Afghan child challenges Home Office on ‘Dubs Amendment’ at the High Court

7 March 2018

Sonali Naik QCBryony PoynorMiranda Butler

Garden Court’s Sonali Naik QCBryony Poynor and Miranda Butler represent the claimant, instructed by Duncan Lewis Solicitors.

The full judicial review hearing at the High Court took place between 28 February and 2 March 2018.

ZS is a particularly vulnerable unaccompanied child from Afghanistan (now aged 15), considered by his support workers to be at high risk of exploitation. In November 2016, the “jungle” camp in Calais where he was staying was demolished. ZS and hundreds of other children in the same position wished to be relocated to the UK under the Dubs Amendment and were interviewed by the Home Office without an appropriate adult present. He was told a month later by the French authorities that he was not being transferred to the UK, with no written reasons.

ZS is challenging the Secretary of State for the Home Department for failing in her duties under the ‘Dubs Amendment’ by:

  • restricting the provision with policy that automatically excluded the vast majority of asylum-seeking children formerly resident in the Calais camp on the basis of their age and nationality
  • refusing to reconsider ZS for transfer even though over half the 480 local authority places available specifically for ‘Dubs’ children remain unfilled more than 18 months after the enactment of section 67
  • delegating her positive duties to ‘make arrangements’ for the transfer of children to the UK to the French authorities, and
  • creating policy which is inconsistent with the practical application of the provision including her failure to publish or disseminate her own policy

Sonali Naik QCBryony Poynor and Miranda Butler are members of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration and Public Law Teams. They are instructed by Toufique Hossain, Krisha Prathepan and Jamie Bell of Duncan Lewis Solicitors.

More information about the hearing can be found on the Duncan Lewis website. The case has also been reported in the Guardian.