Eric Fripp has appeared in many leading cases concerning refugees; immigration, including personal and corporate immigration; nationality and human rights.

His practice extends across a wide spectrum covering these areas and he is noted for his thoroughness and skill as an advocate and for the breadth of his supporting interests in international affairs, legal and political philosophy, and history. In addition, he is recognised internationally as a particular authority on nationality and statelessness and their interaction with the Refugee Convention 1951 and other protective instruments. He has a particular commitment to good analysis of relevant factual matters and the clear exposition of complex legal issues.

Key cases & testimonials

WAS (Pakistan) v SSHD [2023] EWCA Civ 894 – Court endorsed and extended the ‘common-sense point’ of Sedley LJ at YB (Eritrea) v SSHD [2008] EWCA Civ 360 that in a sur place case ‘a tribunal cannot be criticised if it is prepared to infer successful covert activity on the basis of limited direct evidence’-.  The UT erred by ‘losing sight of the fact that direct evidence about “the level of and the mechanics of monitoring” in the United Kingdom is unlikely to be available to an asylum claimant or to a dissident organisation’ as well as imposing too high a standard of proof.

R (SWP) v SSHD [2023] EWCA Civ 439 – Court of Appeal dismissed appeal against exclusion of Tier 2 PBS migrant spouse from Destitution Domestic Violence Concession (‘DDVC’), but also refused Secretary of State’s application to file late evidence on appeal, applying Ladd v Marshall [1954] EWCA Civ 1; [1954] 1 WLR 1489, and reiterating public law defendant’s ‘duty of candour and cooperation with the court’ it being ‘important that the defendant public authority should set out an accurate factual position to the court’.  Procedural rigour ‘applies as much to defendant public authorities as it does to claimants’.

Hussein (Ismail) v SSHD UKSC Ref 2020/0198 [2022] 12 WLUK 664; [2022] Lexis Citation 145; [2022] All ER (D) 13 (Sept)-  Supreme Court allowed appeal from Court of Appeal re enhanced protection from deportation of long resident EU national, by consent, SSHD accepting CA erred in accepting reasons of FTT as adequately addressing question of ‘enhanced protection’ from deportation for EEA nationals who had gained permanent residence status and been continuously resident for 10 years (note- remitted appeal subsequently allowed on rehearing in UT, reversing earlier outcomes);

Hussein (Ismail) v SSHD [2020] EWCA Civ 156; [2020] 2 CMLR 34 –   Examines EEA provisions concerning deportation: nature of ‘enhanced protection’ from deportation for permanently resident EEA nationals continuously resident for 10 years, and of lesser ‘intermediate protection’ test of ‘serious grounds of public policy or public security’ as required by Article 28 of Directive 2004/38/EC. Allowed and remitted to UT(IAC) as regards intermediate protection,  permission to appeal to Supreme Court re enhanced protection granted (see above);

WA (Pakistan) v SSHD [2019] EWCA Civ 302; [2019] All ER (D) 124 (Mar)–  Important appeal on freedom of religion and belief and refugee status, including application of the ‘right to live freely’ in a protected identity per HJ (Iran) v SSHD; HT (Cameroon) v SSHD [2010] UKSC 31; [2011] 1 AC 596– the Court held that the UT(IAC) erred in its MN and others (Ahmadis – country conditions – risk) Pakistan CG [2012] UKUT 389 (IAC) country guidance by imposing requirement for ‘particular importance’ to expression of protected identity, an illegitimate fetter on refugee definition;

SE (Zimbabwe) v SSHD [2014] EWCA Civ 256; [2014] Imm AR 855 – Conclusion of Court in SS (Nigeria) v SSHD [2013] EWCA Civ 550, attaching ‘great weight’ to government policy embodied in legislation as informing interpretation of ‘necessary in a democratic society’  in article 8 ECHR cases, may go beyond supporting authority;

