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Nigerian family failed to make out substantial grounds for leave for judicial review to be granted

By: James Cross BL

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Court of Appeal dismisses appeal from the High Court decision refusing Nigerian family leave to appeal decision refusing to revoke deportation order made in respect of their father ,on the grounds that they had failed to make out substantial grounds for leave for judicial review to be granted.

Asylum and immigration – Court of Appeal – appeal against decision of the High Court refusing Nigerian nationals leave to seek judicial review of the decision refusing to revoke father’s deportation order – decision refusing to revoke deportation order – leave application – private and family rights - undue weight on the interest of the state in protecting the integrity of the immigration and asylum system – High Court decision – generalised pleading – found no illegality could attach to the failure of the Minister to take into account that the first appellant had not been deported following a criminal conviction – appeal - judgment of the Court of Appeal in S.T.E.- requirement for substantial grounds for leave to seek judicial review - scope of review for the court is necessarily narrow in cases where there has been no challenge to the underlying deportation order - issues in the appeal - best interests of the children - clear that the decision-maker considered fully the factual matrix that had been outlined in the representations and documents - decision expressly stated that the best interests of the children, and their right to the companionship of their father, were considered - all relevant factors were weighed in the balance, including the mother and children had been granted leave to remain in the State and the consideration that the appellants’ family life would be sundered if the father were deported and the mother chose to remain in the State - No concrete information was put before the Minister demonstrating any obstacles to the family residing with the father in Nigeria - conclusion the decision-maker was entitled to arrive at, based on the factual matrix before him - prohibition on discrimination – alleged that the difference of treatment between the mother and father was discriminatory – Court cannot find that substantial grounds have been established such as to grant leave to argue that the first appellant has been discriminated against for reasons of gender or qua his status as father to the third to fifth appellants - no discrimination can be said to arise in this case since there were factors, unrelated to the father’s gender or indeed his status as parent to the children, which put him into an entirely different category to his wife – Zambrano rights – fifth applicant is a Latvian and therefore EU citizen – argued that father’s deportation would deprive him of the genuine enjoyment of the substance of his EU citizenship rights - no question of the Minister requiring either the EU child or the other family members to relocate to Nigeria – Nigerian family have not made out substantial grounds for leave for judicial review to be granted – appeal dismissed –

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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