Gordon Lee


Year of Call: 1998

Practice Group(s): Immigration, Public & Regulatory

Portrait of Gordon Lee

Practice Profile:
Gordon specialises in Immigration and Asylum, Crime and Public Law with a particular interest in judicial review, unlawful detention and higher court appeals.


Immigration and Asylum

Gordon has been involved in hundreds of Judicial Review cases challenging immigration decisions including Unlawful Detention claims, Emergency Injunctions, Dublin Convention challenges, Fresh Claims, Certification cases and cases raising issues of European Law. He also regularly represents clients in statutory appeals at both the First Tier and Upper Tribunals and the Court of Appeal and has experience of taking cases to the Supreme Court and in applications to the European Court of Human Rights. His practice spans all areas of Immigration law including Refugee law, EEA free movement cases, PBS, Deportation and cases involving children and other vulnerable groups. He has a particular expertise in cases that involve questions of statutory interpretation, unlawful detention and in cases before the Higher Courts. He has considerable experience of conducting (and challenging) cases subject to the Detained Fast Track, including successful actions for damages in cases wrongly subjected to that process.

Public Law, Human Rights and Crime

Gordon is regularly instructed in Judicial Review claims touching on general public law and human rights issues. He has a particular interest in cases that invoke the High Court's jurisdiction in criminal matters.

Notable Cases:
Immigration and Asylum

Supreme Court

R (George) v SSHD Court of Appeal [2012] WLR(D) 290, [2013] Imm AR 197, [2013] 1 WLR 1319, [2013] INLR 281, [2012] EWCA Civ 1362 (led by Stephen Knafler QC);

Successfully persuaded the Court of Appeal that, contrary to Home Office practice, while the making of a deportation order automatically invalidated a grant of ILR, the revocation of the deportation order would revive that leave automatically. Stanley Burnton LJ described it as a case that; '...raises a question of general importance as to the duty of the Secretary of State and the rights of the deportee on the revocation of the deportation order. The question is one of statutory interpretation.'

Case heard by the Supreme Court on the 4th March 2014 - judgment pending.

Court of Appeal

8*R (Draga) v SSHD [2012] EWCA Civ 842; [2012] All ER (D) 149 (Jun) (led by Manjit Gill QC);

In a rare and damning finding, the Court decided that the decision of the Secretary of State for the Home Department to attempt to invoke the Refugee Convention cessation clause against the Claimant was a 'device' and found that the detention of the Claimant after that decision was unlawful and that he was therefore entitled to damages;

R (MS Jamaica) v SSHD (UNHCR intervening) [2011] All ER (D) 292 (Jul); [2011] EWCA Civ 938 (Court of Appeal) (led by Michael Fordham QC);

Major challenge to the government's Detention and Fast-Tracking of certain categories of asylum seekers - UNHCR interveners - resulted in recommendations from the court for reform of practice of detention;

R (AL (Angola)) [2010] EWCA Civ 1611; - successful challenge to Home Office's policy of denying a right of appeal to decisions to refuse to revoke automatic deportation orders - led to change of government policy;

R (CM (Jamaica)) v SSHD (Court of Appeal)[2010] All ER (D) 17 (Mar); [2010] EWCA Civ 160;

Attempt to obtain order compelling the return of a deportee to the jurisdiction;

IH (Sudan) v SSHD [2008] EWCA Civ 745;

Challenge to decision that a Sudanese Darfuri could safely relocate within Sudan;

JK (Serbia) [2007] All ER (D) 446 (Oct);

Appeal against decision of AIT to overturn first instance decision that internal relocation was not a viable option.

Administrative Court

R (Shora) v SSHD (CO/158385/2013);

Challenge to decision of SSHD to detain Claimant in DFT despite 'independent evidence of torture' (permission granted - awaiting full hearing);

R (S) v SSHD [2013] EWHC 1176 (Admin);

Challenge to refusal of British citizenship on grounds of alleged participation in war crimes during the Balkan conflict in the 1990's;

R (ST) v SSHD [2012] EWHC 988 (Admin); [2013] All ER (D) 101 (Jan);

Administrative Court held that SSHD had asked the wrong questions when considering whether a Pakistani woman's claim to be a risk of domestic violence was a 'fresh claim' for asylum - decision refusing fresh claim quashed;

R (Fediel) [2012] All ER (D) 69 (Apr); [2012] EWHC 257 (Admin);

Successful public law challenge to the decision of SSHD to refuse to issue a travel document to the leader of the largest Sudanese Darfuri rebel group to enable him to attend their conference;

R (Hall) v SSHD [2011] EWHC 600 (Admin);

Judicial Review of detention of proposed deportee on Hardial Singh grounds where Defendant accepted Claimant could not fly for medical reasons. Challenge to rationality of proposed removal by boat to Jamaica.

