Case number: CO/3643/2022
In the High Court of Justice
King’s Bench Division,
25 January 2023
Jason Coppel KC (sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge)
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 Acknowledgement of Service filed by the Defendant
ORDER by Jason Coppel KC (sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge)
- The application for permission to apply for judicial review is refused.
- The Claimant is to be referred to hereafter as MT.
- The costs of preparing the Acknowledgement of Service are to be paid by the Claimant to the Defendant, summarily assessed in the sum of £1445.
- 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.
- The Claimant complains about the initial accommodation provided to her and her children pursuant to s. 95 of the Immigration Act 1999 which she has been occupying since September 2021.
- The accommodation, in a hotel room, is far from ideal, as the Defendant accepts, and it is, to say the least, unfortunate that the family have been living in the room for 17 months rather than being moved to dispersal accommodation. However, it is unclear on what legal basis it is argued that the Defendant has acted unlawfully. The legal duty binding upon the Defendant is in s. 96(1) of the Immigration Act 1999 and is a duty to provide accommodation which appears to the Defendant to be adequate for the needs of the supported person and her dependants. (s. 96(1)). “Needs” in this context is “essential living needs” (see s. 95(3)(a)).
- It is not arguable that the Defendant’s has acted irrationally or otherwise unlawfully in considering that the Claimant’s accommodation meets essential living needs. The position might be different if the Claimant had evidence of special circumstances such as a medical condition which required different treatment. The Defendant has invited such evidence, and indicated that it would be considered if provided, but no medical evidence was provided in advance of, or with, the Claim. I note the claim of breach of guidance, which appears to be based on reference in the guidance to s. 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 but there is no claim of breach of that provision, and taken to its logical conclusion the challenge based on guidance would prevent the Defendant from accommodating any children in hotel accommodation for more than the briefest period (which seems unlikely).