R (otao ST (Eritrea)) v SSHD [2012] UKSC 12; [2012] 2 AC 135 –  Supreme Court- article 32 Refugee Convention- given temporary admission under domestic law deeming individual not present, condition of lawful presence for application of article 32 prohibition on expulsion was not engaged, even where refugee status established;

R (otao Quila & Anor) v SSHD [2011] UKSC 45; [2012] 1 AC 621 – Supreme Court- Successful Supreme Court challenge to SSHD changes to Immigration Rules raising age at which marriage gave rise to entitlement to leave to enter/remain unlawful as disproportionate breach of article 8 ECHR read with art 12 ECHR;

R (otao QB by her litigation friend MB) v SSHD [2010] EWHC 483 (Admin); [2010] All ER (D) 134 (Apr); Westlaw [2010] 4 WLUK 294 –  SSHD’s policy for considering fee remission applications in compassionate and article 8 ECHR cases was unlawful and the application of an incorrect test for remission rendered the decision to refuse waiver to the applicant unlawful;

Ghai, R (on the application of) v Newcastle City Council & Ors [2010] EWCA Civ 59; [2011] 1 QB 591 –  Application of articles 8/9 ECHR to disposal of human remains by open air cremation motivated by religion or belief;

MA (Ethiopia) v SSHD [2009] EWCA Civ 289; [2010] INLR 1 –  (Tribunal erred in law by asking how claimant would be treated if returned to country of former nationality, not whether she faced exclusion from incidents of nationality which prevented her return and gave rise to valid persecution claim);

R (de Oliveira) v SSHD [2009] EWHC 347 (Admin); [2009] All ER (D) 84 (Mar) – Successful challenge to Home Office construction of phrase ‘course of study’ in relation to immigration applications by students;

R (otao Baiai & Ors) v SSHD [2008] UKHL 53; [2009] 1 AC 287, – House of Lords found certificate of approval scheme for marriages involving specified non-citizens unlawful as over extensive and insufficiently targeted on declared aim of preventing marriages of convenience;

EB (Ethiopia) v SSHD [2007] EWCA Civ 809; [2009] QB 1 – Refugee Convention covers adverse measures including, where a Convention reason arises, arbitrary deprivation of nationality and attached rights of protection and/or return;

VNM v SSHD [2006] EWCA Civ 47; [2006] All ER (D) 242 (Jan) – Court of Appeal- adjudication of reasonableness of internal relocation requires attention to the practicality of presenting a false history and consideration of ability to sustain reasonable life on a false basis beyond the short term;

Hysi v SSHD [2005] EWCA Civ 711; [2005] INLR 602  Court of Appeal – In a refugee case the expectation of concealment of important features of identity in order to make internal relocation possible renders such relocation unreasonable;

Djebbar v SSHD (a.k.a. LD (Algeria) v SSHD)) [2004] EWCA Civ 804; [2004] INLR 466; [2004] Imm AR 497 –  Court of Appeal-  Application of guidance concerning treatment of previous determinations requires flexibility and exercise of independent judgment by later appellate fact-finder;

R (otao Javed (Asif)) v SSHD [2001] EWCA Civ 789; [2002] QB 129, Court of Appeal- the Court upheld the decision below quashing a statutory instrument designating Pakistan as a country in which in general no serious risk of persecution said to exist; Bill of Rights 1689 did not prevent Court’s intervention in designation contained in subsidiary legislation;

R v. IAT ex p Walteros-Castenada (unreported, C/O 2383/99, High Court 27 June 2000; Westlaw [2000] 6 WLUK 681) –  Munby J: Refugee Convention covers fear of persecution of Colombian trade unionists as members of ‘social group’.

International work

In re (PTA/WAD/2020/386); In re Al Shirkatul Islamiyya (PTA/WAD/2020/387); In re AMJ International (PTA/WAD/2020/388) (June 2021)– represented appellants from decisions of Pakistan Telecommunications Authority applying section 37(1) Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 against external broadcasters linked to religious group targeted by state including domestic Pakistani and international legal standards (section E, below), challenging decision as contrary to domestic law and international norms of religious freedom and freedom of expression.

