In the High Court of Justice
King’s Bench Division
3 October 2022
Sir Ross Cranston sitting as High Court Judge
The King on the application of CX1
Secretary of State for Defence and Secretary of State for the Home Department
Notification of the Judge’s decision on the application for permission to apply for judicial review (CPR 54.11, 54.12)
Following consideration of the documents lodged by the Claimant [and the Acknowledgement of Service filed by the Defendant
Order by Sir Ross Cranston sitting as a High Court judge
- The application for permission to apply for judicial review is refused.
- The Claimant’s name is to be anonymised to CX1.
- The Claimant has permission to rely on a report prepared by Tim Foxley MBE.
- The time estimate of any Renewal to be 2 hours.
- The costs of preparing the Acknowledgement of Service are to be paid by the Claimant to the Defendant, summarily assessed in the sum of £3,216.
- The Claimant has the benefit of cost protection under section 26 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012. The amount of costs that the Claimant shall pay shall be determined on an application by the Defendant under regulation 16 of the Civil Legal Aid (Costs) Regulations
- Any objection by the Claimant to the amount of costs claimed shall be dealt with on that occasion.
- Ground 1 is that First Defendant’s conclusion that the Claimant did not work alongside the UK government in Afghanistan or closely in support was unreasonable and not properly justified or reasoned. The 14 June letter explains (with Arabic translation in each case below) that on the information he had provided he had been assessed as ineligible for category 1 because he had not been employed in Afghanistan by a UK government department; category 2 as not being directly employed in Afghanistan by a UK government department or having provided linguistic services to or for the benefit for members of the UK’s armed forces in Afghanistan; and category 4, as not being directly employed in Afghanistan by the UK government or providing goods or services under contract to the UK government, or worked in Afghanistan alongside a UK government department, in partnership with or closely supporting it. Given that his case was based on having worked for the BBC it is not in my view arguable that the decision was irrational. Notwithstanding the more intensive review necessary in cases of a potential threat to life, there is still a high threshold Form JR 3 Judicial Review. Permission refused. Version September 2020 for the Claimant to meet in the context of the application of the scheme. Not do I consider that the letter’s albeit concise reasons mean an arguable lack of justification or adequate reasoning.
- Ground 2 is that the Second Defendant’s LOTR policy of March 2022 is irrational and unfair in that none of the visa routes remotely match the Claimants circumstances so he could not reasonably be expected to use any of the specified forms. I note that in that March policy, under the heading “Afghanistan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP)”, there is this passage: “Any application for LOTR should be made via a valid application on the application form for whichever other route most closely matches the applicant’s circumstances.” Apart from anything else, this statement indicating that the form chosen by an applicant will not necessarily be closely matched to their circumstances means that this ground is not arguable.
- Ground 3 is closely related to Ground 2 and fails for the same reasons. Moreover, the claim in relation to these this ground, and it would seem on Ground 3 is premature, since no LOTR application has been made.