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    Sanjeev Sharma PHOTO
    Name: Sanjeev Sharma
    Position: Partner and Solicitor
    Expertise Supervisor in immigration, Asylum, Human Rights and Public Law
    Telephone: 012135564556
    Mobile: 07711709342
    Email: sanjeev@jmwilsonsolicitors.com

    Sanjeev Sharma picture

    BIOGRAPHY

    Sanjeev joined J.M. Wilson Solicitors LLP in 2002 and became a Partner in 2004.


    Sanjeev specialises in the areas of Human Rights, Immigration, Asylum and Public Law. He has been accredited by the Legal Services Commission to a Level 2 Senior Caseworker under the Immigration and Asylum Accreditation Scheme and is also accredited as a Supervisor for all areas he specialises in.


    Sanjeev has conducted of a number of high profile cases which have attracted worldwide interest from the media. Sanjeev has on numerous occasions appeared on both national and regional news channels and has given interviews to the press concerning these high profile cases. His continued desire to protect individual’s rights to private and family life, the freedom of expression and religion is what led him to be chosen by the national magazine The Law Society’s Gazette as their Lawyer in the News.


    Sanjeev currently has conduct of two high profile test cases which have gained a great deal of media interest from national press and which has become known as the English Language case and the Minimum Income Requirement for spouses. The first challenges the current English Language test imposed by the Government upon foreign nationals entering the UK. The second case is the more recent change by the Government where they have now said a spouse must earn at least £18,600 before they can bring their spouse to the UK.


    Sanjeev was also the lead solicitor in a case which challenged the disclosure of Census information obtained by the Government and given to third parties.


    Notable Cases:


    Upper Tribunal:


    JO (qualified person – hospital order – effect) Slovakia [2012] UKUT 00237(IAC). This case was a complicated EEA case, as the appellant an EEA national was given a Hospital Order under the Mental Health Act and the Secretary of State was trying to deport him. The Tribunal found that firstly he had not been convicted and secondly the time he spent detained under the Mental Health Act could count towards his period of residence when applying for permanent residence.


    http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKUT/IAC/2012/00237_ukut_iac_2012_jo_slovakia.html



    European Court of Human Rights


    S.A.S v France – This case is currently ongoing and is against the French Government introducing the ban on women in wearing a face veil.


    House of Lords (now the Supreme Court)


    EM(Lebanon) (FC) v SSHD [2008] UKHL 64 This case involved a Lebanese Muslim woman and her son who fled their country on the understanding that under an Islamic divorce this entitled her husband to take custody of the son. Under Sharia Law, the son had to return to the father once he attains the age of 7 but the Court found that this would be a flagrant denial of their human rights. This case changed Refugee Law .


    Court of Appeal


    R (Daley-Murdock) v SSHD [2011] EWCA Civ 161; [2011] WLR (D) 56; The Times, 2 March 2011 – Test case on the question of whether the SSHD was required to make a tandem removal decision, or within a short timeframe thereafter, when making a decision rejecting an application from an overstayer or illegal entrant for leave to remain.


    R (Ghai) v Newcastle upon Tyne City Council (Ramgharia Gurdwara, Hitchin and others intervening) [2010] EWCA Civ 59; [2010] 3 WLR 737; [2010] WLR (D) 36; [2010] 7 EG 101; [2010] PTSR 1003; [2011] 1 QB 591; [2010] 3 All ER 380; Times, February 18, 2010 (10 February 2010) – The Appellant appealed against the dismissal of his claim for judicial review of the decision of the respondent local authority that it would not provide land dedicated for traditional open-air funeral pyres. The Master of the Rolls ruled that ‘open air’ funeral pyres were lawful under British law giving the term “building” a wide definition, fulfilling Baba Ghai's pleas to be ‘naturally cremated in a sacrament of fire’.  The landmark verdict was the extraordinary outcome of Baba Ghai's historic four year long legal campaign. See www.anglo-asian.moonfruit.comfor a full history of the case. The case has been cited widely in the context of planning law.


    MN (India) v Entry Clearance Officer (New Delhi) [2008] EWCA Civ 38; [2008] All ER (D) 45 (Feb) - The appellant was a child and a national of India. Her natural parents were unable to care for her. A British citizen adopted her in India in accordance with Indian law. This adoption was not, however, recognised by English law and the appellant did not meet any of the requirements of the Immigration Rules covering adoptions. There had, however, been a genuine transfer of parental responsibility to the proposed adoptive parents. The Court of Appeal emphasised the need for a careful assessment of the suitability of prospective adoptive parents in the UK and to ensure the impact on the family life of minors is adequately assessed.


