Z and T v United Kingdom: ECHR 28 Feb 2006

The applicants were Christian Pakistanis. Their asylum claims having failed, they feared that if returned to Pakistan, they would be persecuted, and asked for their article 9 rights, saying that the flagrant denial test should not be applied, as this would fail to respect the primacy of the applicants’ religious rights.
Held: The argument was rejected. Even assuming that article 9 was capable of being engaged in the case of the expulsion of an individual by a Contracting State, the applicants had not shown that they were personally at risk or were members of such a vulnerable or threatened group, or in such a precarious position as Christians, as might disclose a flagrant violation of article 9 of the Convention. However, only very limited assistance was to be found in article 9: ‘Otherwise it would be imposing an obligation on Contracting States effectively to act as indirect guarantors of freedom of worship for the rest of the world. If, for example, a country outside the umbrella of the Convention were to ban a religion but not impose any measure of persecution, prosecution, deprivation of liberty or ill-treatment, the court doubts that the Convention could be interpreted as requiring a Contracting State to provide the adherents of that banned sect with the possibility of pursuing that religion freely and openly on their own territories. While the court would not rule out the possibility that the responsibility of the returning state might in exceptional circumstances be engaged under article 9 of the Convention where the person concerned ran a real risk of flagrant violation of that article in the receiving state, the court shares the view of the House of Lords in the Ullah case that it would be difficult to visualise a case in which a sufficiently flagrant violation of article 9 would not also involve treatment in violation of article 3 of the Convention.’
Unreported, 28 February 2006, 27034/05, [2006] ECHR 1177
Bailii
European Convention on Human Rights 9
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedEM (Lebanon) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 22-Oct-2008
The claimant challenged the respondent’s decision to order the return of herself and her son to Lebanon.
Held: The test for whether a claimant’s rights would be infringed to such an extent as to prevent their return home was a strict one, but . .

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Updated: 20 May 2021; Ref: scu.277276