R (on the application of Jat) v SSHD [2010] All ER (D) 42 (Aug), [2010] EWHC 2087 (Admin);

Challenge to certification of claim pursuant to section 96 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (failure to raise ground during earlier appeal) - settled in favour of Claimant following grant of permission to the Court of Appeal;

R (Mubarak) v SSHD [2009] All ER (D) 91 (Oct), [2009] EWHC 3137 (Admin);

Successful challenge to refusal of fresh claim of a Pakistani Ahmadi;

R (Omondi) v SSHD [2009] All ER (D) 155 (Apr), [2009] EWHC 827 (Admin); (led by Richard Drabble QC)

Whether a right of appeal lay under section 83 of the 2002 Act in circumstances where a grant of leave to remain of 12 months was not contemporaneous with the refusal of an asylum claim;

R (Chen) v SSHD [2009] EWHC 116 (Admin);

Challenge to detention within the DFT on medical grounds;

R (Khair) v SSHD [2008] All ER (D) 112 (Nov);

Whether undertaking by SSHD to reconsider fresh claim was adequate disposal of Judicial Review claim in the context of the case;

R (Ssemakula) v SSHD [2008] EWHC 2880 (Admin), [2008] All ER (D) 303 (Nov);

Whether medical evidence sufficient to overturn previous credibility findings in fresh claim case;

R (Misanovic) v SSHD [2008] EWHC 596 (Admin);

Successful Article 6 challenge to proposed removal of Claimant whilst he had an outstanding civil claim against his employers for serious personal injury;

R (Zego) v SSHD [2008] EWHC 302 (Admin);

Early challenge to removals to Greece under the Dublin Convention;

R (Hussein) v SSHD (2007) (CO/5166/2006);

Application for Judicial Review and damages for unlawful detention following the detention of a Sudanese Darfuri detained for 13 months despite the existence of a policy (unpublished at the time) instructing caseworkers to grant asylum to those of his ethnicity. Settled after permission was granted for one of the largest settlements ever achieved in an immigration unlawful detention case.

R (Juzbasa-Tanackovic) v SSHD [2006] EWHC 1071 (Admin);

Successful challenge to attempt by SSHD to remove wife whilst husband's asylum claim still pending;

R (G) v SSHD CO/7694/2006;

Challenge to refusal of British citizenship on the basis that the Claimant had links with Islamic extremists;

R (Kokic and others) v SSHD (2005) (CO/960/05) (Led by Lord Lester QC);

Instructed in four of the eight test cases challenging exclusions from the SSHD's 'Family Amnesty' policy on the basis of minor criminal convictions. Settled after permission was granted with all members of all families granted ILR.

Upper Tribunal/IAT

Shahzadi v SSHD [2014] UKAITUR OA/18692/2012;

Successfully resisted SSHD appeal against decision to allow adult dependent child's appeal against refusal of entry clearance on Article 8 grounds;

JS (Former unaccompanied child - durable solution) Afghanistan [2013] UKUT 568 (IAC);

Successfully argued FTT had failed to properly assess Appellant's claim as an unaccompanied minor whose family the SSHD has made no effort to trace;

R (X) v SSHD (2012) (CO/1895/2012);

Instructed in lead case challenging the removal on charter flight of Tamils to Sri Lanka - one of the first Judicial Reviews to be heard in the Upper Tribunal under its new jurisdiction;

BS (Palestinian, Lebanon, relocation) [2005] UKIAT 00004;

Appeal against decision that a Palestinian residing in Lebanon could safely relocate from one refugee camp to another;

MB (Huang - proportionality - Bulletins) Croatia [2005] UKIAT 00092;

Further assessment of the impact of delay and the correct test in Article 8 proportionality cases.

IS (Fair Hearing, natural justice) Belarus [2004] UKIAT 00114;

Appeal on basis of Adjudicator's conduct in hearing;

NM (Effect Delay) Croatia [2004] UKIAT 00029;

Assessment of impact of delay on Article 8 claim;

Public Law, Human Rights and Crime

R (Rudewicz) v Ministry of Justice (Court of Appeal) [2013] QB 410; [2012] EWCA Civ 499;

Challenge to proposed exhumation of remains of revered Polish Priest - raising issues under Articles 8 and 9 of the ECHR;

R (Al-Hesso) v SSHD (Admin) (2011);

Successful challenge to decision to prosecute Syrian journalist for passport offences following his asylum claim;

R ('Josephine') v DPP (Divisional Court) (2010);

Challenge by Claimant to a decision of the CPS to offer no evidence in a trial. Gordon acted for the interested party who was the Defendant in the original trial and successfully resisted the Claimant's application for a re-trial. CPS paid substantial damages to Claimant.

Tilson v New Zealand [2009] EWHC 1410 (Admin);

Challenge to proposed extradition to New Zealand;

R v Hedges [2005] EWCA Crim 2595;

Successful appeal against sentence where vehicle used in robbery;

R v Babbington [2006] 1 Cr App R(S) 2, [2005] All ER (D) 107 (May);

Appeal against sentence in case of young mother smuggling drugs into a prison;

R (Taylor) v Maidstone Crown Court [2004] A.C.D. 19 QBD;

Successful Judicial Review of the failure of a Judge to give adequate reasons for dismissing an appeal from a decision of the Magistrates' Court amounted to a denial of natural justice. Cited in Archbold.

Immigration Law Practitioners Association, Administrative Law Bar Association, Criminal Bar Association, Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Bar Human Rights Committee.

Cricket, books, theatre, running and travel.