Huseynov v Azerbaijan (European Court of Human Rights application 1/2016) – outstanding application concerning Azerbaijani journalist and human rights activist who sought diplomatic asylum in Swiss Embassy and was permitted to leave Azerbaijani territory for Switzerland only after signing a purported renunciation of nationality- Written Submissions for amicus Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion.

Select Tribunal Cases:

R (AA) v SSHD [2023] UKAITUR JR2021LON000837- UT (Morris J) rejected submission that authority including R (otao ZA (Nigeria)) & Anor v SSHD [2010] EWCA Civ 926; [2011] 1 QB 722 re extent of Part 5 NIAA 2002 appeal turned on the principle of finality of litigation, or res judicata, but accepting anxious scrutiny as elevated where no previous judicial resolution to claim (§91; ‘…where there has been no previous judicial determination, the burden of anxious scrutiny upon the SSHD is all the greater. Where there has been a previous judicial determination, by, for example, the FTT, then this will carry greater weight with the SSHD than a case where there has been no such previous judicial determination.’)

SSHD v Joseph [2022] UKUT 218 (IAC); [2023] INLR 73-  UT(IAC) (Presidential panel- Lane J, President and UTJ Stephen Smith) reviewed requirements for permission to appeal applications- (§65; ‘we convey our considerable gratitude to Mr Deller and Mr Fripp, who provided us with considerable assistance, and whose written and oral arguments were commendable, as was the evident cooperation with which they each approached their task.  Mr Fripp’s contribution was all the more impressive, given the lateness of his instructions to act for the appellant.’);

HGV v SSHD [2021] UKAITUR PA032622019 (UTJs Rimington and Rintoul)  A Cuban citizen not deprived of nationality but denied the right of return following expiry of permission to be outside Cuba, in defiance by Cuba of established international norms concerning right of return, was a refugee;

KB & AH (credibility- structured approach: Pakistan) [2017] UKUT 491 (IAC: Lord Burns, Dr Storey) – Refugee claim upheld, with important observations endorsing requirement for structured approach to credibility within refugee status adjudication;

Izuazu (Article 8 – new rules) Nigeria [2013] UKUT 45 (IAC); [2013] INLR 733; [2013] Imm AR 453 (Blake J, President) –  Changes to the Immigration Rules incorporating standards for grant of leave to remain on the basis of article 8 European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms did not impose a presumption that those standards would be conclusive of decisions or remove the requirement for a ‘fact-sensitive’ enquiry in which the conclusion under the Rules ‘may often’ have little bearing on the judicial assessment of proportionality;

ST (Ethnic Eritrean- nationality- return) Ethiopia CG [2011] UKUT 00252 (IAC)-  (UTJ P Lane, S Ward) – Important UT guidance re deprivation of nationality of resident in Ethiopia from 1998, reversing a decade of less complete and affirmative guidance- an individual arbitrarily deprived of nationality and/or the rights of return and residence usually attached to this, for a relevant reason, was a refugee;

DD (paragraph 159A: connection/employment) Sri Lanka [2008] UKAIT 00060 (Hodge J, President; SIJ P Lane) –  para 159A(ii) Immigration Rules employee-employer connection not requiring employee to have been continuously employed by the employer;

VM (FGM-risks-Mungiki-Kikuyu/Gikuyu) Kenya CG [2008] UKAIT 00049 (SIJ Jarvis) –  AIT country guidance re Refugee Convention and article 3 ECHR risk to Kenyan women sought by Mungiki sect;

MA (risk from any political activity) Libya [2004] UKIAT 00252 (Batiste and Perkins VPs, Mrs E Hurst JP) –  IAT clarifying that prior guidance re risk on return to Libya ‘does not, and was never intended to, suggest that only people who were involved in particular activities to a high degree would be at risk on return’;

SA (Kashmiri Muslim, Activism) India CG [2002] UKIAT 02884 (Messrs Latter (Chair) and Chalkley, Mrs Hussain JP) –  IAT, risk to prominent politician and activist in Indian-occupied Kashmir.

Eric Fripp has appeared in many leading cases concerning refugees, immigration, nationality, and human rights. His practice extends across a wide spectrum covering these areas and he is noted for his thoroughness and skill as an advocate and for the breadth of his supporting interests in international affairs, legal and political philosophy, and history. In addition he is recognised internationally as a particular authority on nationality and statelessness and their interaction with the Refugee Convention 1951 and other protective instruments. He has a particular commitment to good analysis of relevant factual matters and the clear exposition of complex legal issues.Chambers UK 2023
His strength is in his exceptional analytical skills and his thorough drafting, especially in the area of deportation and asylum.Legal 500 2022
He is highly intelligent, and is able to really break down the technical issues on the law for clients. He is innovative with his arguments, and has amazing knowledge of immigration law.Chambers UK 2022
Known for his ‘exceptional analytical skills and his thorough drafting, especially in the area of deportation and asylum.' Legal 500 2021
He has one of the biggest brains at the immigration Bar with an encyclopaedic knowledge of human rights, asylum and citizenship matters. Legal 500 2020

Further information


November 2022, Inner Temple, London, and Foundation for European and Economic Law, seminar in honour of Sir Richard Plender: ‘The Status Today of the Right to a Nationality as reflected in International Human Rights Law and the Sovereignty of States in Nationality Matters’;

November 2022, Refugee Resettlement. This seminar will outline the changing landscape of Home Office resettlement concessions, from the Vulnerable Children’s and Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Schemes (VCRS and VPRS) to the current UK Resettlement Scheme (UKRS), Community Sponsorship Scheme (CSS), Mandate Resettlement Scheme (MRS), and Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) focussing on issues of access and remedies. Registration link;

June 2022, Introduction to Statelessness And Nationality, Eric Fripp discusses the topic on Introduction To Statelessness And Nationality;

June 2022, Challenging Deprivation Of British Nationality;

May 2022, TOEIC cases on Judicial Review and Appeal. The speakers review an apparent slow motion collapse of the Home Office position in ETS/ TOEIC cases, with recent further reflections by BBC Newsnight, and look at the seeming overextension of exclusion by DK and RK (Parliamentary privilege; evidence) India [2021] UKUT 61 (IAC).;

July 2021, Amy Childs and Eric Fripp – Judicial Review and Refusal of Naturalisation on Good Character Grounds. Amy Childs and Eric Fripp discuss how to prepare cases and challenge decisions relating to good character in naturalisation and judicial review of refusal of naturalisation. They will focus on the effect of criminality under domestic law, and commission of (or association with) international crimes, terrorism, or other non-conducive activity.;

April 2021, The Uses and Limits of Country Guidance. The institution of country guidance by the tribunal sometimes provides a useful source of standards for individual tribunals. But what are the limits and pitfalls of country guidance? And in any particular case, what should practitioners look for, when should they rely on the guidance, and when should they challenge it?;

September 2019, European Society of International Law (ESIL-SEDI) Annual Conference, Athens, Interest Group on Migration and Refugee Law Pre-conference Meeting: paper ‘The interaction of international refugee law and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, including in instances of persecutory harms relating to nationality (including statelessness) or identity’;

Sept 2014, Global Statelessness Forum, the Hague, UNHCR/Tilburg University/International Court of Justice: paper ‘The establishment of denationalisation as ‘persecution’, for purposes of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, in the United Kingdom: the extent of current recognition and subsisting questions’;

Feb 2013, High Level Expert Conference on Refugee Law, All Souls’, Oxford – Refugee Studies Centre Oxford & Refugee Law Initiative London with UNHCR ‘Refuge from inhumanity- Enriching refugee protection standards through recourse to international humanitarian law’, paper ‘Inclusion of War Refugees, Combatants and Ex-combatants, and Child Soldiers.’

