Alan Payne QC & Rob Harland appear for the Government in Supreme Court case reviewing substantive/procedural fairness principles

23 October 2020

Alan Payne QC and Rob Harland appeared in the Supreme Court for the Secretary of State in a significant case reviewing the principals of procedural & substantive fairness (Pathan v Secretary of State for the Home Department UKSC 2018/0194). This test case involved a foreign national employee whose sponsoring employer had its licence to sponsor foreign national workers revoked.  At the time of the revocation the employee was applying for further leave to remain to continue working for his employer. The Secretary of State did not inform him of the revocation and, instead, refused his application. This meant that the employee and his family were required to leave the UK.  The employee said that it was unfair for him not to have been given time to find another employer who could sponsor him.  In a judgment running to 124 pages the Court was largely split, with three dissenting opinions out of five. Although the majority accepted that the Secretary of State’s delay in informing the appellant of the revocation was procedurally unfair, on the central issue the Court accepted the Secretary of State’s argument that the decision was not substantively unfair and there was no obligation to give applicants in this situation an opportunity to make a further application.

Judgment can be found here.


Rob Harland

Call 2006


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