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Key Point

The bar for exceptional circumstances is a high one


The basket of cases against which one assesses exceptionality is all those cases which start in the Portal and then leave

Ferri v Gill

[2019] EWHC 952 (QB)

The lower court had erred in finding that the bar was low. It was in fact a very high bar. At [43] the court held:

"As the House of Lords said in R v Soneji, an expression such as “exceptional circumstances” must take its colour from the setting in which it appears. The setting in which it appears informs the Court whether a strict approach to exceptional is or is not warranted. "

The second question was whether the Master was right in defining the ‘basket’ of cases compared with which a case needs to have “exceptional circumstances”. At [47] the court held "It is clear that the basket of cases against which a case must demonstrate “exceptional circumstances” is the type of cases that have exited the Portal and are subject to the Part IIIA regime."

The case was remitted back to Master Gordon-Saker to be assessed again. However, no judgment appears anywhere I can find, so it does seem likely the case then settled. If anyone knows any differently, please let me know.

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