PTA Template 269C1 • OCT16 First Appea
IN THE COURT OF APPEAL, CIVIL DIVISION
13 May 2021
R(on the application of AL-SHATERI AND OTHERS)
SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT
ORDER made by the Rt. Hon. Lady Justice Andrews DBE
On consideration of the appellant’s notice and accompanying documents, but without an oral hearing, in respect of an application for permission to appeal against the decision of the Upper Tribunal (IAC) dismissing the claim for judicial review.
Decision: Granted. This case is to be listed and referred to as R(on the application of AI-Shateri and others). The 6th and 7th Applicants are not to be named in any report or other publication of the appeal proceedings whilst they remain under the age of 18
An order granting permission ma limit the issues to be heard or be made sub·ect to conditions.
1. The UT judge made a wide-ranging order for anonymity. He rightly rejected the argument that this was justified on the basis that disclosure of the appellants’ names, particularly the First Appellant’s, could potentially create a risk to them if they were to be returned to Yemen at some point in the future. However he was persuaded that blanket anonymity should be granted to protect the sixth and seventh applicants, who are minor children, from being identified (including by naming the First Appellant).
2. I am not prepared to direct that the appeal proceedings be anonymised. This case was not anonymised when permission to bring judicial review was initially refused following an oral hearing in the Upper Tribunal (IAC) nor when the same applicants successfully applied for permission to appeal against that refusal in 2017 (C?/2017/3347) nor when a consent order was made remitting the matter to the Upper Tribunal for determination of the judicial review.
3. This is not an asylum claim. The fact that two of the applicants who are dependents on the First Applicant are minors and there is a risk that naming him might lead to their identification is insufficient in a case like this to outweigh the principle of open justice, bearing in mind the nature and subject matter of the case and the context in which it is brought Orders of this kind are all too readily made, and often without proper justification. Many applicants in immigration appeals and judicial reviews are bringing the case on behalf of themselves and their families, and anonymisation is not and should not be routine outside the asylum context. This appeal really concerns the First Applicant, and there is no reason to suppose that any of his dependants, let alone the two youngest children, should be mentioned at all. The order I have made above is proportionate, to safeguard against the remote possibility that someone might be tempted to name them.
4. The case raises difficult, interesting and (it appears) previously unconsidered issues of wide public importance. At the heart of the case is the question whether the SSHD has the power to deliberately delay (or postpone) consideration of an application for an extension of leave to remain (or any other application affecting the applicant’s immigration status) whilst the applicant is under investigation for alleged criminal offences by HMRC but no decision has been taken to prosecute. It appears that there is no decided case on this topic, though unintentional delay in determining immigration applications has been considered in other contexts including the so-called “legacy” cases.
5. I regard all three grounds as arguable with real prospects of success.
Information for or directions to the parties
If the parties disagree with the time estimate they must inform the listing office as soon as practicable giving reasons.
An agreed, paginated, joint bundle of authorities is to be lodged no later than 14 days prior to the date of the I hearing.