On 21 January 2013 the Court of Appeal in London provided the final piece in the jigsaw of righting the injustice suffered by members of the Brigade of Gurkhas and their families over settlement in the UK. In appeals brought by Roshan Ghissing and Sakal Bahaduh Rai, both adult dependent sons of veteran Gurkha soldiers, the Court of Appeal, headed by the Master of the Rolls, ruled that the historic injustice suffered by adult dependent children of Gurkha veterans was an important matter to weigh in favour of a presumption of settlement once family life within the meaning of Article 8 is established.
Martin Howe, of Howe+Co, who acted on behalf of the two veterans, hailed the decision as not just a final step in the long struggle for the rights of Gurkha families to settle in this country, which has been fought through the courts for many years, but also very important politically.
“It is a magnificent and significant decision and a great day for Gurkhas” he said. “Between 50,000 and 60,000 Gurkhas have died over two hundred years of courageous and continuous service fighting for Queen and country and today after a long struggle they have established their right to settle in the UK, like other Commonwealth veterans, without leaving their children behind and dividing their families.”
Howe+Co acted for Gurkha veterans in the previous historic court victory in 2008 and described today as the ‘final piece in the jigsaw’ for their rights of settlement. The Court of Appeal decision followed over two years of teamwork in developing the case, working with barristers, Raphael Jesurum and Chris Jacobs.
As a result of the ruling Gurkha families can now apply for their adult children to join them in the UK with far greater confidence that they will succeed. “It is the end of a whole range of battles to get justice,” said Martin Howe. “Successive governments have resisted this position and, although David Cameron and Nick Clegg came out publicly in support of Gurkhas in 2008, they remained silent on the issue of the children when they came to power. Today justice has been done and the proper right of settlement of Gurkha families will flow from it.”