UK Supreme Court Rules Schoolgirl Who Joined Daesh Should Not Be Allowed to Return to Britain


Shamima Begum was 15 when she travelled to Syria with two other teenage friends, and married a member of Daesh*. In 2019 the Home Secretary stripped her of her citizenship, a decision her lawyers have sought to challenge.

The UK Supreme Court (UKSC) has ruled that the schoolgirl who joined Daesh* in Syria should not be allowed to return to Britain.

The unanimous ruling reversed findings by the Court of Appeal that Shamima Begum was denied the right of an effective appeal against the Home Secretary’s decision to strip her of her citizenship, by refusing her entry into the country to challenge that decision.

Right to a fair hearing ‘does not trump all other considerations’

“[T]he Court of Appeal misunderstood the scope of an appeal against a decision of the Secretary of State to refuse a person leave to enter the UK,” the UKSC said, adding that: “Ms Begum’s appeal against the [decision to refuse her entry to the UK] could only be brought on the grounds that the decision was unlawful under section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998. As Ms Begum did not advance that argument before the Court of Appeal, [her appeal] should have been dismissed.”

Significantly, the UK’s highest court also found that the Court of Appeal, “mistakenly believed that, when an individual’s right to have a fair hearing of an appeal came into conflict with the requirements of national security, her right to a fair hearing must prevail.” Instead, the…

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