Friday Law Report: Breach of Right to Freedom of Religion in Home State Does Not Give Rise to Asylum Right ; 20 December 2002 Regina (on the Application of Ullah) V Special Adjudicator; Do V Secretary of State for the Home Department ( EWCA Civ 1856) Court of Appeal, Civil Division (Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, Master of the Rolls, Lord Justice Kay and Lord Justice Dyson) 16 December 2002
Kate O'Hanlon, Barrister, The Independent (London, England)
THE REMOVAL of an asylum seeker to a country which did not respect his rights under article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights would not infringe the Human Rights Act 1998 where the nature of the interference with the right to practise religion anticipated in the receiving state fell short of ill-treatment within the terms of article 3 of the Convention.
The Court of Appeal dismissed two appeals against decisions to refuse the claimants' asylum claims.
In the two appeals before the court, the following issues arose: whether the Human Rights Act 1998, together with article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, required the United Kingdom to give a refuge to immigrants who were prevented from freely practising, and in particular from preaching or teaching, their religion in their own countries; and the extent to which the Human Rights Act inhibited the United Kingdom from expelling asylum seekers who fell short of demonstrating a well-founded fear of persecution.
Article 9 of the Convention provided:
1) Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or in private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.
2) Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
Nicholas Blake QC and Martin Soorjoo (Thompson & Co) for Ullah; Monica Carss-Frisk QC and Lisa Giovannetti (Treasury Solicitor) for the Special Adjudicator; Manjit S. …