RSL Blog

Serious immigration health cases – Court of Appeal follows ECtHR

The caselaw for removal and serious health cases is considered by many to be very harsh. Both the British courts and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) have decided that in only the very most serious cases does a health condition stop a person being removed from the UK to somewhere where the medical treatment is inadequate; hence the expression “deathbed cases”.

But a while ago the ECtHR slightly modified their position on this. In a case called “Paposhvili” it was held that a person who was not a deathbed case but who nonetheless was likely to experience intense suffering if removed might also qualify under human rights principles to prevent removal.

These issues were recently tested in the English Court of Appeal in a case called “AM (Zimbabwe)”.

According to some distinguished legal authorities the British courts should loyally follow the judgements of the ECtHR but according to others they don’t have to. Which is true? A very good question; however, in this case the Court of Appeal evidently thought that it should, and it approved the principles held in Paposhvili.

So there is at least some good news for those affected by a serious health condition whom the UKVI want to remove from the UK.

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