Claim number: AC-2023-LON-003349
In the High Court of Justice
King’s Bench Division
17 November 2023
Michael Ford KC, sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge
The King on the application of
Secretary of State for the Home Department
On an application for permission to apply for judicial review
And following consideration of the documents lodged by the Claimant
ORDER by Michael Ford KC, sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge.
- The Defendant shall respond to the application for interim relief within 14 days of the date of service of this order.
- The application for interim relief shall be placed before a judge as soon as is practicable following the expiry of the fourteen-day period in (1) above.
- The Claimant shall be referred to in these proceedings as “BN” and his wife as “SS” in these proceedings. Pursuant to CPR 39.2(4), there shall be no publication of the name or address of the Claimant, his wife or their children or any particulars of the case likely to lead to the identification of the Claimant, his wife or their children without the leave of the Court. Any person has liberty on three days’ written notice to the parties to apply to vary or discharge this order
- Costs reserved.
- This Claimant has applied for permission to bring a claim for judicial review. One of the grounds of challenge is that the Defendant failed to provide him and his family with suitable dispersal accommodation, in breach of the duty in s.95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (“IAA 1999”). There is also a systemic challenge to the system of dispersals, which is shortly to be considered by the Administrative Court in other proceedings.
- The Claimant also seeks urgent interim relief, requiring the Defendant to provide adequate dispersal accommodation within seven days. The background is that the Claimant and his family have been in emergency accommodation in a hotel in Swindon since 18 October 2022, shortly after they arrived in the UK and claimed asylum. His wife is now four months pregnant.
- The Claimant’s solicitors sent a PAP letter dated 23 September, raising the inadequacy of the accommodation and seeking immediate relocation. On 29 September 2023 the Defendant informed the Claimant that dispersal was recommended but it was not medically urgent. The Defendant’s reply to the PAP letter, dated 10 October 2023, explained that the hotel was suitable and said she was taking steps to arrange dispersal accommodation.
- The N244 is dated 10 November 2023, and asked for consideration of this matter within 14 days. There is, so far as I can tell, no explanation for the delay in seeking interim relief in the month since receipt of the Defendant’s reply to the PAP letter. The Defendant has had very little time to respond to the interim relief application and I do not consider the circumstances are of such urgency that immediate relief should be granted now. In those circumstances, I have made the order for the Defendant to respond within 14 days of this order, which is about the same time as the Acknowledgement of Service is due. The application for interim relief should then be considered by a judge on the papers as soon as is possible thereafter.
- The Claimant also applies for an anonymity order. The Claimant and his family are asylum seekers and the application raises issues about his family life and the circumstances of their children. I have had particular regard to the importance of open justice and freedom of expression, but I consider that in these circumstances the rights of the Claimant and his family to privacy in Article 8 of the ECHR outweigh the need for open justice. I have therefore made an anonymity order.