    Administrative Court


    R (Chapti and Others) v SSHD [2011] EWHC 3370 (Admin); [2011] All ER (D) 135 (Dec) – Test case (widely reported) – the Claimant challenged the pre-entry English test for foreign spouses as being incompatible with articles 8, 12 and 14 of the ECHR and contrary to EU law. She further contended that the rule change was discriminatory on multiple levels including on grounds of gender, race and nationality. Beatson J held that the rule change does not interfere with the article 12 rights of the Claimants, it did impact on article 8 family rights but pursued a legitimate aim and was proportionate and justified. He went on to hold that there was no direct or indirect discrimination. Permission was granted to appeal to the Court of Appeal and the appeal is expected to be heard sometime in the summer of 2012.


    R (Walker) v SSHD [2011] EWHC 2473 (Admin) – Test case. The Claimant challenged by way of Judicial Review the Secretary of State for the Home Department’s rejection of her leave to remain application on the basis that whilst made in time was missing a photograph.


    R (SM) & FM v SSHD [2011] EWHC 338 (Admin);[2011] All ER (D) 53 (Mar) – Complex case concerning the SSHD’s continued detention pending deportation of a Bosnian man in circumstances where an emergency travel document was not forthcoming and the effect of that detention on his minor British Child. The case foreshadowed the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in ZH(Tanzania) on s55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 which followed weeks later. It was successfully argued that the decision to detain was unlawful because it had failed to consider the child’s best interests.


    R (Ghai) v Newcastle City Council (Ramgharia Gurdwara, Hitchin and others intervening) [2009] EWHC 978 (Admin); [2009] WLR (D) 151; TLR 18.05.09; [2009] NPC 68; [2009] All ER (D) 68; –Landmark case – In the first case of its kind the Claimant (a Hindu Baba) sought a declaration as to the lawfulness of his wish to be cremated on an open air funeral pyre in line with his strict religious belief.  Worldwide media coverage and widely reported. Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) MN (India) v ECO (New Delhi) [2007] UKAIT 00015; [2007] IAS, Vol. 10, No. 5 - Indian national; adopted overseas; whether adoption valid for purposes of immigration.


    For further information please contact Sanjeev Sharma on 0121 356 4556 or by email on sanjeev@jmwilsonsolicitors.com


     


     


    Banning the veil--a blank cheque for state intervention?


    09/07/2014


    Public law analysis: Sanjeev Sharma, partner at J.M. Wilson Solicitors LLP, believes the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) judgement in SAS v France sets a dangerous precedent in almost giving the state free reign when deciding what measures to impose in the name of 'living together'.


    Original news


    SAS v France (App No 43835/11) [2014] ECHR 43835/11


    What is the significance of this ruling from the ECtHR?


    The immediate significance is that the court has upheld as lawful the France ban on face coverings in public. In the context of Muslim women, it means that they will be committing an offence if they choose to cover their faces in public by wearing full face veils. The wider significance includes the danger that other member states may lawfully implement similar laws.


    What is the extent of the prohibition in France?


    The wearing of anything that conceals one's face in public. This can be a full face veil or any other item that would hide the face in a public place.


    What were the principles upon which the ECtHR upheld the ban?


    The court agreed with the French and Belgian government submissions that the face plays an important role in social interaction and societal cohesion. Both of these aims are legitimate for the state to pursue, and in devising laws to implement the same the state has a wide margin of appreciation. This is to give 'respect for the minimum requirements of life in society' or as referred to in the decision as the concept of 'living together'. The court held that when different religious groups are co-existing in a democratic society a balance must be found between the views of the majority and those of the minority.


    What does this tell us about the extent to which the state can interfere with the freedoms of its citizens?


    The judgement sets a dangerous precedent in that the state when deciding what measures to impose in the name of 'living together' has almost been given a blank cheque in its implementation. It seems that the court is endorsing, wrongly in my view, that the rights of minorities can give way to appease the insistence of the majority and that the minority is the group that must embrace (or bear) the social change. Although the court has said that these are matters for individual cases and the ultimate question is one of proportionality. Page 2


    Are other states likely to follow Belgium and France in light of this ruling?


    It is likely (indeed probable) that other states will follow.


     


    Could a similar ban be challenged in the British courts?


    Yes, I believe it could. The issue was raised in Parliament once judgement had been given, and a call was made by backbenchers for similar laws.


    Any further comments you wish to add?


    It is important to note that one of the key reasons behind the French ban, according to the French government was to protect women who are forced to wear the face veil against their will. The blanket ban does not address this issue. It simply pushes it behind closed doors and makes these women more vulnerable. Rather than taking the choice away altogether, greater effort should be made to educate and get this minority group out of their homes and into society--to educate the majority to integrate and be tolerant. Whether a face is covered is irrelevant, in my view it is a person's desire and willingness to integrate, not what they wear on their face, that is important.


    Sanjeev Sharma specialises in the areas of human rights, immigration, asylum and public law. He has conducted a number of high-profile cases which have attracted worldwide attention from the media. In SAS v France, Sanjeev represented the applicant.


    Interviewed by Kate Beaumont.


     


    The views expressed by our Legal Analysis interviewees are not necessarily those of the proprietor.