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Shamima Begum case

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CB27
1375797.  Sat Feb 27, 2021 12:37 pm Reply with quote

I'm not going to look at the question of skin colour, race, religion, etc, instead my worry over this judgement is the wording that suggests courts should give deference to politicians regardless of the legal case involved.

As I understand it, this was the timeline:

The argument is that the Government stripped her of her citizenship - they may have argued that there was a terror risk involved, but the argument for this at the time wasn't really put forward.

Begum tried to appeal that decision, and in another decision the Government decided she should not be allowed into the country to defend herself, and as a non UK citizen was not worthy of assistance getting to a place where she could receive help safely.

There was an appeal upheld by the courts that her private rights were contravened by these actions.

This decision was appealed by the Government, and I understand a witness was produced to argue that Begum represents a terrorism risk, and the judgement this time is that the original court decision was not correct because they should have trusted the Minister's decision.

That last bit is where I have issue with. I understood it that the courts can rule against a Government's decision if they think it unlawful (ie breaching someone's legal rights), and should only consider it otherwise if it is proven that the person presents great national risk otherwise.

I have no problem with such evidence presented behind closed doors and not reported, as it could include sensitive information that affects others, but the judgment passed seems to suggest that this was not what swayed the decision, and rather that it was "you must trust the Home Secretary at all times".

 
Alexander Howard
1375802.  Sat Feb 27, 2021 2:06 pm Reply with quote

I think it is a distinction of fact and law. (Mugging thoroughly from reading an online guide to the subject.)

The Home Secretary is the decision-maker and she has to look at the facts and weigh up priorities and how to respond. The court is only looking at the law, not the facts. Facts are for the decision-maker. If the Home Secretary's decision were so bizarre that she must have been either insane or not looking at the facts, then the court could intervene on the basis that the law says she must look at the facts, and she didn't.

 
bobwilson
1375878.  Sun Feb 28, 2021 6:02 pm Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
Not sure what AIUI means then?
I thought that appeal on LTE had been settled, and this was a judicial review because, by not being allowed in the the country the case against her was unlawful, that is now settled, and it was found that the process used was indeed sound and based on law, not the colour of her skin - because that would be racist.


barbados may well be right here (although I think PDR has pretty well hit the nail on the head) - but whatever the legal semantics, to misquote Dickens - if that is what the law says, then the law is an ass.

And when the law is an ass, people start ignoring the law. And when people start ignoring the law is when bombs start going off.

It is obvious to any normal person what and why has happened here - to pretend otherwise is to be dishonest.

 
barbados
1375884.  Mon Mar 01, 2021 2:46 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:

She is a British citizen and even if she is convicted of the various crimes she's accused of there is no "banishment" amongst the sentencing options.

PDR

I think you’ll find this is actually incorrect.

 
Jenny
1375909.  Mon Mar 01, 2021 11:06 am Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
PDR wrote:

She is a British citizen and even if she is convicted of the various crimes she's accused of there is no "banishment" amongst the sentencing options.

PDR

I think you’ll find this is actually incorrect.


I don't think so. She was born in the UK of UK citizen parents (even if her parents had dual nationality, she does not).

Can any UK citizen be stripped of their citizenship rights and rendered stateless? If this is your assertion, some evidence supporting it is necessary.

 
cnb
1375912.  Mon Mar 01, 2021 11:24 am Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:

I don't think so. She was born in the UK of UK citizen parents (even if her parents had dual nationality, she does not).

The problem is that we don't know her status regarding Bangladeshi citizenship. The British government claims that she is a citizen of Bangladesh, and she claims that she isn't. Which is correct depends on her father's status. Is he Bangladeshi by birthright, or by descent?
If the former, she is Bangladeshi unless the Bangladeshis got there first with revocation. If the latter, she would only be Bangladeshi if her parents registered her as such with the Bangladeshi authorities (which they claim they haven't done).

 
barbados
1375913.  Mon Mar 01, 2021 11:45 am Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
barbados wrote:
PDR wrote:

She is a British citizen and even if she is convicted of the various crimes she's accused of there is no "banishment" amongst the sentencing options.

PDR

I think you’ll find this is actually incorrect.


I don't think so. She was born in the UK of UK citizen parents (even if her parents had dual nationality, she does not).

Can any UK citizen be stripped of their citizenship rights and rendered stateless? If this is your assertion, some evidence supporting it is necessary.

Do you as a British citizen need leave to enter the country?

 
suze
1375914.  Mon Mar 01, 2021 12:14 pm Reply with quote

cnb wrote:
The problem is that we don't know her status regarding Bangladeshi citizenship. The British government claims that she is a citizen of Bangladesh, and she claims that she isn't. Which is correct depends on her father's status. Is he Bangladeshi by birthright, or by descent?


The government of Bangladesh says that she isn't a citizen of Bangladesh, and would be refused entry to Bangladesh.

It is not the British government's place to say that another government is interpreting its own laws incorrectly. It might be for all I know, but it isn't going to change its mind just because Priti Patel says so.

