Claim number: CO/1532/2023
In the High Court of Justice
King’s Bench Division
11 August 2023
David Pittaway KC sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge
The King on the application of
LM (by her Litigation Friend)
London Borough of Hounslow
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 DAVID PITTAWAY KC Sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge
- Pursuant to CPR r. 39.2(4) the Claimant is granted anonymity and is to be referred to as “LM”. The identity of the Claimant 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 any details leading to the identification of the Claimant. This application shall be known and listed only as ‘LM v London Borough of Hounslow’.
- 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 LM; and (b) that any identifying reference to the Claimant be deleted from those documents
- The application for permission to apply for judicial review is refused.
- The costs of preparing the Acknowledgement of Service are to be paid by the Claimant to the Defendant, summarily assessed in the sum of £1000.
- Paragraph 4 above is a final costs order unless within 14 days of the date of this Order the Claimant files with the Court and serves on the Defendant a notice of objection setting out the reasons why he should not be required to pay costs (either as required by the costs order, or at all). If the Claimant files and serves notice of objection, the Defendant may, within 14 days of the date it is served, file and serve submissions in response. The Claimant may, within 7 days of the date on which the Defendant’s response is served, file and serve submissions in reply.
- The directions at paragraph 5 apply whether or not the Claimant seeks reconsideration of the decision to refuse permission to apply for judicial review.
(a) If an application for reconsideration is made, the Judge who hears that application will consider the written representations filed pursuant to paragraph 3 above together with such further oral submissions as may be permitted, and decide what costs order if any, should be made.
(b) If no application for reconsideration is made or if an application is made but withdrawn, the written representations filed pursuant to paragraph 3 above will be referred to a Judge and what order for costs if any, should be made will be decided without further hearing.
- 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.
- In my view it is appropriate to make an anonymity order in this case where the subject matter of the claim relates to age assessment of an asylum seeker.
- The test which I have to apply at the permission stage is to consider the merits of the Claimant’s case in the light of all of the material available and decide whether, taken at its highest, her case could not properly succeed; or, to put it another way, whether on the balance of probabilities, she has a realistic prospect of winning her case at a fact-finding hearing in front of an Upper Tribunal Judge from the Immigration and Asylum Chamber, R(FZ) v London Borough of Croydon  EWCA Civ 59 at para 26.
- In my view the contradictory nature of the information produced by the Claimant, elaborated on in the SGR, taken with the evidence of the age assessments undertaken by the Defendant and the conclusions (para 12 SGR) lead me to the view that the Claimant does not have realistic prospect of success at a fact-finding hearing.
- In those circumstances, it would be inappropriate to make an interim relief order, where I do not consider that there is a serious issue to be tried, and where on the balance of convenience, the Claimant is being well-cared for by the Defendant.