On appeal from: [2015] EWCA Civ 49.

In Zambrano the CJEU held that an EU member state could not take measures in respect of a non-EU citizen who was the primary carer (a “Zambrano carer”) of an EU citizen, where those measures effectively deprived that dependent EU citizen of the genuine enjoyment of his or her rights under EU law.

In response to Zambrano, the UK Government amended legislation to preclude Zambrano carers from claiming various income-related benefits. HC, an Algerian national, challenged the regulations.

Held: unanimously dismissing HC’s appeal. The reasoning of the CJEU turned solely on the risk that the dependents of Zambrano carers might be forced to leave the EU, thereby being deprived of the enjoyment of their rights as EU citizens. EU law therefore requires no more for the children of a Zambrano carer than the practical support necessary for them to remain in the EU. According to art 51 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, it applies to EU Member States only when they are implementing EU law, as such the art 21 right to equal treatment under the Charter does not apply to HC.

The measures adopted by the UK do not amount to unlawful discrimination under ECHR, art 14. Discrimination on the basis of immigration status is an accepted part of EU and national law and cannot in itself give rise to an issue under art 14.

For judgment, please download: [2017] UKSC 73
For Court’s Press Summary, please download: Court’s Press Summary
For a non-PDF version of the judgment, please visit: BAILII

To watch the hearing, please visit: Supreme Court Website (21 Jun 2017 afternoon session) (22 Jun 2017 morning session) (22 Jun 2017 afternoon session)