MAH -v- Redbridge London Borough Council (anonymity order)

Administrative CourtHigh CourtKing's Bench DivisionAnonymity Order

Claim number: AC-2023-LON-003044

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

13 December 2023


The Honourable Mrs Justice Foster DBE


The King on the application of


Redbridge London Borough Council


On the Claimant’s application for
(i) anonymity,
(ii) an Order under CPR 21 and
(iii) for urgent interim relief
(iv) Permission
Following consideration of the documents lodged by the Claimant
ORDER by the Honourable Mrs Justice Foster DBE

  1. No Order on the Applications for Permission or for Interim Relief.
  2. The requirement for an Acknowledgment of Service is hereby dispensed with.
  3. Any Summary Grounds of Defence upon which the Defendant wishes to rely to be filed and served by noon Tuesday 19 December 2023.
  4. The papers thereafter to be put before a Judge or Deputy Judge of the Administrative Court as soon as possible and not later than noon Wednesday 20 December 2023 for consideration of the question of any interim relief and/or permission and/or further directions.
  5. The Claimant, claiming to be a child aged 17, is permitted to conduct proceedings without a litigation friend Pursuant to CPR rule 21.2(3).
  6. 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 the identification of the Claimant and the Claimant, if referred to, shall only be referred to as MAH.
  7. 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 MAH and (b) that any reference to the names of the Claimant be deleted from those documents.
  8. Any person affected by an part of this Order may apply on 2 days’ written notice by email to all parties to have this Order varied or set aside.
  9. Costs reserved.


  1. This is a putative child Afghan asylum-seeker being housed in Ilford in an adult facility though claiming to be (now) 17. He arrived in May 2023. Because of the claimed circumstances and the approach of Christmas with its effect on timetables I am prepared to make an Order as asked in respect of abridgement of time and other some other matters, but I note that the Court’s process has not been properly utilised.
  2. There is a decision of Redbridge disclaiming responsibility for the Claimant and referring his representatives to Westminster – that was on 5 September 2023, by email. It appears that MAH has never been age-assessed in either place, and did not, it is said, come to Westminster’s attention at any time, hence the Redbridge application. He was however, when detained, assessed as an adult – there are no reasons for that decision. Redbridge have not responded (it appears) to the PAP letter. No further material has been filed by the Claimant to suggest any progress has been made in this matter.
  3. I do not understand the following aspects of this claim:
  • 19 September 2023 Claimant solicitors send a PAP letter to the Defendant asking for a response by 22 September 2023 (it appears there has been no response) – 22 September is said to be the date of the challenged decision.
  • 13 October 2023 – N244 filed which asks for consideration within 7 days, expedition of permission and interim relief, and anonymity and asking for abridgement of the 7 Days for AOS together with a N461Claim Form that says it does not seek interim relief expedition or urgent consideration (see section 4). The representatives disclaim the N463 route.
  • 20 November 2023 Certificate of Service apparently received in the Administrative Court Office.

4. Either this case is urgent or it isn’t – it concerns a putative child for whom it appears the process of age assessment has not yet taken place so on its face it was always urgent as he remains in adult accommodation and has had, on his case, no Merton-compliant age-assessment.

The Administrative Court Guide provides relevantly:
“17.2 Assessing whether a case is urgent and, if so, how urgent
17.2.1 It will very often be possible to point to a reason why the claimant’s interests would be better served if an application for interim relief or permission to apply for judicial review were determined quickly. However, this is not enough to justify using the Court’s procedures for urgent consideration. Those procedures are made available only for urgent cases where there is a genuine need for the application to be considered urgently.
17.2.2 Such a need may arise where: the claimant seeks an interim order preventing a defendant from doing something with irreparable
consequences which may be done imminently or requiring the defendant to do something immediately or within a
very short period (see Chapter 16 of this Guide); or no interim relief is sought, but there are compelling reasons for applying for abridgement of time for service
of the Acknowledgment of Service or other procedural directions and, if the directions are to be effective, it is necessary for the application to be considered urgently.