J1 -v- The Secretary of State for the Home Department (anonymity order)
IN THE SPECIAL IMMIGRATION APPEALS COMMISSION
IN THE MATTER OF AN APPEAL AGAINST REVOCATION OF INDEFINITE LEAVE TO REMAIN
31 October 2019
The 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 on 6 September 2019;
On considering the documents consisting of an Application Notice, Explanatory Note, Witness Statement of Daniel Furner and Legal Submissions (‘the documents’) lodged in accordance with paragraph 28 of the Commission’s Practice Note on Anonymity Orders and Related Measures (‘the Practice Note’)
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 J1.
- Nothing may be published which, directly, or indirectly, could lead to (i) the identification of J1 as an appellant in these proceedings before the Commission; or (ii) the identification of J1’s family members, or their current location;
- 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.
- The Applicant is an Ethiopian national. He came to the United Kingdom in 1990, was given exceptional leave to remain in 1998, and indefinite leave to remain (‘ILR’) in 2003. He has no convictions. The Secretary of State tried to deport him between 2011 and 2014 and then decided to revoke his ILR. Those attempts were litigated in the Commission and in the Court of Appeal. He has appealed to the Commission against the decision to revoke his ILR.
- The Applicant argues that if he is identified as the subject of allegations linking him with extremist Islam (which, it appears is the Secretary of State’s case), that will expose him, his partner, and their children at risk of adverse publicity, of stigma, abuse, and possibly physical harm, during the appeal (and if it fails, afterwards). He relies on statistics linking increases in Islamophobic attacks with publicity about incidents (particularly terrorist incidents) perpetrated by or against Muslims.
- He also argues that that the anonymity order is necessary to protect him from the risk of serious harm in Ethiopia (were he to return) because of the association of his name with very serious allegations.
- 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.
- Further, the Applicant was anonymised as ‘J1’ in the earlier proceedings. If he were now identified that would undermine the effect of the previous anonymity orders.