ASM -v- Secretary of State for the Home Department (anonymity order)

Administrative CourtKing's Bench DivisionAnonymity Order

Case number: AC-2024-LON-001165

In the Royal Courts of Justice
King’s Bench Division
Administrative Court

In the matter of an application interim relief within a claim for Judicial Review

8 April 2024


The Honourable Mr Justice Cotter


The King on the application of


Secretary of State for the Home Department


UPON consideration of the application for interim relief, statement of facts and grounds for judicial review evidence and representations of the Claimant filed at 4.29pm on 8th April 2024


  1. The Claimant is granted anonymity until further order.
  2. The Defendant is prohibited from dispersing the Claimant from single occupancy accommodation with a private bathroom within the boundaries of Kingston-upon-Thames without further order of this Court.
  3. No later than 4.00pm on 15 April 2024, the Defendant is to file and serve submissions setting out his response to the application for interim relief and anonymity.
  4. The Claimant has permission to file and serve a response to the Defendant’s submissions (and in any in any event to file submissions in relation to anonymity) no later than 4.00pm on 22 April 2024]. Thereafter papers to be put before a judge for further directions.
  5. Either party has liberty to apply to vary or discharge this order on not less than 48 hours notice to the other party.
  6. Costs reserved.

Brief reasons

The Claimant is a non-binary Russian national asylum-seeker. They are in receipt of asylum support pursuant to section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
By a letter of 2nd June 2023, the Defendant confirmed that it was accepted that in the Claimant’s circumstances and given their non -binary identity adequate accommodation needs to be single occupancy with a private bathroom.
The Defendant’s agents have issued a dispersal notice and the Claimant’s enquiries “suggest” that the proposed new accommodation is a property shared by six people which has a single shared bathroom. It is the Claimant’s case that given previous acknowledgments from the Defendant of the need for single occupancy living and bathroom arrangements, and the lack of any material change of circumstances, he cannot rationally believe that the dispersal address is adequate for the Claimant’s needs. The Claimant suffers from anxiety and the prospect of the move has triggered panic attacks.
An urgent pre-action letter was sent on 4th April 2024. There has been no response.
Applying the amended American Cyanamid test, there is clearly a serious issue to be tried. Damages would not be an adequate remedy and the balance of convenience requires that the status quo should be preserved, at least until the Defendant’s response to the application has been considered.
The proposed move is tomorrow; the 9th April. Accordingly there is, at this stage, no realistic opportunity to allow the Defendant to respond. As a result the order will be for a short period.
The Claimant who is a purported refugee and said to be at risk of persecution has requested anonymity (not expanded upon in any detail in the grounds/submissions). I have considered the importance of open justice. I am persuaded (by a narrow margin) that an order should be made but reconsidered when the papers are next before a Judge or any hearing. It is arguably important to protect their identity and to enable them to participate in proceedings without fear of identification or retaliation.