Deprivation of Citizenship

Should the next ‘Shamima Begum’ issue a Writ for Habeas Corpus?

Published: 30th April 2021

Last month we appeared for JUSTICE, intervening in the UK Supreme Court decision upon the cross appeals for Shamima Begum, against deprivation of her citizenship and leave to enter the UK to challenge same.

The Supreme Court held that the Ms Begum cannot presently return to the UK to pursue her appeal. It considered that national security concerns raised by the Secretary of State outweighed Ms Begum’s right to a fair and effective hearing. It further held that there was no evidence as to whether these national security concerns could be managed upon Ms Begum’s arrival in the UK.

As such, ‘significant weight’ was afforded to the Secretary of State’s assessment of the national security concerns. Further, when an individual’s right to a fair hearing comes into conflict with the requirements of national security, their Lordships held that the right to a fair hearing will not necessarily prevail – it does not ‘trump’ all other considerations.

The result is that Ms Begum’s appeal against the deprivation of her citizenship will be stayed until she can play an effective part in it, without the safety of the public being compromised.

This was acknowledged by the President of the Supreme Court as “not a perfect solution”.

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