Court of Appeal Denies Home Office Appeal to Deport EEA nationals

The Court of Appeal recently decided the case of Straszewski v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWCA Civ 1245. The Court Of Appeal held that where the Home Office had issued a decision to deport a person with permanent residence under European Economic Area (EEA) law can only be made on “serious grounds of public policy or public security”. Such a deportation decision by the Home Office must also comply with further requirements, which we have outlined for you below. 

The Facts

The case involved two EEA nationals who had been residing in the UK for over five years and had each acquired a permanent right of residence in the UK. The Appellants were then convicted of a number of criminal offences and the Home Office decided that it would be appropriate to deport both of them to Poland and Lithuania respectively.

The first Appellant was a Polish national who had lived in the UK since the age of 11. The Appellant had pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawful wounding in relation to an incident in 2010. He then committed a further crime of robbery and was convicted for two counts of robbery and was sentenced to 42 months’ imprisonment, then to 15 months consecutively for an unlawful wounding offence.

The second Appellant was a Lithuanian national who came to the UK in 2004. In 2013 the said Appellant was convicted of three offences of identity fraud.

The Home Office pursued deportation under Regulation 21 of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 (“the Regulations”) and served both Appellants with a deportation decision.  The Appellants then lodged appeals against their respective Home Office deportation decisions and the Immigration Tribunal allowed both of their appeals in their favour. The Home Office then appealed and this brought their matter to the Court of Appeal. The question that therefore arose for the court of Appeal was whether the Secretary of State could deport an EEA national who had acquired a permanent right of residence in the UK.

Court of Appeal’s Decision

The Court of appeal held that where there is a decision to deport a person with permanent residence under EU law. This can only be made on “serious grounds of public policy or public security”. Such a decision must also comply with the following requirements, taken from EU Law:

(a) the decision must comply with the principle of proportionality;

(b) the decision must be based exclusively on the personal conduct of the Apppellant concerned;

(c) the personal conduct of the Appellant concerned must represent a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat affecting one of the fundamental interests of society;

(d) matters isolated from the particulars of the case or which relate to considerations of general prevention do not justify the decision;

(e) an Appellant’s previous criminal convictions do not in themselves justify the decision.

Moore-Bick LJ commented specifically: ‘it is for the Member State concerned to justify its actions in interfering with free movement rights; the burden does not rest with the individual facing deportation.’

The Court of Appeal  the dismissed the Secretary of State’s appeals.The above mentioned criteria are essentially factors of protections against deportation in EU law and are good news as they will help to safeguard principles of free movement around the EEA for EEA nationals and those with permanent residence under European Economic Area (EEA) law .

UK Immigration Legal Advice for EEA National Appeals

Choosing the right law firm from the beginning will not only allow for an easy mind in preparing for an application, but will also mean that in the long run applicants will save time and money with a specialist law firm who follow the strict letter of the law and the Solicitors Regulations Guidelines.

Our team of experienced and professionally qualified immigration solicitors and barristers bear in mind the paramount duty of all legal representatives to act in your best interest whilst complying with the strict letter of the law. Our team of specialists can be distinguished from other law firms with our client tailored approach and scrutiny of options available to you from the outset. We will be able to advise you in respect of the merits of your Appeal by providing you with advice from our leading team of barristers before your matter even reaches the Immigration Tribunal.

If you have instructed legal representatives and you are unhappy with their conduct you can contact us to discuss your case so that we can provide you with a case assessment. To contact one of our Immigration Solicitors or Immigration Barristers please complete our legal case assessment form and we will get in touch or call us now on 02071830570  for a telephone case assessment.

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