The Shamima Begum Effect: What Next for the Syrian Returnees?


On 30 January 2020, ITN Solicitors held a fascinating seminar exploring the legal realities facing British nationals in detention in Syria and those who are subject to restrictive counter-terrorism measures in the UK, following the fall of ISIS.

The panel discussion, which was chaired by one of ITN's civil liberties team and hosted at Matrix Chambers, included Maya Foa (Director of Reprieve), Dan Squires QC and Joanna Buckley (Matrix Chambers), and Julianne Morrison (Monckton Chambers).

ITN have a long history of working on terrorism related issues including, criminal defence, public law, national security immigration cases, family law matters , and civil claims.  ITN have been working alongside these panel members on a range of her national security cases, which include bringing appeals against deprivation of citizenship, challenging restrictive counter-terrorism measures in the UK and seeking the repatriation of British nationals and their children from refugee camps in Syria.

The discussion began with Maya Foa providing an overview of the unfolding situation in the refugee camps in Syria as well as the current options for repatriation of British nationals and their children from these camps.

Julianne Morrison then discussed the difficulties involved in bringing deprivation of citizenship appeals. The decision to remove citizenship often happens very quickly and it can be exceptionally difficult to get instructions from the client in the timeframes required. Often people have not been told about the decisions against them and then have to appeal out of time. Increasingly, the government is “serving to file”, without providing any notice of the decision to the individual. This is an issue that ITN Solicitors and Julianne Morrison have found in many of their cases.

If an individual subject to a deprivation decision (or their family member) are notified that they have been deprived, it is essential that they make contact with legal representatives as soon as possible to ensure their appeal is considered.

Dan Squires QC and Joanna Buckley ended the discussion with an overview of Temporary Exclusion Orders (“TEOs”), which are the restrictive counter-terrorism measures currently being employed in the UK. ITN Solicitors, Dan Squires QC and Joanna Buckley are currently in the process of litigating a case against the Home Office in relation to TEOs and the unworkable conditions that have been imposed under them.

You can find our live Twitter coverage of the event here.

If you need any advice on any matter touching upon terrorism, please contact our expert team headed by Itpal Dhillon and Nadeem Thanvi

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