Tigere, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills: SC 29 Jul 2015

After increasing university fees, the student loan system was part funded by the government. They introduced limits to the availability of such loans, and a student must have been lawfully ordinarily resident in the UK for three years before the day the academic year begins. The claimant came as a child with her mother some 14 years previously, but did not regularise her immigration status until 2012, and failed to meet the requirement. The Court of Appeal allowed the Secretary of State’s appeal.
Held: The claimant’s appeal succeeded (by a majority) The requirement for Ms Tigere, applying for funding in the form of a student loan for her tertiary education, to be settled in the UK infringed her right under Art 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights not to be discriminated against on the ground of her immigration status. Though respect must be given to a minister’s decision, greater deference was not warranted because the Respondent did not address his mind to the educational rights of students with discretionary or limited leave to remain when making the regulations.
Sumption and Reed LL (Dissenting): ‘it will almost always be possible for the courts to conclude that a more precisely tailored bright line rule might have been devised than the one selected by the body to which the choice has been democratically entrusted and which, unlike the courts, is politically accountable for that choice. . . the courts are not called on to substitute judicial opinions for legislative or executive ones as to the place at which to draw a precise line.’
Sumption and Reed (dissenting) said: ‘In a case where a range of rational and proportionate policy options is open to the decision-maker, the decision which provides the best allocation of scarce resources is a question of social and economic evaluation. These are matters of political and administrative judgment, which the law leaves to those who are answerable to Parliament. They are not questions for a court of law. It is enough to justify the Secretary of State’s choice in this case that discrimination on the basis of residence and settlement are not ‘manifestly without foundation’.’
Lady Hale summarised the four-stage approach: ‘(i) does the measure have an legitimate aim sufficient to justify the limitation of a fundamental right; (ii) is the measure rationally connected to that aim; (iii) could a less intrusive measure have been used; and (iv) bearing in mind the severity of the consequences, the importance of the aim and the extent to which the measure will contribute to that aim, has a fair balance been struck between the rights of the individual and the interests of the community?’


Lady Hale, Deputy President, Lord Kerr, Lord Sumption, Lord Reed, Lord Hughes


[2015] UKSC 57, [2015] 1 WLR 3820, [2015] ELR 455, [2015] WLR(D) 342, UKSC 2014/0255


Bailii, WLRD, Bailii Summary, SC, SC Summary


European Convention on Human Rights 14, Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998 22, Education (Student Support) Regulations 2011 4(2)


