Claim number: CO/2256/2023
In the High Court of Justice
King’s Bench Division
20 June 2023
The Honourable Mrs Justice Lang DBE
The King on the application of
NA (A child by her mother and Litigation Friend PA)
Secretary of State for the Home Department
(HO Ref: 031901465 and 1212-0001-2671-9048/00)
London Borough of Enfield (Interested party)
On the Claimants’ application for an anonymity order, urgent consideration, directions for an expedited timetable for a rolled-up hearing, to be heard before the end of July 2023.
Following consideration of the documents lodged by the Claimant;
Order by the Honourable Mrs Justice Lang DBE
- Pursuant to CPR r.39.2, in any report of these proceedings, there shall be no publication of the name and address of the Claimants and the Second Claimant’s litigation friend, nor any other particulars likely to lead to their identification. In the proceedings, the Claimants and the litigation friend shall be anonymised and referred to as set out in the title to this order.
- Within 7 days of the date of this order, the Claimants’ solicitors shall file with the Court copies of case documents which have been anonymised and/or redacted to protect the identity of the Claimants, in accordance with paragraph 1 above.
- 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 Claimants, in accordance with paragraph 1 above.
- The Defendant, and the Interested Party if so advised, do file and serve their Acknowledgment of Service and Summary Grounds of Resistance no more than 14 days after service of the claim form.
- The Claimants’ application for permission (including the application for a rolled-up hearing), is to be considered by a Judge on the papers no more than 7 days after the filing of the Acknowledgment of Service.
- Liberty to apply to vary or discharge this order on 2 days notice to the other party.
- Costs reserved.
- I have granted an anonymity order as the second Claimant is a child whose identity ought to be protected. Disclosure of the mother’s identity will inevitably disclose the child’s identity.
- The Claimants seek permission to challenge (1) the Defendant’s decision, dated 18 May 2023, refusing the First Claimant’s application for recourse to public funds; and (2) delays in processing applications to have the “No recourse to public funds” (“NRPF”) condition lifted from grants of leave.
- The First Claimant is a national of Ghana who entered the UK in October 2021 as the dependent of an international student. A few days after her arrival, her relationship with him ended. She was pregnant at the time, and gave birth to the Second Claimant soon afterwards. The Second Claimant is a British citizen because her father is British/settled in the UK. Her father is not the First Claimant’s expartner who is an international student.
- The First Claimant is unable to support herself and her child, and she is currently residing with her child in unsuitable temporary hostel accommodation provided by the Interested Party, pursuant to section 17 of the Children Act 1989. Her application for a family visa as a sole parent of a British child is pending.
- The Defendant has refused the application to lift the NRPF condition on her current grant of limited leave to remain as a student dependent, in the letter of 18 May 2023.
- The Claimants are making a wide-ranging challenge to the lawfulness of the Defendant’s current scheme for international students and their dependents, which includes the following grounds:
a. The Defendant has unlawfully failed to consider exercising her statutory discretion to lift the NRPF condition pursuant to section 3(1)(c)(ii) of the Immigration Act 1971.
b. The relevant provisions in the Immigration Rules (paragraph ST 39.3 of Appendix Student) amount to an unlawful fetter on the exercise of the Defendant’s statutory discretion.
c. The current scheme fails to comply with the Defendant’s statutory duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
d. The scheme breaches the First Claimant’s rights under Article 3 ECHR.
- Whilst I recognise the Claimants’ predicament, and the unsatisfactory nature of the hostel accommodation, I consider that the Court should give the Defendant a fair opportunity to respond to the Claimants’ application before making a decision as to how this complex claim should proceed.
- I have abridged the Defendant’s time for filing her Acknowledgment of Service to 14 days from the standard 21 days, and I have directed urgent consideration of the applications by a Judge thereafter.