Introduction to Nationality and Statelessness Webinar

Challenging Deprivation Of British Nationality Webinar

Immigration Law, Human Rights and Adult Dependent Relative Webinar

External Publications

The Law and Practice of Expulsion and Exclusion from the United Kingdom: Deportation, Removal, Exclusion and Deprivation of Citizenship (General Editor, with Rowena Moffatt and Ellis Wilford, deputy editors) (Hart, Oxford and Portland OR, 2014)
Nationality and Statelessness in the International Law of Refugee Status (Hart, Oxford and Portland OR, 2016)

Article in edited volume:
‘Inclusion of Refugees from Armed Conflict: Combatants and Ex-combatants’ in Refuge from Inhumanity: war refugees and international humanitarian law, David Cantor and Jean-Francois Durieux, eds, Brill/Nijhoff, Leiden, 2014.

Journal articles:
‘Statelessness, Inability or Unwillingness to Return, and the “Country of His Former Habitual Residence” as the Country of Reference for the Purposes of Article 1A(2) of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees 1951’ (2022) 34 International Journal of Refugee Law No 3/4, pending;

‘Nationality, Protection, and the “country of his nationality” as the country of reference for the purposes of article 1A(2) of the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees 1951’ (2021) 33 International Journal of Refugee Law No 2, 300-334;

‘Deprivation of Nationality, “The Country of His Nationality” in Article 1A(2) of the Refugee Convention, and Non-Recognition in International Law’, (2016) 28 International Journal of Refugee Law No 3, 453-479;

‘Deprivation of Nationality and Public International Law – An Outline’ (2014) 28 Journal of Immigration, Asylum, and Nationality Law No 4, 367-384;

‘International Humanitarian Law and the Interpretation of “Persecution” in Article 1A(2) CSR51’ (2014) 26 International Journal of Refugee Law No 3, 382-403;

‘Conducive Deprivation of British Citizenship Status and Statelessness: Further Problems’ (2013) 27 Journal of Immigration, Asylum, and Nationality Law, No 4, 315-330.

Case Reports:
R (Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens & Ors) v SSHD [2022] UKSC 3; [2022] 2 WLR 343 (2022) 4 Statelessness and Citizenship Review, No 2, 302-308 (with Araniya Kogulathas);

R (Begum) v SIAC; R (Begum) v SSHD; Begum v SSHD ([2021] UKSC 7; [2021] AC 765) (2022) 4 Statelessness and Citizenship Review, No 1, pending;

Secretary of State for the Home Department v E3 and N3 ([2019] EWCA Civ 2020; [2020] 1 WLR 1098) (2020) 2 Statelessness and Citizenship Review, No 1, 167–171;

Selected Review Articles:
‘Research Handbook on Child Migration (review of work ed. by J Bhabha, J Kanics, D Senovilla Hernández (2021) 33 International Journal of Refugee Law No 2, 167-174 (with Araniya Kogulathas);

‘Protecting Migrant Children: In Search of Best Practice’ (eds. M Crock and L B Benson) (2020) 32 International Journal of Refugee Law No 1, 371-375 (with Araniya Kogulathas);

‘At Home in Two Countries’ (P J Spiro) (2018) 30 International Journal of Refugee Law No 4, 817-822;

‘The Child in International Refugee Law’ (J Pobjoy) (2018) 30 International Journal of Refugee Law 2, 396–401.

Appointments & Memberships

Senior Visiting Fellow, Refugee Law Initiative, School of Advanced Study, University of London
Constitutional and Administrative Law Bar Association (ALBA)
Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA)
British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL)
European Society of International Law (ESIL-SEDI)
International Law Association (British Branch)
European Network on Statelessness (ENS)