High Court rules in favour of refugee families refused UK entry

London’s High Court has ruled in favour of six families of refugees who were refused UK admission in 2014 by Home Secretary Theresa May.

The six individual families took up legal action against the Home Office on the basis that the UK was in breach of its obligations under the 1951 Refugee Convention.

The families, who found themselves washed up on the south-west coast of Cyprus in 1998 after a failed attempt to travel to Italy, lived in the British Sovereign Base Areas (SBA) of Cyprus in a ‘legal limbo’ for 17 years up until their case was remitted for further consideration on Thursday.

High Court Judge Mr Justice Foskett quashed the Home Secretary’s initial decision, in light of ‘relevant up-to-date factors’, ruling in favour of the refugee families in their plight.

Speaking of the ruling, one of the claimants, Mr Tag Bashir, said: “We hope that with today’s judgment we are one step closer to providing our children with a decent future.

“I was 26 years old when I came to the SBA and for 17 years I have been trying to work and build a life for my family but there is nothing here.

“I worry every day about my three children and how this situation and the uncertainty is affecting them.

“I hope the UK Government will finally recognise that we are their responsibility and allow us to come to the UK where our only wish is to work hard and integrate into society.”

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Nigel is the Managing Partner and Head of Litigation and Dispute Resolution in the London office of Mackrell Turner Garrett.