UK Immigration & Nationality Lawyers


Baffling questions in immigration appeals

Representing a client in an immigration appeal is a cherished opportunity for immigration solicitors to have a conversation with a learned member of the legal profession. It is similar to our academic seminars at Oxford or Cambridge. In a quiet dialogue we are prying for the truth, searching for the right answer. I recall a few questions from those academic discussions, that baffled me with the simplicity and profundity of message.

  1. Immigration judge addressing my client: “Mr So & So, you are a well-educated man, with public standing, responsible job and good income. I cannot accept that you are in a genuine relationship with the appellant who speaks so little English. What do you do together?”
  2. Another Immigration Judge to another client of mine: “What is the name of the church that you go to?” Client: “The Church of Dormition, Sir”. The judge: “And would you explain to me the concept of Dormition?” … and then to me, in a squeaky voice, at least one octave higher than previous:” Counsel! Please!! Keep QUIET!!! I just want to hear what he answers to THAT!!!!”
  3. Immigration judge to me: “Are you saying that the public law duty to act fairly extends to the Home Office???”
  4. Analysing the definition of “family members” under the EEA Regulations I am arguing that if a child under the age of 21 is a family member of both its parents, surely the parents must be the family members of their child. IJ: “Why is that?” Me: “Logic.” IJ: “Are you suggesting that we should apply logic in court???”
  5. “Why are you referring me to the European authorities? Are we not in Britain?”
  6. After listening to submissions on the supremacy of EU law “Ms, Sheizon, if what you are saying is true, how come I have never heard about it before?”

The last question is perhaps the most profound one. I am still lost for an answer. Maybe other immigration lawyers would know?

Author: Helena Sheizon- Director and Immigration Lawyer

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