MO -v- The London Borough of Newham (anonymity order)
Administrative CourtHigh CourtKing's Bench DivisionAnonymity Order
Case No: CO/3824/2022
In the High Court of Justice
King’s Bench Division
21 October 2022
Paul Bowen KC (sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court)
The King on the application of
The London Borough of Newham
On an application by the Claimant for interim directions
Following consideration of the documents lodged by the Claimant
ORDER by Paul Bowen KC (sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court)
- The Claimant is granted anonymity and the matter is to be referred to as R (MO) v LB Newham, until further order. There shall be no publication of the name of the Claimant or any information that may lead to the Claimant’s identification.
- The claim is suitable for expedition.
a. The Claimant has permission to file a short reply to the Acknowledgment of Service within 48 hours of service by the Defendant.
b. Following receipt of the Claimant’s reply and the AOS or, in the absence of an AOS being filed, on or shortly after 18 November 2022, whichever is the earlier, the Claimant’s applications for permission and interim relief shall be placed before a judge for immediate consideration on the papers.
- Liberty to apply
- Costs in the case.
- C is an Iranian national of Kurdish descent. He arrived in the UK in a small boat shortly before 12/10/2021. He claimed asylum and said his date of birth was 21/03/2005 (meaning he would have been 16 years old). On the basis of his claimed date of birth, C would now be 17 years old.
- The Home Office Kent Intake Unit (KIU) conducted an age assessment and concluded that C was an adult with a date of birth of 21/03/1999 (meaning he would have been 22 years old). Thereafter, C was dispersed by the Home Office to hotel accommodation for adult asylum seekers in D’s area. With assistance from the hotel manager and solicitors, he was subsequently referred to D to be treated as a child.
- On 19/11/2021, D accommodated C as a putative child in line with his claimed age, pending an age assessment. He was initially placed in a foster placement and then moved to a supported placement with other young people. From April 2022, he attended Newham College.
- On 29/07/2022, D completed the age assessment and communicated the decision to C. He was assigned a date of birth of 21/05/1998 (meaning he would have been 24 years old). Thereafter, he was again dispersed to hotel
for adult asylum seekers and told he could no longer attend college.
- Although it is now nearly 3 months since the decision under challenge, the proceedings were brought relatively promptly given the need to obtain public funding and prepare the matter for issue. If the Claimant is a child, as he
says, then it is clearly important and urgent that that is recognised so that he may resume college and appropriate assessments and services may be carried out by the Defendant. The proposed timetable is reasonable in the circumstances.