Adrian Berry assists in securing damages for client as Home Office settles for breach of GDPR

Tuesday 20 February 2024

Our Adrian Berry acted alongside Matt Lewin of Cornerstone Barristers and David Lemer of Doughty Street Chambers, instructed by Raman Kumar, Nazia Khan and Paviter Juss of Duncan Lewis in the Administrative Court Judicial Review.

Share This Page

Email This Page

Following a legal challenge, the Home Office has settled a claim for breach of GDPR in favour of our client.


The client is an Afghan refugee who entered the United Kingdom on 1 December 2015 and claimed asylum as an unaccompanied asylum-seeking minor. As part of the consideration of his asylum claim and his claimed age of birth, the Home Office sent the client’s Afghan identity document (“taskira”) to the British Embassy in Afghanistan for verification.

The issues in the claim before the court was whether:-

  1. The processing of the client’s personal data was necessary and proportionate in order to determine his asylum claim;
  2. Whether the transfer of the client’s special category data (his religion) was justified, and if the transfer was necessary to determine his asylum claim;
  3. Were appropriate safeguards in place before the transfer of the client’s data was made to Afghanistan? In particular, did the Contract purportedly agreed between the UK Government and the International Organisation for Migration, to transfer data from the United Kingdom to Afghanistan have appropriate safeguards in place; constitute adequate safeguards;
  4. Did any breach or infringement of our client’s data protection rights cause him damage or distress exceeding the necessary threshold to found a claim;
  5. If so, what level of damages is the client entitled to?

The Home Office’s position was that whilst they admitted that Article 15(2) GDPR provides a data subject with a right to be informed of the appropriate safeguards relating to a transfer to a third country or international organisation, they denied that this placed an obligation on them to inform the data subject (the client in this case) of those safeguards before any request for that information is received. The Home Office further claimed that the client was placing specific reliance on his Taskira in support of his asserted age, in circumstances that were assessed by the Home Office to be suspicious. Their position was that verifying the contents of our client’s Taskira was therefore entirely justifiable in the circumstances of the case.

Our client sought damages arising from the contended unlawful transfer of his personal data, namely the taskira and/or the information on the taskira, to Afghanistan. The Home Office settled the claim prior to the listing of the substantive hearing at the King’s Bench Division.

The above content has been taken from a Duncan Lewis press release.

Related Areas of Law

We are top ranked by independent legal directories and consistently win awards.

+ View more awards