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26 maart 2015

Article 8 and Public Interest Considerations: Key Features


Dube (ss. 117A-117D) [2015] UKUT 90 (IAC) (24 February 2015)

key-in-doorThis was the Home Office’s appeal against the decision of First-tier Tribunal where the judge upheld Dube’s appeal in relation to being refused indefinite leave to remain. Dube was a female Zimbabwean born in 1948 who entered the UK as a visitor in 2002. Her initial attempts to remain in the UK on human rights grounds failed and appeal rights became exhausted in 2005. She overstayed but made further applications for leave to remain in 2010, 2011 and 2012. In response to the application made in 2012, the Home Office did not consider it sufficient reasoning to grant leave to Dube despite the fact that she was HIV positive (diagnosed in 2003) and that she suffered from hyperthyroidism, dizzy spells and memory loss. Similarly, the refusal rejected the claim that she had formed a family life with her children and grandchildren in the UK. Similarly, her assertions that she had ties to the Seventh Day Adventist Church amounted to naught and were immaterial. She had not been in the UK for 20 years and she also accepted that she had family ties with two brothers and a 37-year old son in Zimbabwe.
The refusal maintained that she remained in the UK with full knowledge of her illegal status. She could return to Zimbabwe and continue her activities with her church there. Her health problems could be addressed in Zimbabwe as confirmed by the Country of Origin Service Report. Despite all this, the First-tier judge conducted a freewheeling sort of article 8 ECHR analysis. He concluded that Dube discharged the burden of proof and the reasons given by the decision-maker did not justify the refusal. Applying EB (Kosovo) [2008] UKHL 41, he found that with the passage of time, where a person should have been removed but was not, the importance of immigration control became diluted. Dube had cast down roots in the UK over a period of fourteen years. She should have been removed in 2005 but was not.
In the judge’s Razgar analysis, the refusal interfered with article 8; the interference engaged article 8; it was in accordance with the law and may even have been necessary in a democratic society for the economic well-being of the UK, but it was not proportionate. Her removal would cause the breakdown of her family life, which could not have been recreated in Zimbabwe and so the decision was not in accordance with the law and “Part 5 of the latest applicable rules.”
Advancing fivefold grounds of appeal, the Home Office argued that (i) the judge had erred in treating delay as having “determinative weight” because Dube deliberately overstayed for years; (ii) her family life was developed with that knowledge; (iii) the judge had failed to conduct the proportionality exercise in line with the statutory public interest requirements; (iv) rather than being open-ended about article 8, the judge should have considered Dube’s inability to succeed under the rules as “a weighty proportionality factor in favour of removal”; and (v) Dube could preserve her relationship with her UK family via modern means of communication and visits and the judge was wrong to find that her removal to Zimbabwe would mean the “breakdown” of her family life.
The Home Office accepted that no attempt was made to remove Dube between 2005-2011 but it took issue with the idea that her family life, which was not established, would breakdown if she was removed; she could keep in touch with people through electronic means and visits. But it was unhappy with the freewheeling article 8 analysis of the judge.

Continue reading here: https://asadakhan.wordpress.com/2015/03/23/article-8-and-public-interest-considerations-key-features/

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