England and Wales


CitedKebede and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Newcastle City Council CA 31-Jul-2013
The claimant challenged refusal by the defendant to provide financial support for his studies. . .
At First InstanceTigere, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Student Loans Company Ltd Admn 17-Jul-2014
Challenge to the exclusion of the Claimant from eligibility for a student loan. The claimant said that both the settlement criterion and the lawful ordinary residence criterion constituted unjustified and discriminatory restrictions on her right to . .
Appeal fromTigere, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills CA 31-Jul-2014
Appeal against a decision that the SS’s refusal of a student loan was a breach of the claimant’s human rights.
Held: The Secretary of State’s appeal against the judge’s decision on the settlement criterion was allowed and the appellant’s . .
CitedRegina v Barnet London Borough Council, Ex parte Shah HL 16-Dec-1982
The five applicants had lived in the UK for at least three years while attending school or college. All five were subject to immigration control, four had entered as students with limited leave to remain for the duration of their studies, and the . .
CitedMark v Mark HL 30-Jun-2005
The petitioner sought to divorce her husband. Both were Nigerian nationals, and had married under a valid polygamous marriage in Nigeria. She claimed that the courts had jurisdiction because of her habitual residence here despite the fact that her . .
CitedArogundade, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills CA 16-Jul-2013
. .
CitedRelating to certain aspects of the laws on the use of languages in education in Belgium (Belgian Linguistics) No 2 ECHR 9-Feb-1967
The applicants, parents of more than 800 Francophone children, living in certain (mostly Dutch-speaking) parts of Belgium, complained that their children were denied access to an education in French.
Held: In establishing a system or regime to . .
CitedJames and Others v The United Kingdom ECHR 21-Feb-1986
The claimants challenged the 1967 Act, saying that it deprived them of their property rights when lessees were given the power to purchase the freehold reversion.
Held: Article 1 (P1-1) in substance guarantees the right of property. Allowing a . .
CitedMark v Mark CA 19-Feb-2004
The husband sought to stay divorce proceedings saying that his wife was an illegal overstayer, and could not therefore establish residence either as habitual or as domicile of choice.
Held: Jurisdiction existed. The law since Shah had . .
CitedLeyla Sahin v Turkey ECHR 10-Nov-2005
(Grand Chamber) The claimant, a muslim woman complained that she had not been allowed to attend lectures wearing a headscarf.
Held: Any limitations on the right to an education must not curtail it ‘to such an extent as to impair its very . .
CitedHumphreys v Revenue and Customs SC 16-May-2012
Separated parents shared the care of their child. The father complained that all the Child Tax Credit was given to the mother.
Held: The appeal failed. Although the rule does happen to be indirectly discriminatory against fathers, the . .
CitedKebede and Another v Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills Admn 31-Jul-2013
The claimants challenged refusal of financial support for their studies, being immigrants with discretionary leave to remain.
Held: It was submitted ‘ that the provision of a loan to pay fees is one removed from the imposition of fees itself, . .
CitedGogitidze And Others v Georgia ECHR 12-May-2015
‘a wide margin of appreciation is usually allowed to the State under the Convention when it comes to general measures of political, economic or social strategy, and the Court generally respects the legislature’s policy choice unless it is . .
CitedHirst v United Kingdom ECHR 24-Jul-2001
The applicant asserted that the delays in the reviews, undertaken by the Parole Board, of his continued detention as a discretionary life prisoner, was a breach of his right to a speedy decision. The delays were between 21 and 24 months. Such delays . .
CitedHirst v The United Kingdom (No. 2) ECHR 30-Mar-2004
(Commission) The prisoner alleged that the denial of his right to vote whilst in prison was disproportionate. He was serving a life sentence for manslaughter.
Held: The denial of a right to vote was in infringement of his rights and . .
CitedRegina (Bidar) v Ealing London Borough Council and Another ECJ 15-Mar-2005
Europa (Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union) Citizenship of the Union – Articles 12 EC and 18 EC – Assistance for students in the form of subsidised loans – Provision limiting the grant of . .
CitedCarson, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions; Reynolds v Same HL 26-May-2005
One claimant said that as a foreign resident pensioner, she had been excluded from the annual uprating of state retirement pension, and that this was an infringement of her human rights. Another complained at the lower levels of job-seeker’s . .
CitedSG and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions SC 18-Mar-2015
The court was asked whether it was lawful for the Secretary of State to make subordinate legislation imposing a cap on the amount of welfare benefits which can be received by claimants in non-working households, equivalent to the net median earnings . .
CitedBegum (otherwise SB), Regina (on the Application of) v Denbigh High School HL 22-Mar-2006
The student, a Muslim wished to wear a full Islamic dress, the jilbab, but this was not consistent with the school’s uniform policy. She complained that this interfered with her right to express her religion.
Held: The school’s appeal . .
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 . .
CitedBelfast City Council v Miss Behavin’ Ltd HL 25-Apr-2007
Belfast had failed to license sex shops. The company sought review of the decision not to grant a licence.
Held: The council’s appeal succeeded. The refusal was not a denial of the company’s human rights: ‘If article 10 and article 1 of . .
CitedT and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department and Another SC 18-Jun-2014
T and JB, asserted that the reference in certificates issued by the state to cautions given to them violated their right to respect for their private life under article 8 of the Convention. T further claims that the obligation cast upon him to . .
CitedIn re P and Others, (Adoption: Unmarried couple) (Northern Ireland); In re G HL 18-Jun-2008
The applicants complained that as an unmarried couple they had been excluded from consideration as adopters.
Held: Northern Ireland legislation had not moved in the same way as it had for other jurisdictions within the UK. The greater . .
CitedCorner House Research and Others, Regina (on the Application of) v The Serious Fraud Office HL 30-Jul-2008
SFO Director’s decisions reviewable
The director succeeded on his appeal against an order declaring unlawful his decision to discontinue investigations into allegations of bribery. The Attorney-General had supervisory duties as to the exercise of the duties by the Director. It had . .
CitedBank Mellat v Her Majesty’s Treasury (No 2) SC 19-Jun-2013
The bank challenged measures taken by HM Treasury to restrict access to the United Kingdom’s financial markets by a major Iranian commercial bank, Bank Mellat, on the account of its alleged connection with Iran’s nuclear weapons and ballistic . .
CitedRJM, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions HL 22-Oct-2008
The 1987 Regulations provided additional benefits for disabled persons, but excluded from benefit those who had nowhere to sleep. The claimant said this was irrational. He had been receiving the disability premium to his benefits, but this was . .
CitedAnimal Defenders International v The United Kingdom ECHR 22-Apr-2013
ECHR (Grand Chamber) Article 10-1
Freedom of expression
Refusal of permission for non-governmental organisation to place television advert owing to statutory prohibition of political advertising: no . .
CitedForster v Hoofddirectie van de Informatie Beheer Groep ECJ 18-Nov-2008
Grand Chamber – Freedom of movement for persons – Student who is a national of one Member State and goes to another Member State to follow a training course – Student maintenance grant Citizenship of the Union Article 12 EC Legal certainty
The . .
CitedCatan And Others v Moldova And Russia ECHR 19-Oct-2012
Grand Chamber . .
CitedCarson and Others v The United Kingdom ECHR 16-Mar-2010
(Grand Chamber) The court ruled admissible claims against the United Kingdom by 13 persons entitled to British State pensions for violation of article 14 of the Convention in combination with article 1 of the First Protocol. All the claimants had . .
CitedHumphreys v Revenue and Customs SC 16-May-2012
Separated parents shared the care of their child. The father complained that all the Child Tax Credit was given to the mother.
Held: The appeal failed. Although the rule does happen to be indirectly discriminatory against fathers, the . .
CitedPonomaryov and Others v Bulgaria ECHR 21-Jun-2011
Two boys were born to Russian parents in what became Kazakhstan. After their parents’ divorce, their mother married a Bulgarian and they all came to live in Bulgaria. The mother was granted a permanent residence permit and the boys were entitled to . .
CitedQuila and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 12-Oct-2011
Parties challenged the rule allowing the respondent to deny the right to enter or remain here to non EU citizens marrying a person settled and present here where either party was under the age of 21. The aim of the rule was to deter forced . .
CitedHusenatu Bah v The United Kingdom ECHR 27-Sep-2011
. .
CitedNicklinson and Another, Regina (on The Application of) SC 25-Jun-2014
Criminality of Assisting Suicide not Infringing
The court was asked: ‘whether the present state of the law of England and Wales relating to assisting suicide infringes the European Convention on Human Rights, and whether the code published by the Director of Public Prosecutions relating to . .

