Regina v Mohamed: CACD 19 Oct 2010

The court considered the defence available to a refugee under the 1999 Act when charged with the offence of having in his possession or under his control an identity document that either to his knowledge or belief is false, or to his knowledge or belief was improperly obtained or that relates to someone else.
Held: Appeals were allowed or dismissed according to the circumstances. ‘It was only in R. v Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court Ex p. Adimi [2001] QB 667 that the circumstances of prosecuting for documentary offences those who claimed asylum were first considered. Simon Brown LJ considered the broad purpose of art.31 saying: ‘Self evidently it was to provide immunity for genuine refugees whose quest for asylum reasonably involved them in breaching the law. In the course of argument, Newman J suggested the following formulation: where the illegal entry or use of false documents or delay can be attributed to a bona fide desire to seek asylum whether here or elsewhere, that conduct should be covered by article 31.’
The response of the Government to this decision was to move an amendment to the Immigration and Asylum Bill then before Parliament. It was that amendment which became s.31 of the 1999 Act although it is to be noted that the legislation contains two aspects that more narrowly define the position than that advanced by Simon Brown L.J. namely, in subs.(1) the requirement that anyone claiming protection must have applied for asylum as soon as is reasonably practicable, and in subs.(2) that a refugee who has stopped in another country outside the United Kingdom must show that he could not reasonably have been expected to have been given Convention protection in that other country.


Leveson LJ, Owen,Flaux JJ


[2010] EWCA Crim 2400, [2011] 1 Cr App Rep 35




Identity Cards Act 2006 25(1), Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 31(3)(aa)


England and Wales


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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.444847