R (AS) v LB of Croydon EWHC 356 (Admin) (Lang J): The local authority’s assessment of the Claimant’s age was correct and upon hearing evidence from the parties, the Court concluded that the Claimant was likely to be the age assessed, not claimed. A declaration was made to that effect.
UKBA announced on 28th March 2012 that it would pilot a trial with the London Borough of Croydon to use dental x-rays to resolve age disputes in circumstances where a young person has been assessed to be an adult but is still claiming to be a child.
This has sparked significant and vocal opposition to the proposed scheme, with all four Children’s Commissioners speaking out against it. See the UKBA's letter and the responses from the Children's Commissioners and ILPA (immigration Law Practitioners' Association) here.
By way of background, UKBA had once consulted on this a few years ago and when consultation on dental x-ray was carried out, it was met with opposition not only from children’s rights groups and the commissioners but also from the British Dental Association and the British Medical Association. That proposal was never followed through then.
This decision to do this pilot was made without notice to any of the stakeholders who attend regular meetings with the UKBA. There has been no consultation in advance of the decision to introduce the trial. The logistics of how the trial will work remains unclear.
See also a helpful article on this issue here.