Cited by:

CitedNyoni, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and Others Admn 4-Dec-2015
. .
CitedSteinfeld and Keidan, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for International Development (In Substitution for The Home Secretary and The Education Secretary) SC 27-Jun-2018
The applicants, an heterosexual couple wished to enter into a civil partnership under the 2004 Act, rather than a marriage. They complained that had they been a same sex couple they would have had that choice under the 2013 Act.
Held: The . .
CitedBrewster, Re Application for Judicial Review (Northern Ireland) SC 8-Feb-2017
Survivor of unmarried partner entitled to pension
The claimant appealed against the rejection of her claim to the survivor’s pension after the death of her longstanding partner, even though they had not been married. The rules said that she had to have been nominated by her partner, but he had not . .
CitedAB v Her Majesty’s Advocate SC 5-Apr-2017
This appeal is concerned with a challenge to the legality of legislation of the Scottish Parliament which deprives a person, A, who is accused of sexual activity with an under-aged person, B, of the defence that he or she reasonably believed that B . .
CitedA and B, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Health SC 14-Jun-2017
The court was asked: ‘Was it unlawful for the Secretary of State for Health, the respondent, who had power to make provisions for the functioning of the National Health Service in England, to have failed to make a provision which would have enabled . .
CitedStott, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice SC 28-Nov-2018
Extended Determinate Sentence created Other Status
The prisoner was subject to an extended determinate sentence (21 years plus 4) for 10 offences of rape. He complained that as such he would only be eligible for parole after serving two thirds of his sentence rather than one third, and said that . .
CitedGallagher for Judicial Review (NI) SC 30-Jan-2019
Each appellant complained of the disclosure by the respondent of very old and minor offences to potential employers, destroying prospects of finding work. Two statutory schemes were challenged, raising two separate questions, namely whether any . .
CitedDA and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions SC 15-May-2019
Several lone parents challenged the benefits cap, saying that it was discriminatory.
Held: (Hale, Kerr LL dissenting) The parents’ appeals failed. The legislation had a clear impact on lone parents and their children. The intention was to . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Immigration, Education, Benefits, Human Rights

Updated: 07 February 2022; Ref: scu.550796