COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)
ON APPEAL FROM THE ASYLUM AND IMMIGRATION TRIBUNAL
[AIT No: IA/10946/2007]
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
LORD JUSTICE RICHARDS
SIR PAUL KENNEDY
| JN (CAMEROON)
|- and -
SECRETARY OF STATE
FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT
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Ms S Leek (instructed by the Treasury Solicitor) appeared on behalf of the Respondent.
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Lord Justice Richards:
"A notice given under regulation 4(1) is to --
(a) include or be accompanied by a statement of the reasons for the decision to which it relates; and
(b) if it relates to an immigration decision specified in section 82(2)(a), (g), (h), (ha), (i), (ia), (j) or (3A) of the 2002 Act:
(i) shall state the country or territory to which it is proposed to remove the person; or
(ii) may, if it appears to the decision-maker that the person to whom a notice is to be given may be removable to more than one country or territory, state any such countries or territories."
Other paragraphs of regulation 5 relate to matters such as the provision of information about the right of appeal.
"If you feel there are any reasons why you should not be deported to Cameroon [emphasis added] on completion of your sentence you should submit these in writing … within five days of this notification."
"This Order requires you to leave the United Kingdom and prohibits you from re-entering while the order is in force."
It did not specify the country to which it was proposed to remove the appellant.
"Of course, there is no dispute, in fact, as to where the Respondent intends to deport the Appellant to. It is accepted by all parties that the Appellant is a Cameroonian national and, in the letter of 2nd October 2007 explaining the reasons why a decision has been taken to make a deportation order, reference is made to Cameroon."
The panel went on to reject what it described as the technical arguments advanced on the applicant's behalf in relation to the omission of the country of destination from the notice.
"We think that the Secretary of State Decision Notice should be clear as to its consequence when enforcement comes, it should be understood simply with the knowledge that the appeal against it has been allowed or dismissed and should not require the determination of the appeal body to be with it or understood properly before the consequences for the Claimant are clear."
"The proposed destination on removal must be specified and the notice signed and dated." [emphasis in original]
I would, however, say at once, in relation to that, that in my view it takes matters no further since it merely reflects, so far as material, the requirement in regulation 5(1) of the 2003 Regulations themselves. Nothing turns on the use of the word "must" rather than "shall".
"In my judgment these authorities lead to the following conclusions relating to the present appeal. (i) The notices of decision in this case do not include removal directions. (ii) The notice of decision to remove (which I assume is among the matters appealed from) is an immigration decision giving a right of appeal under section 84(1)(g) but does not contain, either expressly or inherently, any removal directions. (iii) The reference to removal directions towards the end of that notice is only an indication of a "proposed" country of removal pursuant to regulation 5(1)(b) of the 2003 Regulations. (iv) Thus the proposal to remove MA to Somalia was a proposal not a decision. The decision was to remove, and the proposal was to remove to Somalia. The purpose of the requirement of the Regulations that the country to which it is proposed to return an applicant should be stated in the notice of decision to remove is no doubt, as [counsel for the Secretary of State] submitted, to enable the applicant to test the validity of the proposal for the purposes of the applicant's appeal under either convention."
Lord Justice Rix:
Sir Paul Kennedy:
I also agree.
Order: Appeal dismissed