Read the full judgment here.

An application to JR a decision of Isleworth Crown Court to refuse to state a case. However, the High Court treated it as a challenge to the J’s decision to refuse to exercise his discretion to extend time to appeal.

The C, a Somali national, entered a guilty plea at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court in 2006 to an offence contrary to section 2(1) of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants) Act 2004 of failing to produce an “immigration document” at an asylum interview. The C was subsequently granted refugee status in 2007. His application for British citizenship was refused on the basis that he had failed to disclose his criminal conviction. He appealed to Isleworth Crown Court on the basis that he had not known at the time that a defence under section 2(4)(c) of the Act may have been available to him. The argument was that the C’s plea had been equivocal and that he would have a very good chance of establishing a statutory defence.

The Crown argued that an application should have been made to the Criminal Cases Review Commission which has the power under sections 11 and 13 of the Criminal Appeal Act 1995 to refer a case to the Crown Court including in circumstances where a person had entered a guilty plea at the Magistrates’ Court.

The Court held that the J had been entitled to conclude that the application for permission to extend time for appeal was too late because it would be impractical to investigate the position regarding legal advice properly.

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