Grant of permission to the Supreme Court in leading children’s best interest case


Charlotte Bayati of chambers’ immigration team, being led by Stephen Knafler QC of Landmark Chambers and instructed by Sampath Warnapala of Polpitiya Solicitors have been granted permission to appeal to the Supreme Court following the judgment of the Court of Appeal in MA (Pakistan) & Ors, R (on the application of) v Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) & Anor [2016] EWCA Civ 705.

The grant of permission – UKSC 2016/01 – confirms that the case will be heard as NS (Sri Lanka) and others alongside KO (Nigeria), IT (Jamaica) and Pereira.

Lord Justice Ellias giving judgment in the Court of Appeal stated at Paragraph 36:

Looking at section 117B(6) free from authority, I would favour the argument of the appellants. The focus on paragraph (b) is solely on the child and I see no justification for reading the concept of reasonableness so as to include a consideration of the conduct and immigration history of the parents as part of an overall analysis of the public interest. I do not deny that this may result in some cases in undeserving applicants being allowed to remain, but that is not in my view a reason for distorting the language of the section. Moreover, in an appropriate case the Secretary of State could render someone liable to deportation, and thereby render him ineligible to rely on this provision, by certifying that his or her presence would not be conducive to the public good.

However, the Court ultimately concluded at Paragraph 46 that:

However, the approach I favour is inconsistent with the very recent decision of the Court of Appeal in MM (Uganda) where the court came down firmly in favour of the approach urged upon us by Ms Giovannetti, and I do not think that we ought to depart from it.

An update as to the likely timescales of the Supreme Court appeal will be uploaded as soon as these are known.

Related barristers: Charlotte Bayati

Related practice areas: Children Public Law, Immigration and Public Law