High Court hears failed asylum seeker’s daughter ‘at FGM risk’

1 November 2018

James Holmes

Garden Court’s James Holmes is instructed by Suffolk County Council.

A failed asylum seeker, who has links to Bahrain and Sudan, is facing removal from the UK despite a family judge ruling that her nine-year-old-daughter could be subjected to FGM if taken abroad.

The judge said that the case, brought by Suffolk County Council, which is the first of its kind, raised public interest issues relating to ‘tensions’ between politicians and the courts and could be reported by journalists.

Garden Court’s James Holmes, who is leading Suffolk County Council’s team, said a family court judge concluded the girl would be at risk of FGM if her mother left for the Middle East. The girl was made subject of an FGM protection order.

However, the Home Office officials rejected the woman’s asylum application and ordered her removal, the court heard.

The Home Office’s lawyer told the judge that the woman would be allowed to stay in the UK for the next few weeks.

A judge is expected to stage a trial in the near future.

This case has been widely reported including BBC and Independent.

James Holmes is a member of the Garden Court Chambers Family Law Team.