lodged in accordance with paragraph 28 of the Commission’s Practice Note on Anonymity Orders and Related Measures (the Practice Note’):
- legal submissions
- witness statement of GA’s solicitor with exhibits
- witness statement of GA
AND ON the Appellant undertaking to keep the Commission and the Secretary of State informed of any matter which may affect the continued need for this order:
IT IS ORDERED THAT:
- The Appellant be granted anonymity in relation to the conduct of proceedings in the Commission and be known in these proceedings as GA.
- Nothing may be published which, directly, or indirectly, identifies him as an appellant in these proceedings before the Commission.
- There be liberty to apply on 48 hours’ written notice to the Commission, to the Appellant, to the Secretary of State and to the Legal Representatives (as defined in the Practice Note).
- This order continues until the OPEN judgment has been handed down in this appeal, or further order in the meantime, unless the Appellant indicates to the Commission, as soon as the OPEN judgment is circulated in draft, that he intends to apply for it to continue after the OPEN judgment is handed down, and applies to the Commission, before that judgment is handed down, for directions for the determination of any such application whereupon this order will continue for the duration of the determination of that application
- GA lives in the UK with his physically and psychiatrically disabled wife and adult son. His son has a genetic disorder including severe learning difficulties and he needs constant supervision. GA is the main carer for both his wife and son.
- GA first applied for naturalisation on 4 October 2012. That application was refused in 2015 on the grounds that GA failed to disclose a previous conviction for historic fraud-related offences.
- GA applied for a review that decision on the grounds that it was not in accordance with the Home Office policy. After a review, the Home Office made a new decision on 29 August 2017, again refusing the application on the grounds that GA did not meet the good character requirement. No reasons for the refusal were given on the grounds that it would be contrary to the public interest to do so.
- GA appealed to the Commission.
- GA argues that it is necessary to for the anonymity in his case to be continued for two main reasons.
- The appeal is in its early stages. Disclosure is not yet complete. The issues in the case have not been finalised. GA cannot forecast at this stage whether any further reasoning that may be provided by the Secretary of State might support or establish a case for maintaining anonymity.
- There is a real risk that GA and/or his family will be subject to harassment, abuse and/or assault if GA is linked, in 2019, to his historical arrest/conviction. GA and his wife suffered harassment, including racial harassment (leading to them moving home) after contemporaneous press reporting of the circumstances surrounding his historical arrest/conviction. GA’s wife and son would be severely affected by any press intrusion and/or hostile attention from neighbours and/or right-wing groups.
- The Commission is not in a position to make findings of fact at this stage about this material. Some or all of the Applicant’s contentions may be well founded.
- It is necessary to maintain the anonymity order in order to guard against the materialising of the risks on which the Applicant relies. The encroachment into the principle open justice made by this order is therefore necessary, and in the circumstances, the considerations on which the Applicant relies outweigh the rights under the European Convention on Human Rights of the press and the public.