2014 07 Children

Friday 1 August 2014

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VS v the Home Office [2014] EWHC 2483 (QB) (Mr. Simon Picken Q.C.) The Court held the Home Office unlawfully detained the Claimant for 2 periods under immigration powers. At all material times of the claim, the Claimant was a child. The first period of false imprisonment related to his being detained on arrival at Dover Port and being subject to an interview as to why he came to the UK which was unnecessary for the purposes of making a child welfare referral to social services. The Court of Appeal in the case of AN and FA v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] EWCA Civ 1636 held the same to be unnecessary. The Judge applied the principles in the Court of Appeal's judgment and held that the Claimant's detention from 17.50 to 19.10 was unlawful. As to the second period of false imprisonment from 17 July to 10 August 2012, the Judge held that no power arose to seek to remove the Claimant and thus no power to detain arose. He was a child; the Defendant acted in breach of its own published policies to treat him as an adult in the absence of a Merton compliant age assessment. In so finding, the Judge had to construe the Home Office's Assessing Age policy. The issue of quantum has been put to another day. Click here for judgment.

Shu Shin Luh of Garden Court Chambers represented the Claimant, instructed by Maxwell Gillott Solicitors. Click here for a note of the judgment.

R (Tigere) v Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills [2014] EWHC 2452 (Admin) (Hayden J): The Court held that eligibility for financial support for higher education fell within the ambit of the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 Protocol 1 art.2 and very careful scrutiny was required in order to evaluate whether interference with the right to education was justified as proportionate to a legitimate aim. The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills had not properly engaged in a justification of the rationality or proportionality of a blanket policy of making all applicants without indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom ineligible for student loans. Click here for judgment.

n.b The Court of Appeal heard an appeal against this decision this week and overturned the High Court decision. A transcript of the decision is not available yet.

R (PO and ors) v LB of Newham [2014] EWHC 2561 (Admin) (John Howell Q.C.): The claimants are three children who brought proceedings via their mother. They challenged the Defendant's failure to assess their needs lawfully and its decision to provide only £50 per week to meet their and their mother's subsistence needs. This level of support was inadequate but the Defendant contended that it was in accordance with its No Recourse to Public Funds policy; the rates in that policy were rates derived from child benefit rates. The High Court held that the rates were flawed and should not have been applied to the claimants. The High court directed the local authority to reconsider the policy and to consider what backpayments should be awarded to the claimants. Click here for judgment.

Shu Shin Luh of Garden Court Chambers represented the claimants, instructed by Coram Children's Legal Centre. Click here for a note of the judgment.

Other matters:

The Government published new statutory guidance on the Care for Unaccomapnied and Trafficked Children. Click here for the new statutory guidance.

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