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Court of Appeal hands down guidance on ‘limbo’ status and Article 8 in the deportation context

In RA(Iraq) v SSHD [2019] EWCA Civ 850 (handed down on 17 May 2019), Claire van Overdijk successfully represented the Secretary of State for the Home Department in a case concerning the so-called ‘limbo’ status – whereby a person is prevented by continuing circumstance in their country of origin from being deported, but also prevented by lack of leave to remain in the UK from working, receiving normal State benefits, renting or buying property, or accessing the full range of NHS benefits.

The appellant argued that together these constitute a disproportionate interference with family or private life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

In the judgment, the Court provides a comprehensive overview of domestic and ECtHR case law on this issue – noting that none of these authorities had analysed the precise considerations relevant to a ‘limbo’ argument. The Court therefore took the opportunity to set out guidance and the correct approach, namely a four stage test to determining whether there is a state of limbo that amounts of a breach of Article 8.

On the facts of this case, the Court was persuaded to uphold the decision of the Upper Tribunal that there was no state of limbo and no breach of Article 8.

The judgment can be read here.

News 17 May, 2019

Authors

Claire van Overdijk

Call: 2003

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