A. Historic injustice
(1) For the future, the expression ‘historic injustice’, as used in the immigration context, should be reserved for cases such as those concerning certain British Overseas citizens or families of Gurkha ex-servicemen, which involve a belated recognition by the United Kingdom government that a particular class of persons was wrongly treated, in immigration terms, in the past; and that this injustice should be recognised in dealing with applications made now (eg Patel and Others v Entry Clearance Officer (Mumbai)  EWCA Civ 17; AP (India) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 89).
(2) The fact that the injustice exists will be uncontroversial. It will be generally recognised. It will apply to a particular class of persons. Unlike cases of what might be described as ‘historical injustice’, the operation of historic injustice will not depend on the particular interaction between the individual member of the class and the Secretary of State. The effects of historic injustice on the immigration position of the individual are likely to be profound, even determinative of success, provided that there is nothing materially adverse in their immigration history.
B. Historical injustice
(3) Cases that may be described as involving ‘historical injustice’ are where the individual has suffered as a result of the wrongful operation (or non-operation) by the Secretary of State of her immigration functions. Examples are where the Secretary of State has failed to give an individual the benefit of a relevant immigration policy (eg AA (Afghanistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 12); where delay in reaching decisions is the result of a dysfunctional system (eg EB (Kosovo) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  UKHL 41); or where the Secretary of State forms a view about an individual’s activities or behaviour, which leads to an adverse immigration decision; but where her view turns out to be mistaken (eg Ahsan v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 2009). Each of these failings may have an effect on an individual’s Article 8 ECHR case; but the ways in which this may happen differ from the true ‘historic injustice’ category.
C. Part 5A of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 and the weight to be given to the maintenance of effective immigration controls
(4) In all cases where, for whatever reason, the public interest in the maintenance of effective immigration controls falls to be given less than its ordinary weight, the usual course should be for the judge so to find in terms, when addressing section 117B(1) of the 2002 Act. The same result may be achieved, at least in some situations, by qualifying the consideration in section 117B(4) that little weight should be given to a private life formed when the person concerned is in the United Kingdom unlawfully. Judicial fact-finders should, however, avoid any recourse to double-counting, whereby not only is the weight to be given to effective immigration controls diminished but also, for the same reason, a private life is given more weight than would otherwise be possible by the undiluted application of section 117B(4).
(5) The weight to be given to the public interest in the maintenance of effective immigration controls is unlikely to be reduced because of disappointments or inadequacies encountered by individuals from teaching institutions or employers.
 UKUT 351 (IAC)
England and Wales
Updated: 01 May 2021; Ref: scu.660038