Destitute children: the Court of Appeal grants permission to appeal

Wednesday 13 May 2015

The Court of Appeal has granted permission to appeal R (Mensah) v Salford CC [2014] EWHC 3537 Admin.

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In that case, Lewis J held that it was lawful for a local authority to provide support for destitute children and their families, under section 17 of the Children Act 1989, in line with the very low amounts that the Secretary of State for the Home Department would provide under section 4 of the Immigration Act 1999.

The appeal is on the basis that section 4 of the 1999 Act is the wrong starting point because it is not designed to promote the welfare and best interests of children in need and because the amounts provided under that section are insufficient for that purpose. It is also being submitted that the approach based on section 4 fails to treat all children living in the United Kingdom as having equal value, in breach of the Children Act 2004.

Stephen Knafler QC (who did not appear at first instance) is leading Ben McCormack of Garden Court North, on behalf of the destitute child and her family. They are instructed by Kathleen Cosgrove of Platt Halpern.

Shu Shin Luh has been instructed to intervene by Coram Children’s Legal Centre.

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