JC (Dominican Republic) (Claimant/Appellant) v Secretary of State for the Home Department

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
CourtCourt of Appeal (Civil Division)
JudgeLord Justice Burnett
Judgment Date05 Nov 2015
Neutral Citation[2015] EWCA Civ 1331
Docket NumberC5/2015/0161

[2015] EWCA Civ 1331

IN THE COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)

ON APPEAL FROM THE UPPER TRIBUNAL

(IMMIGRATION AND ASYLUM CHAMBER)

(UPPER TRIBUNAL JUDGES KOPIECZEK & COKER)

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand

London, WC2A 2LL

Before:

Lord Justice Burnett

C5/2015/0161

JC (Dominican Republic)
Claimant/Appellant
and
Secretary of State for the Home Department
Defendant/Respondent

Ms S Bassiri-Dezfouli (instructed by Direct Access) appeared on behalf of the Applicant

Lord Justice Burnett
1

The appellant renews his application for permission to appeal against a decision of the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) which was promulgated on 10th October 2014. UTIAC had earlier determined that the decision of the First Tier Tribunal allowing the appeal involved an error of law. That decision was set aside with UTIAC re-making the decision and dismissing the appeal.

2

This is a deportation case involving a foreign national prisoner. The appellant, who is a national of the Dominican Republic, was sentenced to eight years' imprisonment on 8th November 2007 for a drugs importation offence. He had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity, thus attracting the full discount of a third as is reflected in the judge's sentencing remarks. It is common ground that the offending was very serious indeed.

3

The appellant had first come to the United Kingdom in, as I understand it, 2001, and in due course obtained leave as the spouse of a British citizen. At the time of his offending he was married to a British citizen. He and his then wife have a daughter who is now aged about 12. The appellant is now separated from their daughter's mother. Both she and the daughter suffer from sickle cell anaemia. The mother has another child, who is not the appellant's, who is now aged six.

4

The appellant was released from prison in March 2012. His risk of re-offending is thought to be low. He has complied with all of the conditions of his licence.

5

There has never been any doubt that, before the late part of 2007, the appellant had a normal and close parental relationship with his daughter. During the four years or thereabouts that he was in custody, the relationship was maintained, albeit with some difficulty. Since his release, although he does not have formal parental responsibility and does not live with the daughter and her mother, the appellant has been closely involved in her care. I note in particular that he has assisted in looking after his daughter, and indeed his ex-wife's son. He has been involved in taking his daughter for doctors and hospital appointments. In particular, whilst his ex-wife visited Jamaica for three months with her son, the appellant looked after his daughter. It is perhaps right to observe that there were various members of both his family and his ex-wife's family who were also nearby, some at least who were and are involved with the children.

6

The deportation order which underlies these proceedings was made on 20th December 2012. The appeals process which followed was procedurally complex; indeed, rather untidy. That accounts for the delay of nearly two years before UTIAC re-determined the appeal.

7

UTIAC's decision was made by a two-judge panel comprising Upper Tribunal Judges Kopieczek and Coker. Permission to appeal was refused by Judge Kopieczek on 2nd December 2014. The appellant's notice to the Court of Appeal was filed out of time, but I should say that, were I satisfied that otherwise there were proper grounds of appeal, I would extend time. Permission to appeal was refused by Lewison J on 6th March 2015.

8

Six grounds of appeal are advanced. This is a second appeal and I should note that there was no attempt made in the grounds or the skeleton argument to deal with the questions whether the proposed appeal raises any point of principle or practice which merits the attention of the Court of Appeal, or that there is some other compelling reason why the appeal should be heard.

9

Ms Bassiri-Dezfouli, who appears on behalf of the appellant this morning, and for whose submissions I am most grateful, has not sought to suggest that there is any point of principle or practice engaged by this proposed appeal which could satisfy the second appeal test. Her submissions have focused upon the underlying factual circumstances of the case, and in particular the impact of the appellant's deportation upon his daughter. It is essentially the impact on the appellant's daughter which Ms Bassiri-Dezfouli submits satisfies the ordinary appeal test, and also would provide the other compelling reason to satisfy the second appeal test.

10

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