In the High Court of Justice
King’s Bench Division
10 October 2022
Sir Ross Cranston sitting as a High Court judge
The King on the application of FLA
Secretary of State for the Home Department
Order by Sir Ross Cranston sitting as a High Court judge
- The applications for permission to apply for judicial review and for interim relief are refused.
- Pursuant to CPR rule 39.2(4) there shall not be disclosed in any report of the proceedings the name or address of the Claimant or any details leading to his identification. If referred to, he shall only be referred to as ‘FLA’.
- 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 by the letters ‘FLA’; and (b) any reference to his name has been deleted from those documents.
- The costs of preparing the Acknowledgement of Service are to be paid by the Claimant to the Defendant, summarily assessed in the sum of £680.
- 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 2013. Any objection by the Claimant to the amount of costs claimed shall be dealt with on that occasion.
- The Claimant, a Syrian asylum seeker, challenges the ongoing failure of the Secretary of State for the Home Department to provide the Claimant and his family with adequate accommodation that meets their needs, pursuant to section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
- He was granted section 95 support on 22 November 2021 with his partner and two children aged 14 and 7. Their asylum application is pending. Since arrival they have been accommodated at a hotel in West London.
- In his short statement the Claimant states that the accommodation is inadequate (i) because the family is only provided with one room, so that there is insufficient space to store belongings and for the children to play and develop in an age-appropriate manner; (ii) the family do not have access to a washing machine and the laundry service is not frequent enough with the result that the children are being bullied at school for wearing unclean clothes; and (iii) there are no self-catering facilities and the food provided by the hotel is inadequate.
- In her SGR the Secretary of State states that the accommodation consists of two interconnected rooms, laundry is collected twice a week (although why that happens to be bunched on Thursdays and Fridays is a puzzle),
food at the hotel is varied and suitable for children, the children are able to study at the hotel (there is a desk and Wi-Fi, as well as communal areas suitable for study), and the room has been treated by pest control.
- Both sides have provided photographs of the accommodation.
- While the accommodation is not ideal for a family on any long-term basis, I cannot see that there is any legal foundation to the Claimant’s challenge at this stage.
- Ground 1 is the Secretary of State’s failure to comply with the obligation to make adequate provision pursuant to section 95. On the authorities this is not arguable: it is temporary accommodation, and even after 10/11 months
it cannot be said that the Secretary of State’s decision that it is adequate is irrational.
- Ground 2 is the failure to have regard to the section 55 duty with respect to the best interests of the Claimant’s children. Again, this is not arguable: there is no evidence that the Secretary of State has failed to take account of the children’s best interests as a primary consideration. The facts summarised in para. 4 above suggests that she has.
- Since there is no properly arguable claim, there is no basis for interim relief or for granting permission.