HO -v- Secretary of State for Home Department and another & HO -v- Essex County Council and another (anonymity order)

Administrative CourtHigh CourtQueen's Bench DivisionAnonymity Order

Case No: CO/3891/2022
Case No: CO/3916/2022

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

2 November 2022

Mr Hugh Southey KC

The King on the application of HO
Secretary of State for Home Department
Essex County Council (interested party)

Mr Hugh Southey KC

The King on the application of HO
Essex County Council
Secretary of State for the Home Department (interested party)

On an application by the Claimant for orders for anonymity, joinder, a rolled-up hearing, and costs.
Following consideration of the documents lodged by the Claimant and Essex County Council

Order by Mr Hugh Southey KC (sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court)

  1. The Claimant’s application for an anonymity order is granted pursuant to CPR 39.2(4) and/or the Court’s general case management powers in CPR 3.1(2).
  2. There be substituted for all purposes of this case, in place of references to the Claimant by name whether orally or in writing, references to “HO”.
  3. Pursuant to CPR 5.4(c), a person not a party to the proceedings may obtain a copy of the statement of case, judgment or order of the court records, only if such statement of case, judgment or order has been anonymised.
  4. The Defendants/Interested Parties shall file any acknowledgement of service and summary grounds with 14 days. The matters will be put before a judge for consideration on the papers as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter.
  5. The 2 applications for judicial review will be considered together until further order.
  6. Costs reserved.
  7. Liberty to apply.


  1. The Claimant has brought 2 applications for judicial review. In those applications the Claimant challenges the Secretary of State for the Home Department’s and Essex County Council’s alleged failures to provide her with accommodation in the locality of Elephant & Castle, where there is an Iranian Sign Language using community that could support her to access services, including medical treatment and integrate into society.
  2. The Claimant seeks an anonymity order in view of the claim revealing sensitive personal information about her private life, including details of medical conditions such as menstrual irregularity. On the material before me, it appears that anonymity is necessary to secure the proper administration of justice and in order to protect the interests of that person. The Claimant appears to be vulnerable and there are good reasons why her vulnerabilities should not be made public. This order can be reviewed in light of either further material being served on the court or an application by the media.
  3. There is a degree of urgency in light of the Claimant’s vulnerability. However, there are indications that this is not the most urgent case. Firstly, it appears that the Claimant first sought accommodation on 12 January 2022. Secondly, no application for interim relief or expedition has been made. Instead an application is made for a rolled up hearing. The problem with that application is that a rolled up hearing results in both the Court and the parties having to devote significant resources to a claim that may lack merit. In light of these matters, I propose to abridge the time for service of summary grounds of defence and then require the matter to be put before a judge.
  4. I am not entirely sure what is anticipated by joinder. In addition, I have no substantive response from the Defendants. Those responses may demonstrate that only one claim has merit. In light of these matters it appears to me that I should go no further than requiring the 2 matters to be considered together for the time being.
  5. The Claimant seeks costs. It appears to me that any costs issues are best considered at a later stage by a judge who will have full responses from the Defendants. At the moment it is difficult for me to assess relevant matters such as the strength of the case.
  6. The Secretary of State has not filed any response to this application (and has not been obliged to). In those circumstances, it appears to me that I should make it clear that any party has liberty to apply.