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United Kingdom Supreme Court
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> United Kingdom Supreme Court >> Munir & Anor, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  UKSC 32 (18 July 2012)
Cite as:  UKSC 32,  4 All ER 1025,  WLR(D) 213,  Imm AR 1038,  INLR 546,  1 WLR 2192
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 UKSC 32
On appeal from:  EWCA Civ 814
R (on the application of Munir and another) (Appellants) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Respondent)
Lord Hope, Deputy President
JUDGMENT GIVEN ON
18 July 2012
Heard on 24, 25 and 26 April 2012
(Instructed by Malik Law Chambers Solicitors)
Jonathan Swift QC
(Instructed by Treasury Solicitors)
|Intervener (Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants)
Richard Drabble QC
(Instructed by Lewis Silkin LLP)
LORD DYSON (WITH WHOM LORD HOPE, LORD WALKER, LORD CLARKE AND LORD WILSON AGREE)
"The Secretary of State shall from time to time (and as soon as may be) lay before Parliament statements of the rules, or of any changes in the rules, laid down by him as to the practice to be followed in the administration of this Act for regulating the entry into and stay in the United Kingdom of persons required by this Act to have leave to enter...."
The statutory framework
"(4) The rules laid down by the Secretary of State as to the practice to be followed in the administration of this Act for regulating the entry into and stay in the United Kingdom of persons not having the rights of abode shall include provision for admitting (in such cases and subject to such restrictions as may be provided by the rules, and subject or not to conditions as to length of stay or otherwise) persons coming for the purpose of taking employment, or for purposes of study, or as visitors, or as dependants of persons lawfully in or entering the United Kingdom."
"(2) The Secretary of State shall from time to time (and as soon as may be) lay before Parliament statements of the rules, or of any changes in the rules, laid down by him as to the practice to be followed in the administration of this Act for regulating the entry into and stay in the United Kingdom of persons required by this Act to have leave to enter, including any rules as to the period for which leave is to be given and the conditions to be attached in different circumstances……
If a statement laid before either House of Parliament under this subsection is disapproved by a resolution of that House passed within the period of forty days beginning with the date of laying…….then the Secretary of State shall as soon as may be make such changes or further changes in the rules as appear to him to be required in the circumstances, so that the statement of those changes be laid before Parliament at latest by the end of the period of forty days beginning with the date of the resolution…"
"(1) The power under this Act to give or refuse leave to enter the United Kingdom shall be exercised by immigration officers, and the power to give leave to remain in the United Kingdom, or to vary any leave under section 3(3)(a) (whether as regards duration or conditions), shall be exercised by the Secretary of State……."
The relevant policies
"The [seven year child] concession set out the criteria to be applied when considering whether enforcement action should proceed or be initiated against parents of a child who was born here and has lived continuously to the age of seven or over or where, having come to the UK at an early age, they have accumulated seven years or more continuous residence. The original purpose and need for the concession has been overtaken by the Human Rights Act and changes to immigration rules. The fact that a child has spent a significant period of their life in the United Kingdom will continue to be an important relevant factor to be taken into account by case workers when evaluating whether removal of their parents is appropriate. Any decision to remove a family from the UK will continue to be made in accordance with our obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the Immigration Rules."
The Court of Appeal
"38. In my judgment, Mr Malik's submission that the withdrawal of DP5/96 amounted to a change in the immigration Rules proves too much. If the withdrawal of DP5/96 was such a change, it necessarily follows that DP5/96 itself should have been laid before Parliament in accordance with section 3(2). It was not. On this basis, DP5/96 was unlawful, and its withdrawal was lawful since it brought to an end the application of an unlawful policy.
39. It is therefore unnecessary to decide whether or not DP5/96 should have been laid before Parliament pursuant to section 3(2) of the 1971 Act. It is sufficient to say that it seems to me to be well arguable that it was indeed a rule 'laid down by [the Secretary of State] as to the practice to be followed….for regulating the entry into and stay in the United Kingdom of persons required…..to have leave to enter.' A direction that in defined circumstances a discretion conferred on the Secretary of State is normally to be exercised in a specified way may well be such a rule."
Source of the power to lay down immigration rules
I desire to move this Amendment largely to obtain information. Subsection (5) of this clause reads: This Act shall not be taken to supersede or impair any power exercisable by Her Majesty in relation to aliens by virtue of Her prerogative. I want to ask what these powers are. The powers which are in the Bill already are so comprehensive and of such detail that I find it difficult to think that any additional powers are necessary. When immigration is to be regulated by the rules under the Bill, why should it be necessary to have extra powers of this kind, powers of which we have no knowledge? Why should these powers be extended by the Royal prerogative?
I think I can answer the noble Lord quite briefly. The prerogative powers in question have existed for very many years. They include the power in the Crown at times of war to intern, expel or otherwise control enemy aliens at its discretion, which is exercised on the advice of the Home Secretary…….The Government do not think it necessary to surrender these powers, which go back many years. We are talking about residuary prerogative powers for the kind of exceptional circumstances which have arisen in this century only on the occasion
sof the two World wars.
………. in view of the assurances given by the noble Lord, I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment."
"In the exercise of their functions under this Act immigration officers shall act in accordance with such instructions (not inconsistent with the immigration rules) as may be given them by the Secretary of State, and medical inspectors shall act in accordance with such instructions as may be given them by the Secretary of State……"
Odelola v Secretary of State for the Home Department
"The immigration rules are statements of administrative policy: an indication of how at any particular time the Secretary of State will exercise her discretion with regard to the grant of leave to enter or remain. Section 33(5) of the 1971 Act provides that 'This Act shall not be taken to supersede or impair any power exercisable by Her Majesty in relation to aliens by virtue of Her prerogative'. The Secretary of State's immigration rules, as and when promulgated, indicate how it is proposed to exercise the prerogative power of immigration control. "
"…immigration was formerly covered by the royal prerogative and it was a matter which lay entirely within the exercise of that prerogative. Much of the prerogative powers vested in the Crown in this field have now been superseded by a statute but there remains—and this is what the royal prerogative is—a residual power in the Crown, through Her Majesty's Secretary of State for Home Affairs, to exercise such residual power as is necessary for the proper control of immigration.
In my view, the exercise of discretion in relation to leave to enter outside the rules is an exercise of the remaining part of that prerogative power….."