In SM (Zimbabwe) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 1566
In a recent case argued before the Court of Appeal, No8 Chambers' specialist immigration barristers successfully argued that evidence of rehabilitation following conviction for a criminal offence was a factor capable of tipping the scales in favour of a finding that the deportation of a foreign national criminal was 'unduly harsh' on the children affected by the proposed deportation.
An unusual aspect of this case was status of one of the children directly affected by the decision. That child, who was the step-child of the appellant and one of three children affected by the deportation decision, was also the victim of the appellant's offending. SN he had been sentenced to and served 2 years imprisonment following a conviction for child cruelty against his stepchild.
The key issue pursued on behalf of the appellant and considered by the Court of Appeal was whether the lower courts were wrong in their approach to both the relevance of and weight to be given to, evidence of rehabilitation relied on by the appellant following his release from prison. His rehabilitation was evidenced in two ways, firstly by the fact that at the date of hearing, all care proceedings that followed the offence had been discharged, and secondly by the fact that with the consent of the local authority, the appellant had successfully reintegrated into the family unit. It was common ground that the appellant now shared a strong, loving parental relationship with each of the children in the family unit and he also played an important caring role for them at a critical juncture in their lives. This close family bond had been re-established and further strengthened in the intervening several years between his conviction and the decision to deport him. Deportation would inevitably adversely impact the substance of that relationship.
In a succinct judgement allowing the appeal, the Court of Appeal acknowledged the very particular form of rehabilitation relied on in this case – namely that the Appellant had been fully reconciled to, and had become an important figure in the life of, the victim of his crime and also reiterated that 'rehabilitation' should be placed "into the balance" when considering the assessment of undue harshness , something the lower courts had not done.
The Appellant was represented by Stephen Vokes, head of the immigration team and Olumide Sobowale, a member of the immigration team.
The decision can be found here
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New Video Update: Deprivation of Citizenship Appeals After Begum
In this immigration law update video Adam gives a summary of the recent UT reported decision in Ciceri (deprivation of citizenship appeals: principles) Albania  UKUT 238 (IAC) (8 September 2021) and the principles which apply to deprivation of citizenship appeals following the decision of the Supreme Court in Begum, R. (on the application of) v Special Immigration Appeals Commission & Anor  UKSC 7 (26 February 2021).
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Immigration, Asylum and Human Rights - Latest Case Law Developments
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Immigration Case Law Update. In this session Adam will summarise some of the key immigration law decision from recent months. Practitioners will gain an understanding of the key issues which the courts have been considering and will be able to use the information gained to enhance their written submissions and achieve better outcomes for clients. This is an essential update.
Immigration Appeals: Update and Best Practice Guide. Immigration Appeals have been changing with the introduction of myHMCTS and with the pandemic pushing many appeals online. In this webinar, Adam looks at the latest practice directions from the Tribunal and the appeals process. Adam also covers important best practice topics such as drafting skeleton arguments and permission to appeal grounds. Adam also consider dealing with new matters and witnesses giving evidence from abroad. This practical session will equip practitioners with the skills to deal with appeals professionally and effectively.
Article 8 Update & Deprivation of Citizenship Appeals. In this session, Adam will guide you through two hot immigration law topics. Adam provides an update on the latest case law developments in relation to Article including children, adult dependent relatives, deportation, and allegations of serious harm. In the second half of the webinar, Adam looks at deprivation of citizenship appeals which are on the rise at present. Adam also discusses the latest deprivation case law and the relevance of discretion, delay and Article 8.
Immigration analysis: Adam Pipe, barrister at No. 8 Chambers, reviews the key cases from January to June 2021 for immigration advisers, and explains why they are of interest.
The review covers procedural fairness in PBS cases, Tier 1 (Investors), deprivation of citizenship, Windrush cases, Appendix EU and Zambrano, out-of-country appeals and various Article 8-related cases.
View the review and its associated web links as a pdf.