The court of appeal has ruled that the UK government acted unlawfully when it stripped a British woman of her citizenship without telling her.
By a two to one majority, the justices upheld a high court ruling that the failure to notify the woman, known as D4, that her citizenship had been removed until the government was contacted by her lawyers nullified the decision.
The home secretary had argued that notification had been given to D4, who has been detained in the Roj camp in Syria since January 2019, by simply placing a note on her Home Office file, relying on regulations introduced without parliamentary approval.
The court of appeal ruling, published on Wednesday, came as the government attempts, through clause 9 of the nationality and borders bill, to remove the requirement to give notice in a wide range of circumstances, including retrospectively. The clause has prompted heavy criticism and protests outside parliament.
Maya Foa, the director of Reprieve, said: “Today’s decision confirms that stripping a British national of their citizenship in secret is illegal. But the government is already cynically attempting to circumvent the courts by using clause 9 of the nationality and borders bill to render this ruling moot, making a mockery of the rule of law. Ministers should change course and recognise that depriving people of their citizenship without even telling them is an affront to British principles of justice and fairness.” Read the full story in The Guardian.