Second Court of Appeal victory in immigration exemption challenge

11 Dec 2023

The Court of Appeal has handed down judgment in R (the3million and Open Rights Group) v Secretary of State for the Home Department and Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology [2023] EWCA Civ 1474. It dismissed the Defendants’ appeal against the judgment of Saini J in [2023] EWHC 713 (Admin), ruling that the Government’s second attempt to produce an immigration exemption from certain rights of data subjects conferred by the United Kingdom General Data Protection Regulation was unlawful.

The Court of Appeal had previously held that the first attempt to introduce an Immigration Exemption was unlawful ([2021] EWCA Civ 800), but gave the Government time to remedy the defects by way of secondary legislation. The statutory instrument seeking to do so was again subject to challenge.

In the present proceedings, the Court of Appeal concluded that the revised Immigration Exemption is still incompatible with Article 23 of the UK GDPR and therefore unlawful.

The judgment is available here.

Nikolaus Grubeck, instructed by Leigh Day Solicitors, acted for the successful Claimants / Respondents.

Julianne Kerr Morrison also acted in the successful challenge to the earlier version of immigration exemption.