Case No: CO/1390/2022
In the High Court of Justice
Queen’s Bench Division
5 May 2022
The Honourable Mrs Justice Foster DBE
The Queen, on the application of AXO
(by his Litigation Friend, Francesco Jeff of the Refugee Council)
London Borough of Croydon
UPON the Claimant’s N244 application for an Order to abridge the deadline for the Defendant’s Acknowledgement of Service and for expedition of the Court’s decision on permission and interim relief
AND UPON the Claimant seeking an Order protecting his anonymity on the basis that he is a putative child and further that he is an asylum seeker
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:-
1. Pursuant to CPR 39.2(4), the Claimant shall not be identified and shall be referred to in these proceedings as AXO and no report of these proceedings shall directly or indirectly identify AXO or his address or lead to his identification.
2. Pursuant to CPR rule 5.4C a person who is not a party to the proceedings may obtain a copy of a statement of case, judgment or order from the court records only if the statement of case, judgment or order has been anonymised such that: (a) the Claimant is referred to in those documents only as AXO; and (b) that any identifying reference to the Claimant be deleted from those documents.
3. The requirement for an Acknowledgement of Service is dispensed with.
4. The Defendant do within 7 days of service of this Order upon them file and serve such Summary Grounds of Defence as it wishes to rely upon to include as annexures such age assessments as it relies upon for its assertion that the Claimant is an adult.
5. The application for permission is to be put before a judge or deputy judge of the High Court as soon as possible thereafter for consideration of the issue of permission and any further Order on paper.
6. Liberty on 48 hours’ notice in writing by email to the Court and to the parties to apply to set aside or vary this Order.
7. Costs reserved.
1. The Claimant who arrived in the UK on 16 December 2021 claims to be a child of 17 years born on 27 July 2004. He is an unaccompanied asylum seeker from Iran and currently accommodated in initial asylum accommodation in a hotel with adults which is located in the Defendant’s area.
2. The substantive claim for judicial review involves a precedent fact challenge to the Defendant’s decision on age and public law challenges to the lawfulness of its age assessment and to the failure to disclose its age assessment (of which the Order above requires disclosure). It is the Claimant’s case that he has not so far had a lawful, case-law compliant age assessment. He also seeks interim relief in the form of an order requiring the Defendant to accommodate and support him on the basis of his claimed age pending determination of these proceedings.
3. This was not an urgent application as such but in order for the Court better to assess the substance of the case the Defendant needs to respond promptly and disclose the relevant assessments which the Claimant appears not have been shown, and a timetable has been set for that. Thereafter a Judge will be equipped to deal with issue of interim relief.