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.
- 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?”
- 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!!!!”
- Immigration judge to me: “Are you saying that the public law duty to act fairly extends to the Home Office???”
- 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???”
- “Why are you referring me to the European authorities? Are we not in Britain?”
- 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?