In this case the House of Lords considered the circumstances in which delay on the part of the Home Office in deciding the case of someone in the UK may be relevant when considering Article 8. In this case the delay had been in deciding the individual’s asylum claim; and he had formed a relationship in the UK while waiting for the case to be decided. The House of Lords decided that delay could be relevant in three ways. Firstly, the longer someone was in the UK, the more likely it was that he or she would develop important social connections in the UK and, therefore, have a significant private or family life here. Secondly, while any close
relationship may be precarious (or uncertain) at the beginning (particularly, if there is no good reason for the individual or his or her partner to be confident that the individual will be granted permission to stay in the UK), after a time the relationship is likely to become stronger (or more permanent). Thirdly, if the delay on the part of the Home Office is because its system for dealing with claims is not working properly, consistently and fairly, this may reduce the significance to
be given to immigration control when assessing whether a decision to remove the individual is a proportionate interference with any private or family life.
We have relied on this case for clients who have been in the UK for many years, and have formed a close relationship here.