Sanade and Others (British Children – Zambrano – Dereci): UTIAC 7 Feb 2012

Section 32 of the UK Borders Act 2007 provides that where a person is sentenced to imprisonment of 12 months or more, he must be deported unless he falls within one of the statutory exceptions.
Article 8 provides one such exception but there is no justification for saying that it will only be in exceptional circumstances that removal will violate the family’s protected Article 8 rights or that the claim itself must be exceptional: the issue is whether the State can justify the interference as necessary, that is say a proportionate and fair balance in pursuit of a legitimate aim.
The more serious the offending, the stronger is the case for deportation, but Parliament has not stated that every offence serious enough to merit a penalty of twelve months or more imprisonment makes interference with human rights proportionate.
ZH (Tanzania) v SSHD [2011] UKSC 4 considered in what circumstances it was permissible to remove or deport a non-citizen parent where the effect would be that a child who is a citizen of the United Kingdom would also have to leave. The fact the children are British was a strong pointer to the fact that their future lies in the United Kingdom.
Case C-34/09 Ruiz Zambrano , BAILII: [2011] EUECJ C-34/09, now makes it clear that where the child or indeed the remaining spouse is a British citizen and therefore a citizen of the European Union, as a matter of EU law it is not possible to require the family as a unit to relocate outside of the European Union or for the Secretary of State to submit that it would be reasonable for them to do so.
Where in the context of Article 8 one parent (‘the remaining parent’) of a British citizen child is also a British citizen (or cannot be removed as a family member or in their own right), the removal of the other parent does not mean that either the child or the remaining parent will be required to leave, thereby infringing the Zambrano principle, see C-256/11 Murat Dereci, BAILII: [2011] EUECJ C-256/11. The critical question is whether the child is dependent on the parent being removed for the exercise of his Union right of residence and whether removal of that parent will deprive the child of the effective exercise of residence in the United Kingdom or elsewhere in the Union.
Where the claimant’s conduct is persistent and/or serious the interference with family life may be justified even it involves the separation of the claimant from his family who reasonably wish to continue living in the United Kingdom, Lee v SSHD [2011] EWCA Civ 348.
The principles for evaluating Article 8 claims in criminal deportation cases are to be found in the Strasbourg jurisprudence of Boultif v Switzerland (no.54273/00) [2001] ECHR 479; Uner v Netherlands (no 46410/99) [2006] ECHR 873 and Maslov v Austria (no. 1638/03) [2008] ECHR 546.
In cases of the importation and supply of significant quantities of Class A drugs, Strasbourg has recognised why states show great severity to such foreign offenders but there is no special principle in cases of importation or supply of drugs. Deportation must always be proportionate.


Blake P


[2011] UKUT 48 (IAC)




UK Borders Act 2007 32, European Convention on Human Rights 8


England and Wales


CitedRuiz Zambrano (European Citizenship) ECJ 30-Sep-2010
ECJ Opinion – Articles 18, 20 and 21 TFEU – Fundamental rights as general principles of European Union law – Article 7 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union – European citizenship – . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Immigration, Human Rights

Updated: 05 October 2022; Ref: scu.451470