Robinson (Jamaica) v SSHD [2020] UKSC 53

The issue at hand was whether a Zambrano carer could only be deported in “exceptional circumstances” only.

The Supreme Court unanimously dismissed the appeal: the CJEU had not imposed an exceptional circumstances test in their jurisprudence.

Three questions need to be addressed:

  • Is there a relationship of dependency such that the EU citizen would be compelled to leave the Union with the third country national (TCN)?
  • Is there a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat to the requirements of public policy or of public security?
  • What does proportionality require?

The Supreme Court held that the CJEU had not supported an ‘imperative grounds’ test (Article 28(3)) in S v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Case C-304/14) EU:C:2016:674[2017] QB 558 (“CS”). Rather, the CJEU had recognised an exception to the Zambrano principle “linked, in particular, to upholding the requirements of public policy and safeguarding public security” [51].

It was held that the phrase “exceptional circumstances” refers to “an exception to the general rule that a person who enjoys the fundamental rights of an EU citizen cannot be compelled to leave the territory of the EU” [61] rather than an additional hurdle that had to be cleared.