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Shamima Begum who left Britain to join Islamic State in Syria has failed with her attempt to restore her British Citizenship after the Supreme Court ruled that she had lost her case.
Lord Reed, the President of the Court outlined the Supreme Court had unanimously decided to rule in favour of the Home Secretary and against Shamima Begum on all counts. The impact for the 21-year-old is that Begum will not be permitted to re-enter the UK to contest her case in person and will not have her citizenship restored while she is being detained in Syria.
The Supreme Court did offer a glimmer of hope to Begum who could have one final opportunity at another appeal against the decision to revoke her citizenship.
Shamima Begum was 15 years of age when she left London with two other school friends to join Isis in Syria around 6 years ago. Her British nationality was subsequently removed in 2019 when a journalist managed to locate Begum in a prison camp.
A two-day hearing back in November heard that Shamima Begum was still considered by MI5 as a national security risk. Lord Pannick QC (representing Begum) said that his client was unable to make representations properly whilst being detained in an al-Roj detention camp. He told the court she would be at risk of physical harm if she spoke by mobile phone to her British lawyers.
Last July, the Court of Appeal ruled that Begum, who is being held by the Syrian Kurds, could return home to challenge the British Government which prompted the Home Office to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court. In a 47-page ruling, the Supreme Court said the Court of Appeal had been wrong to conclude that Shamima Begum should be allowed to enter the UK and fight her case in person by substituting its own reasoning in favour of the Home Office.
This article has been produced for general information purposes and further advice should be sought from a professional advisor. Please contact our Business and Private Immigration team at Cleaver Fulton Rankin for further advice or information.