Secretary of State for the Home Department v Hicks: CA 12 Apr 2006

The claimant was held as a suspected terrorist by the US government in Guantanamo Bay. He had Australian citizenship but qualified also for British citizenship. He had sought that citizenship and protection. The secretary of state appealed an order recognising his citizenship as of right, relying upon a provision allowing him to deprive someone of their citizenship where he had done something seriously prejudicial to the country’s vital interests. However he could not rely upon anything doe by the applicant before the new provision.
Held: Conduct of an Australian in Afghanistan in 2000 and 2001 was not capable capable of constituting disloyalty or disaffection towards the United Kingdom, a state of which he was not a citizen, to which he owed no duty and upon which he made no claims. Where a person has the right to citizenship and takes, or is prepared to take, the appropriate oath and give the appropriate pledge, basic fairness requires an assessment of his state of mind when he has become a citizen before he can be deprived of the citizenship granted. The appeal ws dismissed.


Pill LJ, Rix LJ, Hooper LJ


[2006] EWCA Civ 400




British Nationality Act 1981, British Nationality Act 1948


England and Wales


Appeal fromHicks, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department Admn 13-Dec-2005
The claimant, an Australian, presently held by the US as a suspected terrorist in Guantanamo Bay sought to be registered as a British Citizen, saying he was entitled to registration as of right.
Held: The past behaviour of an applicant was not . .
CitedJoyce v Director of Public Prosecutions HL 1948
The defendant was an American citizen but held a British passport. After the outbreak of war between Great Britain and Germany in 1939, he delivered from German territory broadcast talks in English hostile to Great Britain.
Held: His . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for Home Department ex parte Naheed Ejaz QBD 23-Jul-1993
Using somebody else’s British passport, the applicant’s husband had masqueraded as a British citizen. The applicant had applied under section 6(2) of the 1981 Act for naturalisation as a British citizen on the ground that she was married to a . .
CitedRegina v Arrowsmith 1975
The defendant was charged with endeavouring to seduce a member of Her Majesty’s forces from his duty or allegiance to Her Majesty.
Held: A soldier owes allegiance to the Crown, whether he has taken the oath of allegiance or not. . .
CitedGeok v Minister of the Interior PC 1964
A provision of the Constitution of Malaysia allowed the Federal Government to deprive a person of his citizenship ‘if satisfied that he has shown himself by act or speech to be disloyal or disaffected towards the Federation’. The allegations against . .
CitedBurns v Ransley 1949
(High Court of Australia) An Australian citizen, was convicted of uttering seditious words, contrary to Section 24 of the Crimes Act 1914-1946. Under S24B seditious words were words expressive of a seditious intention, and a seditious intention, by . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 05 July 2022; Ref: scu.240361