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

Administrative CourtHigh CourtKing's Bench DivisionAnonymity Order

Claim number: CO/2397/2023

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

5 July 2023


The Honourable Mr Justice Fordham


The King on the application of


Secretary of State for the Home Department

Entry Clearance Officer (Tehran)


On an application by way of “Other applications (non-urgent)” in Section 9 of Form N461
Following consideration of the documents lodged by the Claimant
ORDER by the Honourable Mr Justice Fordham

  1. The directions 2(a) and (b) are refused.
  2. The application for anonymity is granted, with liberty to any person to apply to vary or discharge anonymity on notice to the parties.
  3. Pending further Order, pursuant to CPR 39.2 the Claimant is granted anonymity and shall be known as “AZ” and there shall be no publication of his name or any information that might lead to him being identified.


(1) Not for the first time, Claimant’s representatives seek to interpose a Judge, to look at a “non-urgent” application, at some stage after 7 days from filing the Claim (no N463 having been issued), but before 14 days. The Judge is then asked to determine whether to abridge time for the AOS (to 14 days). The logic is this. A Judge reads the papers on some date in the period between 7 days (4 July 2023) and 14 days (11 July 2023), all for the purpose of deciding whether the Defendants should – suddenly – be ordered to file their AOS by 11 July 2023 (14 days) rather than 18 July 2023 (21 days).
(2) This practice, which has become prevalent, is an unjustifiable and unrealistic approach to judicial resources. All for the purpose of a – sudden – shortening of a deadline, by 7 days. It needs to stop. If the Claimant’s legal representatives take this course in another claim, they should provide and draw attention to this Order and explain why my reasoning is wrong or distinguishable.
(3) So, a single Judge should be reading the papers and dealing with all the permission-stage issues, including expedition and directions. Papers should be considered by a paper-permission Judge after the AOS deadline, on a properly informed basis. That Judge should be dealing with all the case-management issues and anonymity.
(4) The Court is always alive to considerations of urgency. That is why Form N463 exists, for where it is warranted. The context in the present case is evidently that the claim has been commenced on 27 June 2023, challenging a decision of 17 May 2023.
(5) Not for the first time, the Court finds itself making a first Order, prematurely. But since I am making a pre-permission Order – albeit in circumstances where one should not have been sought – I must act protectively. I am granting anonymity, now, because this is the Court’s first Order, and it would be available from the court files. I am satisfied that there is a CPR 39.2(4) necessity, but anonymity can be revisited if anyone wishes to raise any point or concern.