Verdict opens up possibility for challenges from other couples
22nd December 2010: The government’s immigration policy has sustained yet another blow. Soon after its interim limit failed to find favour with the High Court, two couples have succeeded in appeals against the ban on young spouses entering the UK.
The couples, married abroad, found themselves unable reunite in the UK following the ban on non-European under-21s wanting to live with their British partners.
The law had come into force some two years ago in an attempt to tackle the problem of forced marriages.
Allowing the appeals, Lord Justice Sedley ruled: "I have reached the conclusion that the arbitrary and disruptive impact of the rule on the lives of a large number of innocent young people makes it impossible to justify, at least where one spouse is a UK citizen, notwithstanding its proper objective."
The Judge ruled the ban could not lawfully be applied to Diego and Amber Aguilar or Shakira Bibi and Suhyal Mohammed "or others like them".
It was not for the court of appeal to rewrite the rule. That was for home secretary, Theresa May, to do in the light of the court’s reasoning, unless she decides to abandon it altogether, the Judge added.
While a Home Office spokeswoman said it would go into an appeal, the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) welcomed the verdict and said it would open up the possibility for challenges from other couples.