Bangladeshi-origin Shamima Begum, now 20, was one of three schoolgirls who fled London to combine ISIS in Syria in 2015.
Today the UK Court of Appeal ruled that the case has to go-ahead to the Supreme Court before she is allowed back into the country because the case raised a point of law of public importance that only the maximum court could resolve.
Sir James Eadie, representing the Home Office, told the court there was a “large issue at stake” in the situation, to decide what should happen when someone cannot have a neutral appeal over being stripped of their citizenship as a “consequence of moving abroad and aligning with terrorist groups”.
He explained it was “a matter of actual pressing public significance” which was “possibly the fundamental democratic dilemma of our times”.
Lady Justice King, the head of the panel of 3 judges in the UK Court of Appeal, which includes Indian-origin Lord Justice Rabinder Singh, let the consent to appeal and also said that they are separately referring’The Sun’ newspaper to the Attorney General due to a potential contempt of court in publishing a story about the previous High Court judgment in the case earlier this month, allowing Begum re-entry for her legal fight in the united kingdom, before it was announced in court.
The judges also allowed Begum’s lawyer’s consent to challenge a decision that the absence of a reasonable and effective appeal within the citizenship decision did not necessarily mean it needs to be revived, subject to the Supreme Court accepting that part of this circumstance.
Begum was one of those three schoolgirls who fled London to join ISIS in Syria in 2015. The Court of Appeal judges ruled that she has to be permitted to re-enter and fight her situation.
“Fairness and justice must, on the details of the case, reevaluate the national security concerns, so that the leave to enter appeals should be permitted,” they earlier said.
The judges also stated that the national security concerns about her “may be addressed and handled if she returns to the United Kingdom”.
The UK Home Office had previously said the decision was “very disappointing” and that it might make an application for permission to appeal.
The UK Court of Appeal said she was denied a reasonable hearing because she could not make her situation from the camp.
Javid stripped her of citizenship shortly after on the grounds that she could assert Bangladeshi nationality through her own parents.
His successor as the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, also backed that decision and ruled out the prospect of her return to the UK.
“We can’t have individuals who would do us harm permitted to enter our country and that includes this girl,” said Patel, in reference to Begum, who had pleaded with the authorities to allow her to return to her family in the UK.
Under UK law, a person can lawfully possess their citizenship revoked but they cannot be made stateless. The UK government asserts that Begum has access to Bangladeshi double citizenship through her parents, even though the Bangladesh government has since denied any such rights.
Begum left the UK in February 2015 and dwelt under ISIS rule for more than three years.