DA -v- Bristol City Council (anonymity order)

Administrative CourtQueen's Bench DivisionAnonymity Order

Case No: CO/2569/2022

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

Date: 19 July 2022

The Honourable Mr Justice Poole

In the matter of an application for judicial review
THE QUEEN on the application of
Bristol City Council

On an application by DA by his Litigation Friend, MA
Following consideration of the documents lodged by the Claimant including an application for urgent consideration

ORDER by the Honourable Mr Justice Poole on 19 July 2022 sitting as the Immediates Judge

  1. The Claimant shall be afforded anonymity, to be referred to as “DA” and his father and litigation friend as “MA”. The identity of the Claimant and his father shall not be disclosed outside of these proceedings. There shall not be disclosed in any report of the proceedings the name or address of the Claimant or his father or any details leading to the identification of the Claimant or his father.
  2. The matter shall be listed as “R (on the application of DA) v Bristol City Council”.
  3. 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 DA, and his father and litigation friend as MA; and (b) that any identifying reference to the Claimant and his father be deleted from those documents;
  4. Any person, including members of the press, may apply to the court to vary or discharge this Order on seven days’ notice to the parties.
  5. The Claimant’s application for urgent consideration, abridged time for the AOS, and consideration of permission within 24 hours is refused.
  6. The Defendant shall by no later than 4pm on 9 August 2022 file and serve
    Form JR-MPA. Judicial Review. Miscellaneous Paper Application. Version September 2020
    its Summary Grounds of Defence addressing the substantive claim and whether interim relief should be granted.
  7. Thereafter, and no later than 16 August 2022, the papers shall be placed before a High Court Judge or Deputy High Court judge in the Administrative Court for consideration on the papers of the application for interim relief, permission and/or further directions.
  8. Costs reserved.

  9. The anonymity orders are made as being necessary and proportionate to protect the identity and interests of the child Claimant, DA. Were the child to be identified it would be harmful to their welfare.
  10. The claim form (15 July 2022) states that the date of the decision challenged is 7 July 2022 but that it was an omission – a failure of the defendant to discharge its duty to secure special educational provision for the Claimant, a disabled child.
  11. The interim relief sought is:
    a. Mandatory order enforcing the statutory duty under s.42(2) Children and Families Act 2014 so secure immediately and during term time the special educational provision (SEP) specified in the claimant’s Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP_.
    b. A declaration that any flexibility on SEP written into the EHCP is to meet the needs of the child being home schooled and for the parents to determine in line with the defendant’s undertaking given at the First-tier Tribunal (SEND) on 1 April 2022
    c. A declaration that the Defendant has been in breach of its duty.
  12. The application for urgent consideration seeks consideration, interim relief, abridgement of time for AOS and consideration of permission within 24 hours.
  13. The Defendant has recently issued an EHCP dated 14 July 2022. The claimant does not apparently challenge the substance of the EHCP. Two letters before action (LBA) have been sent by the Litigation Friend to the Defendant. Both pre-date the EHCP. The LBA concerning school holiday provision seeks an assurance that provision will commence in the week beginning 25 July 2022, which date has not yet arrived. The LBA concerning full time SEP demands that provision will begin on 18 July 2022, which post-dates the claim for judicial review.
  14. I can see no evidence that the Defendant has decided not to comply with the EHCP, or has failed to comply with it, as issued on 14 July 2022, 24 hours before the date of the claim form for judicial review.
  15. This claim, and the application for interim relief, are not urgent. The claimant has been the subject of a (previous) EHCP for over a year. The issue of the EHCP has recently been considered by the First-tier Tribunal.
    Form JR-MPA. Judicial Review. Miscellaneous Paper Application. Version September 2020
    A new EHCP has been issued on 14 July 2022. The claim appears to be premature but that can be considered at permission stage. The Defendant has been engaged fully with the Tribunal process and responded promptly to letters before action by correcting and re-issuing the EHCP. The claim appears to be based on alleged failures to implement the EHCP but the EHCP has only just been issued 24 hours before the claim herein was made. In the circumstances I do not consider this case appropriate for expedited consideration and directions as sought. I have made directions for the Defendant to respond and for consideration of the interim relief sought and permission within a reasonable timeframe.