AH -v- Wakefield Metropolitan District Council (anonymity order)

Administrative CourtHigh CourtKing's Bench DivisionAnonymity Order

Claim number: AC-2023-LDS-000286

In the High Court of Justice
King’s Bench Division
Administrative Court

8 January 2024


His Honour Judge Davis-White KC

In the matter of an application for judicial review THE KING

On the application of:



Wakefield Metropolitan District Council


On an application by the Claimant, AH for (1) a mandatory interim injunction that the Defendant provide accommodation to the claimant as a child under the Children Act 1989; (2) an anonymity order and (3) an order to allow the claimant to proceed without a litigation friend

Following consideration of the documents lodged by the Claimant

ORDER by His Honour Judge Davis-White KC (sitting as a Judge of the King’s Bench Division) Claimant’s name

  1. The Claimant shall confirm in writing to the court by 12 noon on Monday 8 January 2024 his full name. If that name is different to “Abdalla Hussen” then the Claimant shall amend the Claim Form by 12 noon on Monday 8 January 2024 to show his full name, alternatively, as appropriate, to identify the name under which he was formerly or is also known by and shall forthwith serve the same on the Defendant.
  2. The Claimant shall forthwith serve this Order and a copy of the bundle (including without limitation the claim form) on the Defendant at the address for service provided by the Defendant in the response dated 14 November 2023 to the pre-action protocol letter and Further certificate of service shall be lodged by 12 noon on Monday 8 January 2024.
  3. A further copy of the bundle shall be lodged and served as soon as possible containing a full version of the response to the pre-action protocol letter.

Acknowledgement of service

  1. The time for filing and serving an acknowledgement of service is 12 noon on Monday 8 January 2024 (the time for the same being abridged or extended accordingly).

Hearing: Mandatory injunction and permission to apply for judicial review

  1. The application for a mandatory injunction shall be listed together with the application for permission to apply for judicial review for a remote hearing to be arranged by the court on 9th January 2024 at 2.00pm with a time estimate of 1 hour (the “Hearing”).
    a. The parties shall lodge a list of intended participants and in the case of each participant, their respective role/position and email address and telephone number on the day of the hearing by4pm on Friday 5 January 2024;
    b. Any skeleton arguments shall be filed by 10am on the day before the Hearing.


  1. Over until after the end of the Hearing or further order in the meantime:
    (1) The Claimant’s name is to be withheld from the public and must not be disclosed in any proceedings in open court.
    (2) There is to be substituted for all purposes in these proceedings (including without limitation, any listing and any skeleton arguments) in place of references to the claimant by name, and whether orally or in writing, references to the letters “AH”.
    (3) Pursuant to s11 Contempt of Court Act 1981, there must not be ay publication of the identity of the Claimant or of any matter likely to lead to the identification of the Claimant in any report of or otherwise in connection with these proceedings.
    (4) Pursuant to CPR r5.4C(4):
    (a)the parties must, when filing any statement of case also file a redacted copy of that statement of case omitting the name, address and any other information which could lead to the identification of the claimant;
    (b) sub-paragraph (a) shall also apply to any statement of case already filed, save that the redacted copy shall be filed by 12 noon on Monday 8 January 2024;
    (c) Unless the Court grants permission under CPR r5.4(C)(6), no non-party may obtain an unredacted copy of any statement of case. Any application for such permission shall be made on notice to the parties or shall otherwise contain an explanation of why notice has not been and is not proposed to be given.

No need for litigation friend

  1. Over until after the end of the Hearing or further order in the meantime, if and to the extent he is under the age of 18, the Claimant is permitted to conduct proceedings without a litigation friend.


  1. Costs reserved.

Permission to apply

  1. Any person wishing to apply to vary, discharge or stay this Order must make an application to the Court served on each party. In the case of an application by a party, the same must be made within 7 days of service of this Order upon them.



  1. The Claimant has issued the claim form under a name comprising two separate words but in other documentation (and crucially the grant of refugee status dated 12 June 2023, the name given comprises three words). Assuming the Claimant is the person referred to in such letter the claim form should be amended as appropriate to make clear his full name comprises three words or that he was formerly known or also known by the name comprising three words)


  1. The certificate of service indicates that service has purportedly been effected at an address other than the one supplied for these purposes in the response to the pre-action protocol letter. Proper service should be effected not least given the urgency of the current application.


  1. The response to the pre-action protocol letter appears to be incomplete or scanned in the wrong order: as provided to the court, the foot of a number of relevant pages does not appear to tie in with the head of the following page.

Acknowledgement of service

  1. Given the need for an urgent hearing which should encompass the permission to apply for judicial review it is important that any acknowledgement is served and filed prior to the hearing.


  1. The question of the injunction and other interim relief as well as the question of permission to apply for judicial review should be dealt with together (see Administrative Court Guide paragraph 16.3.2).
  2. An oral hearing is more appropriate than a hearing on the papers given that it is unclear that the Defendant has had an opportunity to respond to the application by reason of the point on service referred to above and that it is quicker to get the matter heard orally with representations from both sides rather than dealing with the point on the papers once written representations have been received.
  3. There are serious questions as to whether there is an arguable ground for judicial review which has a realistic prospect of success. Further, and as the response to the pre-action protocol letter makes clear, certain challenges to the age assessment in this case in particular arising from evidence from the claimant that was not provided to those carrying out the assessment were matters that were to be referred back to the experts who carried out the impugned age assessment in this case. The Defendant will no doubt wish to update the court on these matters and address it on the substantive issue of permission to apply for judicial review.
  4. It is not appropriate to grant a mandatory injunction in this case without hearing from the Defendant at all (see further para 11 below). The alternatives are giving the Defendant a shorter period to respond, then considering the grant of an interim injunction over until a hearing or proceeding straight to a hearing.
  5. The extra few days involved in the latter cause limited prejudice to the Claimant, not least given his age that he puts forward as applying namely 17 years one month. Further, as a matter of court resources it is better to have one hearing within days rather than the court having to consider the matter twice.
  6. Although unfortunately the court was unable to deal with this matter in the short number of days requested before Christmas 2023, that has to be balanced against the fact that the application was lodged with the court on 11 December 2023 seeking a determination within 9 days when the decision appealed against was made on 16 October 2023 and the outcome shared with the claimant on 1 November 2023 in the presence of an interpreter of his chose language and dialect and an appropriate adult of his choice (see Assessment paragraph 5.12.1), he having failed to attend the proposed sharing of the decision with him on 23 October and 25 October 2023 (see chronology at start of assessment). He was apparently told to leave his accommodation following the outcome of the age assessment and the Council’s position was clear by its letter of 14 November 2023. As said. Service is also doubtful. In those circumstances an immediate order today without giving the Defendant an opportunity and time to make representations is not just.


  1. Anonymity is appropriate given the Claimant’s refugee status. I have considered and weighed the factors summarised in the Administrative Court Guide at paragraph 7.12.

Litigation friend

  1. On the basis of the evidence, assuming the Claimant to be under 18 for these purposes, a litigation friend appears to be unnecessary.