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High Court refuses Afghanistan evacuation judicial review challenge


The High Court today handed down judgment in the claims brought by “KA” and 6 other claimants against decisions of the Home, Foreign and Defence Secretaries relating to the evacuation of Afghanistan in summer 2021 and policies relating to those in or wishing to enter the UK. The claim raised a number of important issues, concerning the lawfulness of the process of selecting individuals for evacuation and of the differential treatment in the UK between those who were successfully evacuated and those who – purely by bad luck – were not but who have subsequently managed to escape. Nicholas Chapman represented all three defendants.

Following an expedited two-day hearing in March, the Administrative Court (Julian Knowles J) today handed down its judgment dismissing the claimants’ claims on all grounds.

In doing so, the court rejected the claimants’ argument that the Home Secretary’s general policy requiring foreign nationals to enrol biometric information before applying for entry clearance was unlawful, in circumstances where there was no way to enrol biometrics in Afghanistan and no way to travel safely to another country in order to do so.  It also agreed with the defendants’ case that individuals who were not informed, following security and eligibility checks, that they would be evacuated were excluded from the Government’s special “ARIP” scheme providing enhanced rights to those arriving in the UK.

The judgment can be found here.

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