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Over her many years of immigration & asylum practice Christa has been involved in landmark cases such as Re Musisi, in which the duty of “anxious scrutiny” was established, and Boybeyi, which helped to bring about “fresh claims”. It is Christa’s experience and dedication to her work that helps to bring about her successful results.
Christa’s previous academic career in mathematics is uniquely valuable in analysing complex cases, and her degree in psychology is useful when approaching clients’ problems. This is particularly the case where clients have mental health issues arising from their experiences.
Immigration & asylum
Christa covers all areas of immigration, including all categories of entry clearance, the points based system and complex deportation cases, including the Metropolitan Police’s Nexus operation cases.
Many of Christa’s clients rely on human rights arguments, for instance people have overstayed but nevertheless need to fight against their removal from the UK, and in these cases Christa’s creative approach becomes crucial and she has succeeded in many “unwinnable” cases.
Christa is very experienced in EEA immigration cases under the 2006 EEA Regulations and related Directives. She often deals with the proposed deportation of EEA nationals or their family members.
She also deals with asylum from all countries, which has given her a great deal of experience in trafficking, blood feud cases and religious freedom cases amongst many others.
Christa’s work in immigration and asylum takes place not only in the first-tier tribunal, but frequently proceeds to the upper tribunal, Court of Appeal and beyond, and this is where Christa’s great experience in the higher courts stands her in very good stead. Some of her cases have been fought successfully as far as the European Court of Human Rights and in the European Court of Justice.
Of course some cases, where the Home Office is challenged directly, do not start at tribunal level but instead must be fought by way of judicial review. Again, Christa’s vast experience of the higher courts is invaluable in conducting this kind of litigation.
With the reduction of avenues of appealing at tribunal level, Christa’s experience with judicial review and administrative law helps clients who no longer have access to the first-tier tribunal.
Bail applications and challenge of administrative detention prior to removal is also part and parcel of Christa’s work in immigration and asylum.
In suitable cases, Christa works with direct access clients.
Christa has recently won a series of heavy deportation cases where the appellant’s family were vastly relieved by the outcome. Such happy outcomes cannot be guaranteed, but it is Christa’s attention to detail that often wins the day. She has also recently successfully dealt with a number of human rights cases where appellants simply could not face being removed from the UK, no matter what the law says, and they were very happy with the outcome. Of course this another type of success that cannot be guaranteed, but a creative approach always helps. In a recent judicial review the court examined in detail the effect of invalidity notices and the periods of grace that should follow. Another recent case, now having progressed to the Court of Appeal, concerned whether a person’s family members have to live in the UK in order to be relevant family members under Article 8 and Beoku-Betts. The final outcome is likely to be far reaching.
Christa often works pro bono with solicitors in the period leading up to hearings by way of email communications. She has given in-depth advice on matters such as evidence to be collected and all other aspects of getting a case ready.
Christa often gives free advice on the merits of proceeding with a case, frequently where litigation in the higher courts is contemplated.
Since the Home Office have widened their definition of good character requirements, challenges of naturalisation refusals have become not infrequent. Christa advises on how to deal with such refusals, as well as helping with the nationality registration process for minors.
In this new regime, a frequent reason for refusal of naturalisation is the applicant having in the past belonged to or having supported a particular group (such as the Tamil Tigers). Sometimes it is the more general criticism of an applicant having infringed immigration laws in a way which the Home Office alleges to be inconsistent with good character. An example of this are refusals for applicants who, in the past, have entered illegally and later claimed asylum. Unfortunately the possibilities of refusal have become very wide and challenges depend on the evidence in particular cases.
- B.Sc Hons in Mathematics
- M.Sc in Mathematics
- Ph.D in Statistics
- B.Sc Hons in Psychology
- Bar Vocational Course
Christa has given a number of talks over the years, mostly to an audience of solicitors. But one talk given to a large gathering of the Chinese community is particularly memorable for Christa in that she was threatened by the Chinese Snakeheads not to advise the public in this way, as in their eyes it was an unwanted interference with their people smuggling. Christa went ahead with the talk anyway and fortunately nothing happened to her.