The case began with 10 men who challenged a decision of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission to eject them from the country on the basis that there was evidence of them being a threat to national security.
Of the 10 appellants, all except 2 were detained in December 2001; the others were detained in February and April 2002 respectively. All were detained under the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001. Part 4 of the Act allowed this procedure and their deportation only for non-British nationals. Under section 25 of this Act, they had the legal right to appeal to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission against their detention.