I know that this government of ours asserts the right to render people stateless regardless, but to do so is a contravention of Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Not that this government will be too bothered about that, since it has contravened the said treaty in half a dozen ways over the last year - even though it's the first government for a while which did not promise to abolish human rights in its manifesto.

 
cnb
1375916.  Mon Mar 01, 2021 12:27 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:

The government of Bangladesh says that she isn't a citizen of Bangladesh, and would be refused entry to Bangladesh.

My assumption is that they're right, and that in this case the British governments lawyers rushed the job, screwed it up, and won't admit to it.

Press reports are rather vague, but suggest that Begum's father is Bangladeshi by descent, and cannot pass on his citizenship to his daughter without registration, but that her mother is Bangladeshi by birthright.

If you read the current Bangladeshi nationality law, it says that children are Bangladeshi if either of their parents is Bangladeshi by birthright, with no requirement to register the child.

That law is the result of an amendment made in 2008, after Shamima Begum was born. The law at the time of her birth required that the father be Bangladeshi by birthright to pass on his citizenship in that way.

Could it be that the government's lawyers didn't notice the footnote pointing out the amendment?

 
CB27
1375918.  Mon Mar 01, 2021 12:33 pm Reply with quote

From personal experience, when you're eligible for citizenship through your parents (or grandparents in some countries), it's not the same as automatically being a citizen, you have to apply and show that you're eligible.

So technically this woman was a British citizen at birth, and would only be a Bangladeshi citizen if she applied for it.

I haven't looked up the details of the case, so don't know what the reality behind the various statements are, but if she hasn't applied for a Bangladeshi citizenship then the UK was technically wrong, and Bangladesh were technically correct.

 
cnb
1375924.  Mon Mar 01, 2021 12:49 pm Reply with quote

CB27 wrote:
From personal experience, when you're eligible for citizenship through your parents (or grandparents in some countries), it's not the same as automatically being a citizen, you have to apply and show that you're eligible.

So technically this woman was a British citizen at birth, and would only be a Bangladeshi citizen if she applied for it.


Bangladeshi law has two types of citizenship - citizenship by birthright, and citizenship by descent. Children born outside Bangladesh to a parent (previously: father) who is Bangladeshi by birthright are automatically Bangladeshi by descent, with no requirement for paperwork. Children born outside Bangladesh to a parent (previously: father) who is Bangladeshi by descent are only Bangladeshi by descent themselves if the birth is registered with the local Bangladeshi consulate. That's why the detail of her father's status is important.

 
barbados
1375930.  Mon Mar 01, 2021 1:01 pm Reply with quote

One can only assume, that seeing as the Leave To Enter case was also settled by the Supreme Court, her fathers status as a Bangladeshi with leave to remain is confirmed. If that was not the case, then you would imagine that, on a point of law (which is what the SC case was about), it would have failed - because as has been pointed out, to render someone stateless breaks international law.

 
Leith
1375933.  Mon Mar 01, 2021 1:36 pm Reply with quote

By my understanding, Sajid Javid's action to revoke Ms Begum's UK citizenship has been implemented. His letter on the topic declares he is "satisfied" that this does not render Ms Begum stateless (such "satisfaction" being what the letter of the law requires). Ms Begum seeks to appeal that decision, but is hampered by having been refused leave to enter the country to conduct such an appeal, hence the supreme court hearing on that topic.

An appeal against the citizenship revocation may yet come to pass, and may be successful, but until such time, I think Barbados is correct as regards Ms Begum's current citizenship status in UK law.

That background is all summarised in the pre-amble to the latest supreme court ruling. Here it is again for reference:
https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/uksc-2020-0156.html

The supreme court ruling means the Leave To Enter question is settled for the time being (though I think I recall seeing provision for it to be re-opened if certain circumstances change). The UK citizenship question has not yet run its course in the courts, and so is not settled, but its current status is that Ms Begum is not, at the time of writing, legally a UK citizen, I think.

I am not a lawyer, however.

 
Leith
1375936.  Mon Mar 01, 2021 1:46 pm Reply with quote

That's my understanding of the legalities of the matter, anyhow. The rational and ethical aspects of it are another thing altogether.

 
barbados
1375937.  Mon Mar 01, 2021 1:49 pm Reply with quote

Leith wrote:


The supreme court ruling means the Leave To Enter question is settled for the time being (though I think I recall seeing provision for it to be re-opened if certain circumstances change). The UK citizenship question has not yet run its course in the courts, and so is not settled, but its current status is that Ms Begum is not, at the time of writing, legally a UK citizen, I think.


That is my understanding based on my earlier comments - if you are a UK Citizen, you don't need leave to remain, and if the citizenship was unclear, there would be a reason in law to find for Ms Begum, what with there being no reason for a British citizen to seek leave to enter.
Leith wrote:


I am not a lawyer, however.

Ctrl-c Ctrl-v

 

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