Case number: CO/2717/2023
In the High Court of Justice
King’s Bench Division
9 October 2023
The Honourable Mrs Justice Lang DBE
The King on the application of
AAC (a child by her parent and litigation friend MA)
Secretary of State for the Home Department
Notification of the Judge’s decision on the application for permission to apply for judicial review (CPR 54.11, 54.12)
Following consideration of the documents lodged by the Claimant and the Acknowledgment of service filed by the Defendant;
Order by the Honourable Mrs Justice Lang DBE
- The application for permission to apply for judicial review is refused.
- The Claimant must file and serve an amended Claim Form which states the Claimant’s name in Section 1, as well as the name of the litigation friend.
- Pursuant to CPR r.39.2, in any report of these proceedings, there shall be no publication of the name and address of the Claimant and her litigation friend, nor any other particulars likely to lead to their identification. In the proceedings, the Claimant shall be anonymised and referred to as “AAC” and the litigation friend shall be anonymised and referred to as “MA”.
- The Claimant’s solicitors must file with the Court copies of case documents which have been anonymised and/or redacted to protect the identity of the Claimant and her litigation friend, in accordance with paragraph 3 above.
- Non-parties may not obtain any documents from the court file which have not been anonymised and/or redacted to protect the identity of the Claimant and her litigation friend, in accordance with paragraph 3 above.
- The Claimant do pay the Defendant’s costs of preparing the Acknowledgment of Service, which are summarily assessed in the sum of £672.70. This is a final order unless within 14 days of the date of this Order the Claimant files with the Court and serves on the Defendant a notice of objection setting out the reasons why they should not be required to pay costs (either as required by the costs order, or at all). If the Claimant files and serves notice of objection, the Defendant may, within 14 days of the date it is served, file and serve submissions in response. The Claimant may, within 7 days of the date on which the Defendant’s response is served, file and serve submissions in reply. A Judge will then make a final determination on costs, either on the papers, or at a hearing of any renewed application for permission
- An anonymity order has been made because the Claimant is a child (DOB 31.3.14).
- The Claimant seeks permission to apply for judicial review of the Defendant’s decision, dated 18 April 2023, to refuse to register her as a British national.
- The Claimant’s grounds of challenge may be summarised as follows:
a. The decision was ultra vires.
b. The decision was illegal and irrational.
c. The Defendant failed to give adequate reasons for the refusal.
d. The decision was in breach of Article 8 ECHR.
e. The decision was Wednesbury unreasonable.
- The claim was filed within the 3 month backstop period on 7 July 2023. It was not issued by the Court until 21 July 2023.
- In my view, the grounds of challenge are unarguable and have no realistic prospect of success, for the reasons given by the Defendant in the Summary Grounds of Resistance.
- The Claimant did not take up the offer of an administrative review of the decision, and therefore failed to exhaust her alternative remedies. Judicial review is a remedy of last resort.
- The Claimant’s grounds overlap and therefore it is convenient to consider them together.
- The Defendant was entitled to conclude, in the exercise of her discretion under section 3(1) of the British Nationality Act 1981, and having regard to the policy guidance, that the Claimant did not meet the normal criteria for registration.
- The Claimant is a Bangladeshi national who was born in Bangladesh in 2014. She only moved to the UK in May 2022. She does not have settled status and she is not free of immigration time restrictions (her leave to remain extends to 6 February 2025).
- Her father, who is from Bangladesh, was granted British citizenship on 31 August 2022, and her sister is also a British citizen. However, her mother is not a British citizen. Her mother is not settled in the UK and free of immigration time limits (her leave expires on 6 February 2025).
- It is unarguable that the decision is in breach of Article 8 ECHR. She has valid leave to remain until 6 February 2025 and can continue to exercise her right to private and family life in the UK. The Claimant has failed to demonstrate how the decision dated 18 April 2023 leads to a disproportionate interference with her Article 8 rights.
- In my view, the reasons given by the Defendant were adequate.