Law Report: Home Secretary Was Entitled to Exclude Leader of Nation of Islam ; 8 May 2002 Regina (on the Application of Farrakhan) V Secretary of State for the Home Department Court of Appeal, Civil Division (Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, Master of the Rolls, Lord Justice Potter and Lady Justice Arden) 30 April 2002

Article excerpt

WHERE A state refused entry to or expelled an alien for reasons which were wholly independent of the exercise by him of rights under the European Convention on Human Rights, the fact that the consequence would be that he could not exercise those rights in the territory from which he had been expelled would not violate the Convention. Where, however, he was refused entry solely to prevent his expressing opinions within the state's territory, article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights would be engaged.

The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal of the Secretary of State for the Home Department against a decision to quash his decision to exclude Louis Farrakhan from the United Kingdom.

The claimant was an African-American citizen of the United States, and the spiritual leader of the Nation of Islam, a religious, social and political movement whose aims included "the regeneration of black self- esteem, dignity and self-discipline".

A branch of the Nation of Islam had been established in the United Kingdom. The claimant wished to address his followers in this country, but he had never been permitted entry. The most recent decision of the Secretary of State refusing him admission was in November 2000, on the ground that a visit to the United Kingdom by the claimant, or the lifting of his exclusion generally, would at the present time pose an unwelcome and significant threat to community relations, and in particular to relations between the Muslim and Jewish communities, and a potential threat to public order for that reason.

The claimant applied for judicial review. The judge allowed his application, holding that the Secretary of State was required to demonstrate objective justification for excluding the claimant from this country and that he had failed to do so. …