R (on the application of Hysaj and others) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Respondent)

Cite as:[2017] UKSC 82
Hand-down Date:December 21, 2017
 
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Michaelmas Term [2017] UKSC 82

On appeal from: [2015] EWCA Civ 1195

JUDGMENT

R (on the application of Hysaj and others) (Appellants) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Respondent)

Bakijasi (Appellant) v Secretary of State for the

Home Department (Respondent) before

Lady Hale, President Lord Kerr Lord Wilson Lord Hughes

Lord Hodge JUDGMENT GIVEN ON 21 December 2017 Appellants Respondent Stephen Knafler QC

Lisa Giovannetti QC Jonathan Moffett QC (Instructed by The Government Legal

Department) Sonali Naik

Helen Foot (Instructed by Naim Hasani of Duncan Lewis Solicitors (Harrow))

LADY HALE: (with whom Lord Kerr, Lord Wilson, Lord Hughes and Lord Hodge agree)

  1. This judgment is given in unusual circumstances. The Secretary of State, as respondent to these appeals, has applied pursuant to rule 34(2) of the Supreme Court Rules 2009 for these appeals to be allowed by consent. The appellants of course agree. However, this court took the view that we could not make an order allowing the appeals and setting aside the orders in the courts below without understanding the reasons for doing so and their impact upon the point of law of general public importance raised by the appeals. The Secretary of State has supplied those reasons, with which this court agrees. This judgment is accordingly based upon them.

  2. Although there are only two appeals before this court, these cases were heard in the Court of Appeal along with a third case, that of Mr Kaziu, which was decided on the same basis: R (Kaziu) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWCA Civ 1195, [2016] 1 WLR 673. The Secretary of State therefore accepts that the principles adopted in this judgment should also apply to him.

  3. The issue is whether the misrepresentations made by the appellants in their applications for United Kingdom citizenship made the grant of that citizenship a nullity, rather than rendering them liable to be deprived of that citizenship under sections 40 and 40A of the British Nationality Act 1981.

    The facts

  4. Mr Hysaj was born Dinjan Hysaj in Albania in 1977. He came to this country and claimed asylum in July 1998. He gave his true name, but claimed to have been born in 1981 and thus to be a child at the time of his asylum claim. He also falsely claimed that he was a citizen of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from Kosovo, and that he had been persecuted there. He was accepted as a refugee and given indefinite leave to remain (ILR) here in 1999. In 2004 he applied for and was granted naturalisation as a British citizen, using the same false details as he had used in his asylum claim. Thus he obtained British citizenship in his own name but using a false date of birth, a false nationality and a false place of birth.

  5. Mr Bakijasi was born Agron Bakijasi in Albania on 22 October 1972. He came to this country and claimed asylum in 1999. He gave a false name, Agron Adjini, a false date of birth, and falsely claimed to be a citizen of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from Kosovo, and that he had been persecuted there. His

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    asylum claim was refused on the basis that it was safe for him to return to Kosovo. But his later application for ILR, using the same false details, was granted under the Family ILR exercise in September 2005. Using the same false details, he applied for and was granted naturalisation as a British citizen in November 2006. Thus he obtained British citizenship using a false name, a false date of birth, a false nationality and a false place of birth.

  6. When these frauds came to light, the Secretary of State decided that, in each case, the grant of citizenship...

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