HomeUK Visa & ImmigrationCourt docket of Attraction rejects Shamima Begum's enchantment in opposition to the...

Court docket of Attraction rejects Shamima Begum’s enchantment in opposition to the deprivation of her British citizenship

The Court docket of Attraction has dismissed an enchantment from Shamima Begum difficult the Particular Immigration Appeals Fee’s resolution that the deprivation of her British citizenship was lawful. I like to recommend studying Colin’s write up of that SIAC resolution. This resolution is Begum v Secretary of State for the Dwelling Division [2024] EWCA Civ 152.


Ms Begum was born in Bethnal Inexperienced London in 1999, a British citizen. In February 2015, when she was a 15 yr previous baby, Ms Begum travelled to Syria with two different ladies, having been inspired to take action by one other pal who had already made the journey to affix up with the terrorist organisation ISIL.

Ms Begum’s faculty had raised considerations about exactly this taking place however the police determined that there was no such danger. Ten days after arriving in Syria, the 15 yr previous was “married off” to an older Dutch nationwide man. Over the following 4 years she gave start thrice and every child died.

After the collapse of ISIL in January 2019, Ms Begum surrendered and was captured by the Syrian Democratic Forces and brought to Al-Hawl refugee camp in Syria.

On 14 February 2019 the Dwelling Secretary authorised a coverage which mentioned that “We settle for that people who’ve been radicalised as minors and travelled to Syria or Iraq, or who, while a minor, have been taken to Syria or Iraq by their household, are initially victims”.

Following a sequence of media interviews with Ms Begum in February 2019 on 19 February 2019 the Dwelling Secretary made a deprivation resolution to take away her British citizenship. Ms Begum additionally held Bangladeshi citizenship by her mother and father, however this was misplaced when she was 21 years previous, after the British citizenship deprivation resolution had been made.

Ms Begum appealed the choice of 19 February 2019 and separate litigation then adopted about whether or not Ms Begum could be allowed to return to the UK for her enchantment. This was dismissed by the Supreme Court docket on 26 February 2021 and so the enchantment proceeded with the appellant unable to offer proof or by bodily current.

SIAC made a discovering of proven fact that there was a reputable suspicion that Ms Begum was trafficked to Syria for the needs of sexual exploitation as a toddler. SIAC additionally discovered that there was an debatable case that there had been a failure to take preventative measures whereas she was nonetheless within the UK on the a part of the police, the varsity and the native authority. Regardless of these findings of reality, her enchantment in opposition to the deprivation resolution was dismissed on 22 February 2023.

This resolution from the Court docket of Attraction is the onward enchantment from that.

Grounds of enchantment

There have been 5 grounds of enchantment. The primary was that below article 4 ECHR (the prohibition of slavery), the Dwelling Secretary was required to contemplate whether or not Ms Begum was a sufferer of slavery, whether or not there had been failures by the UK to guard her from this, and what authorized obligations have been owed to her. The deprivation resolution impeded the power for the Dwelling Secretary to satisfy these obligations and was illegal on that foundation. It was additionally argued that there was an obligation to convey Ms Begum again to the UK below article 16 of ECAT (the Council of Europe’s Conference on Motion in opposition to Trafficking in Human Beings).

The Dwelling Secretary argued on this level that article 4 didn’t apply to Ms Begum as she was exterior the jurisdiction of the UK for the needs of the ECHR. The Dwelling Secretary argued that SIAC erred in not deciding this level.

The second floor of enchantment was that below widespread regulation, the trafficking problem was a compulsory and related consideration as to if it was conducive to the general public good and proportionate to deprive Ms Begum of her citizenship, and the failure to contemplate this was illegal.

The third floor of enchantment was that the deprivation resolution was illegal because the Dwelling Secretary failed to contemplate whether or not the choice to deprive would render her successfully stateless. SIAC had held that the matter was correctly thought-about.

The fourth floor of enchantment was procedural equity. SIAC had held that the necessities of pure justice had been breached by the failure to permit Ms Begum to make representations earlier than the choice. Nevertheless SIAC had concluded that the end result would have been the identical and it was argued that the authorized take a look at had been misapplied.

The Dwelling Secretary argued that SIAC’s method to procedural equity and prior representations was flawed and that there was no requirement to offer prior discover of a deprivation resolution. His place was that there had been no error, quite than there had been an immaterial error.  

The fifth floor of enchantment was that the choice was in breach of the general public sector equality obligation.

The courtroom’s resolution

The courtroom rejected floor one, stating that it was not persuaded that there was any substance to the arguments on attainable article 4 breaches, and that it didn’t give rise to a fabric consideration for the Dwelling Secretary to consider when making the deprivation resolution. The courtroom rejected the repatriation argument on the grounds that she was exterior the management of the UK authorities on the time of the choice. The courtroom mentioned:

We don’t settle for that a person who’s assessed as presenting a danger to nationwide safety have to be repatriated, and even that the Secretary of State is required to contemplate her repatriation, with a purpose to meet obligations which is likely to be owed below the protecting obligation, the restoration obligation or the investigative obligation (noting that any putative investigation would concern offences dedicated by different individuals, or State failures to guard her, 4 years earlier). Additional, we don’t settle for that the non-punishment precept extends to a choice to deprive her of her citizenship on nationwide safety grounds or {that a} restitutionary obligation exists even arguably on these info.

On floor two, the widespread regulation argument, the courtroom held that the Dwelling Secretary was conscious of the circumstances of Ms Begum’s journey to Syria and that it was doubtless that she was a toddler sufferer being exploited for sexual or extremist causes. It was concluded that Dwelling Secretary did have regard to related elements and this floor was additionally dismissed. The courtroom’s reluctance to intrude with the Dwelling Secretary’s evaluation of whether or not or not her journey to Syria as a toddler sufferer of trafficking was ‘voluntary’ stays as troubling as SIAC’s.

The arguments on statelessness for floor three have been that though Ms Begum nonetheless held Bangladeshi citizenship on the date of the choice, there was no sensible prospect of her going there, not least as a result of she had been threatened with execution by the federal government. The potential for a breach of article 2 or 3 ECHR in Bangladesh was made clear within the ministerial submission made to the Dwelling Secretary earlier than he made the choice. The courtroom due to this fact dismissed this floor on the premise that the Dwelling Secretary had taken the matter of her being made successfully stateless under consideration.

On floor 4, the courtroom agreed with the Dwelling Secretary that there was no entitlement to the chance to make representations earlier than the deprivation resolution. The courtroom additionally agreed with SIAC that nothing might have mentioned which might have made a distinction to the choice.

Floor 5, the general public sector equality obligation argument, was that the Dwelling Secretary failed to contemplate whether or not the train of deprivation powers is disproportionately utilized to British Muslims of sure ethnic minorities and/or has a detrimental impression on relations between Muslim communities and others. SIAC rejected these arguments on the premise that the Dwelling Secretary might depend on an exemption at part 192 of the Equality Act 2010 and the Court docket of Attraction agreed.

Apparently within the closed judgment it was concluded that SIAC did make some errors of regulation, nevertheless the Court docket of Attraction was happy that none have been materials to the end result.


This stays a really appalling case, and what lies on this younger girl’s future ought to additional appeals be unsuccessful is troublesome to ponder. Former Supreme Court docket decide Jonathan Sumption’s letter to the Guardian a yr in the past at present is price revisiting: “On account of the house secretary’s resolution, she is caught in a camp in Syria, with no citizenship wherever and no prospect of 1. Youngsters who make a horrible mistake are certainly redeemable. However statelessness is for ever.”



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