MF -v- Secretary of State for the Home Department (anonymity order)

Administrative CourtHigh CourtKing's Bench DivisionAnonymity Order

Claim number: AC-2024-LON-000529

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

24 April 2024


The Honourable Mrs Justice Lang DBE


The King on the application of


Secretary of State for the Home Department


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 Acknowledgment of service filed by the Defendant;

Order by the Honourable Mrs Justice Lang DBE

  1. 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, nor any other particulars likely to lead to his identification. In the proceedings, the Claimant shall be anonymised and referred to as “MF”.
  2. 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, in accordance with paragraph 1 above, within 14 days of the date of this order.
  3. 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, in accordance with paragraph 1 above.
  4. The application for permission to apply for judicial review is refused.
  5. The Claimant is granted permission to rely upon his Reply.
  6. The Claimant has the benefit of costs 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.


  1. The Claimant seeks to challenge the Defendant’s refusal, by letter of 16 November 2023, to transfer him to dispersal accommodation in Bournemouth where his brother lives. The Claimant is disabled – he is an amputee. He states that he is suffering from depression and social isolation.
  2. The claim was made in time, as the Defendant now accepts.
  3. I do not consider that the Claimant has an arguable claim with any prospect of success in establishing that the Defendant erred in law in deciding that the Claimant’s circumstances were not exceptional so as to require a departure from the overriding principle in his policy that accommodation is offered on a “no choice” basis.
  4. The Defendant was entitled to rely on the evidence of Dr Keen as to whether the Claimant’s medical and support needs were being adequately met in his current accommodation, and whether they would be adversely affected by a move to somewhere other than Bournemouth.
  5. I also consider it is inconceivable that the Defendant failed to take into account that the Claimant’s reason for requesting a transfer to Bournemouth was that he wished to live near his brother, who could provide him with emotional and practical support.
  6. In my view, the Defendant was entitled, in the exercise of his discretion, to refuse the request, on the evidence before him.
  7. At the date of the decision, in November 2023, the evidence of mental health issues was minimal. His GP wrote a letter in April 2023 supporting a move and stating “his daily living is being affecting (sic) with the severity of his mental health decline” but the GP records do not include any mental health diagnosis, or description of the decline. The GP made a referral for mental health counselling in September 2023 but there was no evidence as to the outcome, or that additional treatment was required.
  8. The Claimant accepts, for the purposes of this claim, that the medical services required by the Claimant in respect of his physical disabilities and any mental health issues can be provided across the UK and do not require a move to Bournemouth.
  9. The Essex County Council assessment of 17 July 2023 found that he was very independent and did not need support with personal care. He was also accessing the health and community facilities that he needed. It recorded that his mood was low, and became worse following the death of his friend. The Claimant does not challenge the assessment.
  10. The Claimant is currently accommodated in a former care home adapted for disabled asylum seekers, which is suitable for him.
  11. In a letter dated 2 April 2024, the Defendant has opposed any application by the Claimant to rely upon a report from Dr Pethania dated 15 March 2024 for the purposes of this judicial review, and invites the Claimant to withdraw this claim so that the Defendant can make a fresh decision on the further evidence. I have not seen any response to this letter from the Claimant. There is no application before me to rely on the report and no copy of it has been provided.
  12. For these reasons, the application for permission to apply for judicial review is refused.


  1. The Claimant’s Reply is relevant to the issues to be determined by the Court.


  1. I have granted an anonymity order. The Claimant is an asylum seeker who claims that his family is at risk. In the circumstances, a departure from the general principle of open justice is justified.