Court of Appeal restores decision of the First-tier Tribunal in a deportation case involving an EU national

The Court of Appeal in Terzaghi v SSHD restored the decision of the First-Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) who had allowed an Italian national’s appeal against an order to deport him from the UK. The appeal concerned the protection from deportation regime for EU nationals in Directive 2004/38/EC (the so-called Citizens Directive).

Mr Terzaghi had come to the UK at the age of 9 and had lived here for more than 10 years prior to the deportation decision. His appeal against that decision involved the question of whether he was entitled to the highest level of protection (“enhanced protection”) against deportation. The Court of Appeal considered whether the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) had properly concluded that his integrative links with the UK had not been broken despite periods of imprisonment. The FTT judge had found that he continued to be integrated because he had come to the UK as a child, been educated here, spoke fluent English, had gained qualifications after leaving school and had strong family links in the UK.

The Court of Appeal rejected the Secretary of State’s argument that it had no jurisdiction to consider whether the Upper Tribunal had wrongly set aside the FTT’s determination in its ‘error of law’ determination (as opposed to a second substantive ‘continuation’ determination). The Court found that, once the Upper Tribunal conclusively disposes of an appeal, all aspects of its decision can be challenged on appeal, including errors in purporting to identify an error of law in the FTT’s decision and procedural failures such as a failure to allow a party to address relevant points.

Looking at the substance of the challenge, the Court found that the FTT decision disclosed no error of law and the FTT Judge had properly analysed the principles relevant to integration in EU law deportation cases. The Court found that it was not sufficient for the Upper Tribunal to disagree with the FTT Judge’s assessment of the evidence without identifying an error in the FTTJ’s approach. It set aside the decision of the Upper Tribunal and restored the decision of the FTT.

Mr Terzaghi was represented in the Court of Appeal by Agata Patyna, whose submissions were described by the Court as “excellent and succinct”. Antonia Benfield represented Mr Terzaghi in the successful appeal in the First-tier Tribunal.

The full judgment is available here.