UK Liberty

Home Office gave illegal instructions to immigration officials

Posted in law and order by ukliberty on September 30, 2008

The BBC:

The [Ghurkas] regiment moved its main base from Hong Kong to the UK in 1997 and the government had argued that Gurkhas discharged before that date were unlikely to have strong residential ties with the UK.

That meant those who wanted to settle in the UK had to apply for British residence and could be refused and deported.

The judgement could affect some 2,000 former Gurkhas who retired before 1997.

The judge, Mr Justice Blake, said the Gurkhas’ long service, conspicuous acts of bravery and loyalty to the Crown all pointed to a “moral debt of honour” and gratitude felt by British people.

He ruled that instructions given by the Home Office to immigration officials were unlawful and needed urgent revision. …

Update

The judgement is available from Bailii.

In my judgment, for all these reasons I conclude that there is substance in the Claimants’ second ground for attack on the operative policy. Transparency and clarity are significant requirements of instructions to immigration and entry clearance officers that are published to the world at large, generate expectations of fair treatment and bind appellate bodies in the performance of their statutory functions. The policy under challenge in this case either irrationally excluded material and potentially decisive considerations that the context and the stated purpose of the policy indicate should have been included; alternatively, it was so ambiguous as to the expression of its scope as to mislead applicants, entry clearance officers and immigration judges alike as to what was a sufficient reason to substantiate a discretionary claim to settlement here.

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