European Roma Rights Centre and others v Immigration Officer at Prague Airport and Another: CA 20 May 2003

A scheme had been introduced to arrange pre-entry clearance for visitors to the United Kingdom by posting of immigration officers in the Czech Republic. The claimants argued that the system was discriminatory, because Roma visitors were now subjected to a much more rigorous examination than others, and also that the arrangement put the respondent in breach of its international obligations by preventing the flight of refugees in danger.
Held: The right to claim asylum did not include a right of entry. The vast majority of asylum applicants from the Czech Republic are Roma. The policy was not to refuse Roma as Roma; but to refuse entry to those who could not satisfy the immigration officer to the requisite standard that they would not claim asylum on arrival. The policy was not discriminatory, and did not operate unlawfully. (Mantell dissenting)


Simon Brown, Mantell, Laws LJJ


[2004] QB 811, [2003] EWCA Civ 666, Times 22-May-2003, Gazette 17-Jul-2003, [2004] 2 WLR 147, [2003] IRLR 577, [2003] 15 BHRC 51, [2003] INLR 374, [2003] 4 All ER 247, [2003] ACD 64




Geneva Convention (1951) and Protocol (1967) relating to the Status of Refugees


England and Wales


CitedRegina v Secretary of State for Home Department ex parte Hoverspeed Admn 2-Feb-1999
Immigration control laws required pre-entry clearance of visitors. To do so it imposed carriers’ liability without which, the requirement for prior entry clearance would have little effect: ‘What, then, is it which is said to justify placing these . .
CitedGolder v The United Kingdom ECHR 21-Feb-1975
G was a prisoner who was refused permission by the Home Secretary to consult a solicitor with a view to bringing libel proceedings against a prison officer. The court construed article 6 of ECHR, which provides that ‘in the determination of his . .
CitedT v Home Secretary HL 1996
Although it is easy to assume that the appellant invokes a ‘right of asylum’, no such right exists. Neither under international nor English municipal law does a fugitive have any direct right to insist on being received by a country of refuge. . .
CitedNguyen Tuan Cuong and others v The Director of Immigration and others (Hong Kong) PC 21-Nov-1996
(Dissenting judgment) A person who satisfies [the Convention] definition is said to have refugee status. The Convention imposes obligations towards persons having that status. For immigration, Article 31 forbids the imposition of penalties on . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for Home Department ex parte Hoverspeed Admn 2-Feb-1999
Immigration control laws required pre-entry clearance of visitors. To do so it imposed carriers’ liability without which, the requirement for prior entry clearance would have little effect: ‘What, then, is it which is said to justify placing these . .
CitedRegina v Uxbridge Magistrates and Another ex parte Adimi; R v CPS ex parte Sorani; R v SSHD and Another ex parte Kaziu Admn 29-Jul-1999
The three asylum seeker appellants arrived in the United Kingdom at different times in possession of false passports. They were prosecuted for possession or use of false documents contrary to section 5, and for obtaining air services by deception . .
CitedSecretary of State for the Home Department v International Transport Roth Gmbh and others CA 22-Feb-2002
The Appellant had introduced a system of fining lorry drivers returning to the UK with illegal immigrants hiding away in their trucks. The rules had been found to be in breach of European law and an interference with their human rights. The . .
CitedChundawadra v Immigration Appeal Tribunal CA 1988
Ratification of the European Convention on Human Rights did not create a justiciable legitimate expectation that the Convention’s provisions would be complied with. Slade LJ said there was no evidence of ‘any relevant express promise or regular . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for Home Department ex parte Behluli CA 7-May-1998
The appellant argued that he had a legitimate expectation, based on letters to his solicitor from the Secretary of State, that his application for asylum would be considered pursuant to the Dublin Convention, an unincorporated international treaty. . .
CitedStrathclyde Regional Council v Zafar; Zafar v Glasgow City Council HL 16-Oct-1997
The absence of any other explanation for the unfair dismissal of a black worker, does not of itself and inescapably lead to finding of race bias, or racial discrimination. He had been dismissed following complaints of sexual harassment, later found . .
CitedKing v Great Britain China Centre CA 1991
The court considered the nature of evidence which will be available to tribunals considering a race discrimination claim.
Held: A complainant must prove his or her case on the balance of probabilities, but it is unusual to find direct evidence . .
CitedHurley v Mustoe EAT 1981
The EAT was concerned with an employer’s refusal to employ women with small children because he regarded them as unreliable employees and needed to have reliable staff for his small business. ‘[W]e are not deciding whether or not women with children . .
CitedRegina v Commission for Racial Equality (ex parte Westminster City Council) QBD 1984
The council had dismissed a black road sweeper to whose appointment the trade union objected on racial grounds.
Held: The council’s motive for doing so, to avert industrial action, could not avail them. Woolf J said: ‘In this case although the . .
CitedWest Midlands Passenger Transport Executive v Singh CA 1988
The court identified ‘a conscious or unconscious racial attitude which involves stereotyped assumptions’ underlying discrimination. Statistical evidence may be used to establish a discernible pattern in the treatment of a particular group such as to . .
CitedBain v Bowles CA 1991
The Lady magazine had no defence to a complaint by a man whose advertisement for a housekeeper in Tuscany they had refused to accept. Following past complaints of sexual harassment, the magazine’s policy was to accept such advertisements only where . .
CitedJames v Eastleigh Borough Council HL 14-Jun-1990
Result Decides Dscrimination not Motive
The Council had allowed free entry to its swimming pools to those of pensionable age (ie women of 60 and men of 65). A 61 year old man successfully complained of sexual discrimination.
Held: The 1975 Act directly discriminated between men and . .
CitedSwiggs and others v Nagarajan HL 15-Jul-1999
Bias may not be intentional
The applicant claimed that he had been denied appointment to a job with London Regional Transport because he had brought a number of previous race discrimination claims against it or associated companies. An industrial tribunal had upheld his claim . .
CitedJH Rayner (Mincing Lane) Ltd v Department of Trade and Industry HL 1989
An undisclosed principal will not be permitted to claim to be party to a contract if this is contrary to the terms of the contract itself. Thus the provision in the standard form B contract of the London Metal Exchange ‘this contract is made between . .
CitedRegina v Home Secretary, ex parte Sivakumaran HL 16-Dec-1987
The House of Lords were concerned with the correct test to be applied in determining whether asylum seekers are entitled to the status of refugee. That in turn gave rise to an issue, turning upon the proper interpretation of Article 1.A(2) of the . .
Appeal fromEuropean Roma Rights Centre and 6 others v Tthe Immigration Officer at Prague Airport, The Secretary of State for the Home Department Admn 8-Oct-2002
There is an ‘administrative, financial and indeed social burden borne as a result of failed asylum seekers’. . .

Cited by:

Appeal FromRegina v Immigration Officer at Prague Airport and another, ex parte European Roma Rights Centre and others HL 9-Dec-2004
Extension oh Human Rights Beyond Borders
The appellants complained that the system set up by the respondent where Home Office officers were placed in Prague airport to pre-vet applicants for asylum from Romania were dsicriminatory in that substantially more gypsies were refused entry than . .
CitedGillan, Regina (on the Application of) v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis and Another HL 8-Mar-2006
The defendants said that the stop and search powers granted under the 2000 Act were too wide, and infringed their human rights. Each had been stopped when innocently attending demonstrations in London, and had been effectively detained for about . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Immigration, Human Rights

Updated: 07 June 2022; Ref: scu.182341