Regina v Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs ex parte Ferhut Butt: Admn 1 Jul 1999

Lightman J said: ‘The general rule is well established that the courts should not interfere in the conduct of foreign relations by the Executive, most particularly where such interference is likely to have foreign policy repercussions . . This extends to decisions whether or not to seek to persuade a foreign government of any international obligation (e.g. to respect human rights) which it has assumed. What if any approach should be made to the Yemeni authorities in regard to the conduct of the trial of these terrorist charges must be a matter for delicate diplomacy and the considered and informed judgment of the FCO. In such matters the courts have no supervisory role.’


Lightman J


[1999] Imm AR 341, [1999] EWHC Admin 624, (1999) 116 ILR 607




England and Wales


CitedRegina v Foreign Secretary ex parte Everett CA 20-Oct-1988
A decision taken under the royal prerogative whether or not to issue a passport was subject to judicial review, although relief was refused on the facts of the particular case.
Taylor LJ summarised the effect of the GCHQ case as making clear . .

Cited by:

Appeal fromRegina v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs ex parte Ferhut Butt CA 9-Jul-1999
The applicant had sought an order that the FCO should make representations to the President of the Yemen relating to a criminal trial in progress in the Yemen.
Held: Henry LJ recorded the concession by the respondent Secretary of State that he . .
CitedSecretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs v Rahmatullah SC 31-Oct-2012
The claimant complained that the UK Armed forces had taken part in his unlawful rendition from Iraq by the US government. He had been detaiined in Iraq and transferred to US Forces. The government became aware that he was to be removed to . .
CitedLord Carlile of Berriew QC, and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 12-Nov-2014
The claimant had supported the grant of a visa to a woman in order to speak to members of Parliament who was de facto leader of an Iranian organsation which had in the past supported terrorism and had been proscribed in the UK, but that proscription . .
CitedSandiford, Regina (on The Application of) v The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs SC 16-Jul-2014
The appellant a British Citizen awaited execution in Singapore after conviction on a drugs charge. The only way she might get legal help for a further appeal would be if she was given legal aid by the respondent. She sought assistance both on Human . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 25 July 2022; Ref: scu.139888