JO (qualified person - hospital order - effect) Slovakia [2012] UKUT 237 (IAC), [2012] MHLO 132

The respondent had been charged with attempted murder, found not guilty by reason of insanity, and made subject to a restricted hospital order. The Secretary of State made a deportation order under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006. Under those regulations, (a) a 'qualified person' (jobseeker or worker) is entitled to reside in the UK while he remains a qualified person, (b) after five years of such residence he is entitled to reside in the UK permanently, (c) a worker or self-employed person's periods of inactivity due to illness or accident are treated as if they were periods of activity. (1) The term 'illness' should not be given a narrow or restricted meaning, either in terms of the type of illness (to exclude mental illness) or the period of incapacity (to exclude long-term illnesses). (2) Although a prison sentence does not count towards the qualifying period for permanent residence, time spent subject to a hospital order does: 'The distinction is that a prison sentence follows the choice of an individual to act in a criminal manner, whereas a Hospital Order results from a finding that the individual suffers from a mental disorder and is not therefore criminally responsible for their otherwise culpable behaviour.' [This distinction is fallacious, as it is mental state at sentencing that is relevant and most hospital orders follow a criminal conviction.] (3) The Secretary of State's challenges in relation to the respondent's 'integration' and work history were rejected as (respectively) integration was not relevant because the respondent fell within the regulations, and the FTT were entitled to reach the view it did as to work history.

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