Case details

FA (Pakistan) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Respondent)

Case ID: UKSC 2016/0167

Case summary

  1. whether refusal of asylum on the expectation an individual will suppress the expression of their religious faith, where the State criminalises the reasonable expression of that identity, is consistent with the ‘fundamental right to live openly and freely, as themselves’ as per HJ (Iran) and HT (Cameroon) v SSHD [2010] UKSC 31 or with the understanding of religious belief as ‘so fundamental to human identity that one should not be compelled to hide, change, or renounce this in order to avoid persecution’ as per RT (Zimbabwe) and Ors [2012] UKSC 38;
  2. whether the rights in HJ (Iran) and RT (Zimbabwe) are applicable only if an individual gives ‘particular importance’ to them and, if so, how – for instance by reference to what comparator group - the existence of ‘particular importance’ is to be ascertained; and
  3. whether an individual possessing a well-founded fear of religious persecution may be expected to rely upon internal relocation notwithstanding nationwide legal prohibition on the expression of said religion.

The Appellant is a citizen of Pakistan and an Ahmadi Muslim. He arrived in the UK in October 2014 and claimed asylum stating he had suffered persecution and discrimination in Pakistan due to his faith. His application was refused by the Respondent who did not accept that the Appellant was being pursued by the Khatme-e-Nubuwat ("KN"), an organisation opposed to Ahmadis and which seeks to supress the open expression of their faith. The Appellant’s appeal to the First-tier Tribunal was allowed. It found the Appellant had been targeted by KN and internal relocation was not available to the Appellant. The Upper Tribunal held that the First-tier Tribunal had erred in law by marginalising the case of MN and Others (Ahmadis – country conditions – risk) Pakistan CG ("MN") which contained the relevant Country Guidance. It re-made the First-tier Tribunal’s decision and held that internal relocation was available. The Court of Appeal dismissed the Appellant’s appeal. It held that the Upper Tribunal was right to find that the First-tier Tribunal had given insufficient attention to MN and it was open to the Upper Tribunal to find that internal relocation was available.

Judgment appealed

[2016] EWCA Civ 763



FA (Pakistan)


Secretary of State for the Home Department



Lady Hale, Lord Kerr, Lord Carnwath, Lord Hughes, Lord Hodge

Hearing start date


Hearing finish date