Supreme Court Appeal Does Not Halt UK Deportation, Rules High Court

In Geddes v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2024] EWHC 66 (Admin), the High Court determined that a pending application to the Supreme Court does not obstruct deportation, as the appeal process is not considered “finally determined”.

Case Background

In 2007, at age 17, the applicant was convicted of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and sentenced to six years in a young offenders institution. In 2014, the Home Secretary decided his deportation was conducive to the public good under section 3(5)(a) of the Immigration Act 1971. The applicant appealed this decision under section 82 (in its earlier version) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002.

The First-tier Tribunal rejected his appeal on 19 November 2014, and the Upper Tribunal upheld this decision on 26 March 2015. The Court of Appeal dismissed the case on 20 October 2016. Following an extension to secure legal aid, an appeal was lodged with the Supreme Court.

A deportation order was issued on 19 September 2017, and the claimant was detained on 30 October 2017 in preparation for deportation. On 13 November 2017, interim relief was granted, preventing his removal until the Supreme Court decided on his permission to appeal application.

Judicial Review

The judicial review contested the deportation order, arguing it was unlawful due to the pending Supreme Court application. An unlawful detention claim hinged on the success of this argument.

The dispute focused on the interpretation of when an appeal is “finally determined” under section 104 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. Before April 2005, an appeal was not considered finally determined if any further appeal was pending or could be pursued.

The claimant asserted that “finally determined” should encompass appeals to the Supreme Court, but the court rejected this interpretation.


The court outlined two options for individuals in similar situations:

The Home Secretary could choose not to deport a person with a pending Supreme Court application. However, this is a risky reliance.

A more reliable approach is to apply for a stay on deportation pending the appeal outcome, though there is no guarantee such a stay will be granted.

This ruling clarifies that pending Supreme Court applications do not constitute a barrier to deportation under current UK immigration law.

All of our articles are intended for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information provided.

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