Claim number: CO/2146/2023
In the High Court of Justice
King’s Bench Division
5 July 2023
The Honourable Mrs Justice Lang DBE
The King on the application of
Secretary of State for the Home Department
(HO Ref: PAP-182083)
(7) Spelthorne Borough Council
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 parties;
Order by the Honourable Mrs Justice Lang DBE
- The application for permission to apply for judicial review is adjourned to be listed in court as a “rolled-up hearing”. If permission to apply for judicial review is granted at that hearing, the Court will proceed immediately to determine the substantive claim.
- The application is to be listed for 1½ days; the parties to provide a written estimate within 7 days of service of this order if they disagree with that estimate.
- The hearing is to be expedited so as to be heard as soon as reasonably possible from 4 September 2023 onwards. The claim is deemed fit for vacation business.
- Venue: London.
- The Claimant is granted permission to rely on her Reply.
- Pursuant to CPR r.39.2, in any report of these proceedings, there shall be no publication of the name and address of the Claimant and the Interested Parties, nor any other particulars likely to lead to their identification. In the proceedings, the Claimant and the Interested Parties shall be anonymised and referred to as set out in the heading to this order.
- Within 14 days of the date of this Order, the Claimant’s solicitors shall file with the Court copies of case documents which have been anonymised and/or redacted to protect the identity of the Claimant and the Interested Parties, in accordance with paragraph 6 above.
- Non-parties may not obtain any documents from the court file which have not been anonymised and/or redacted to protect the identity of the Claimant and the Interested Parties, in accordance with paragraph 6 above.
- Costs in the case.
Case Management Directions
- The Claimant must, within 7 days of the date of service of this Order, file an undertaking to pay the continuation fee (see below) if permission to apply for Judicial Review is granted.
- The Defendant and any other person served with the Claim Form who wishes to contest the claim or support it on additional grounds shall, within 28 days of the date of service of this Order, file and serve (a) Detailed Grounds for contesting the claim or supporting it on additional grounds, and (b) any written evidence that is to be relied on.
- The Claimant may file and serve any Reply and any further evidence within 14 days of the date on which the Defendant serves Detailed Grounds and/or evidence.
- The Claimant must file and serve an agreed hearing bundle, not less than 14 days before the date of the hearing. The electronic version of the bundle shall be prepared and lodged by the Claimant in accordance with the Guidance on the Administrative Court website. The Claimant must also lodge two hard-copy versions of the hearing bundle at the Administrative Court Office, not less than 14 days before the date of the hearing.
- The Claimant must file and serve a Skeleton Argument not less than 14 days before the date of the hearing.
- The Defendant, and any Interested Party participating in the claim, must file and serve a Skeleton Argument not less than 7 days before the date of the hearing.
- The Claimant must file and serve an agreed authorities bundle, not less than 5 days before the date of the hearing. The electronic version of the bundle shall be prepared by the Claimant in accordance with the Guidance on the Administrative Court website. The Claimant must also lodge a hard-copy version of the authorities bundle at the Administrative Court Office, not less than 5 days before the date of the hearing.
- I have granted anonymity orders. The First and Second Interested Parties (IP1 and IP2) are children. Furthermore, the Claimant’s family members in Afghanistan (IP3 – 6) are at real risk of harm at the hands of the Taliban. In the circumstances, a departure from the general principle of open justice is justified.
- In my view, the Claimant’s grounds are potentially arguable, subject to the outcome of preliminary issues raised by the Defendant concerning the admissibility of Parliamentary ministerial statements, and a suitable alternative remedy, namely a visa application, which ought to be dealt with at a permission hearing, rather than on the papers. In view of the need for expedition, it will further the overriding objective for the claim to be heard at a rolled-up hearing.
- I have ordered expedition because of the delay in reuniting the Claimant and her sisters who are children (IP1 and IP2) with their parents and brothers (IP3 – IP6), and the risk of harm to IP3 – IP6. As I understand it, the entire family was eligible to leave Afghanistan for the UK in the emergency evacuation known as Operation Pitting in August 2021, because of the nature of the employment of the Claimant’s father, but they became separated in the chaotic conditions in Kabul, and only the Claimant, IP1 and IP2 were evacuated. IP3 and IP6 remain in Afghanistan and are at risk of harm at the hands of the Taliban because of their association with the UK. The Claimant and her sisters have been granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK.