Supreme Court dismisses Parliamentarians’ foreign policy challenge

04 Dec 2014

R (on the application of Lord Carlile of Berriew QC and others) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] UKSC 60

A cross-party group of MPs and peers together with Maryam Rajavi, a dissident Iranian politician resident in Paris, challenged a decision by the Secretary of State to maintain Mrs Rajavi’s exclusion from the UK. Mrs Rajavi sought entry to the UK in order to speak, at the invitation of the Parliamentary Appellants, on the subject of democracy and human rights in Iran at the Palace of Westminster. The Secretary of State excluded Mrs Rajavi not because of anything Mrs Rajavi might say or do here but because the Secretary of State thought Mrs Rajavi’s presence here would have a damaging effect on Britain’s relations with Iran and may lead to retaliatory action by Iran against British interests abroad.

Finding for the Secretary of State (Lord Kerr dissenting), each of the five Justices hearing the case provided important judgments on how a court is to judge the proportionality of interferences with fundamental ECHR Rights in the context of decisions raising foreign policy issues.

The full judgment can be read here:

Robert Palmer appeared for the Secretary of State.