Claim number: AC-2023-LON-002498
In the High Court of Justice
King’s Bench Division
7 November 2023
The Honourable Mrs Justice Lang DBE
The King on the application of
Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs
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 Claimants and the Acknowledgment of service filed by the Defendant;
Order by the Honourable Mrs Justice Lang DBE
- The Secretary of State for Defence is removed as a party to the claim since he played no part in the decisions under challenge.
- The application for permission to apply for judicial review is granted.
- The hearing is to be listed for 1½ days; the parties to provide a written time estimate within 7 days of service of this order if they disagree with this direction.
- The hearing is to be expedited so as to be heard in January 2024, or the first half of February 2024, having regard to the availability of counsel.
- Not suitable for hearing by a Deputy High Court Judge.
- The Claimants are granted permission to rely on their Reply.
- The Claimants’ applications to rely on new evidence, dated 12 September 2023 and 13 October 2023, are granted.
- 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, nor any other particulars likely to lead to their identification. In the proceedings, the Claimants shall be anonymised and referred to as “RA” and “AA”).
- Within 14 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 8 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 8 above.
- Venue: London.
- Costs in the case.
Case Management Directions
- The Defendant and any other person served with the Claim Form who wishes to contest the claim or support it on additional grounds shall, within 28 days of the date of service of this Order, file and serve (a) Detailed Grounds for contesting the claim or supporting it on additional grounds, and (b) any written evidence that is to be relied on.
- The Claimants may file and serve any Reply and any further evidence within 14 days of the date of service of the Detailed Grounds and/or evidence.
- The Claimants must file and serve an agreed hearing bundle, not less than 14 days before the date of the hearing. The electronic version of the bundle shall be prepared and lodged by the Claimants in accordance with the Guidance on the Administrative Court website. The Claimants must also lodge two hard-copy versions of the hearing bundle at the Administrative Court Office, not less than 14 days before the date of the hearing.
- The Claimants must file and serve a Skeleton Argument not less than 14 days before the date of the hearing.
- The Defendant, and any Interested Party wishing to participate in the proceedings, must file and serve a Skeleton Argument not less than 7 days before the date of the hearing.
- The Claimants must file and serve an agreed authorities bundle, not less than 5 days before the date of the hearing. The electronic version of the bundle shall be prepared by the Claimants in accordance with the Guidance on the Administrative Court website. The Claimants must also lodge a hard-copy version of the authorities bundle at the Administrative Court Office, not less than 5 days before the date of the hearing.
- The Claimants have raised arguable grounds which merit consideration at a full hearing.
- I have approved the draft Consent Order dated 7 September 2023.
- I have granted the Claimants permission to rely on their Reply and the further evidence, as they are relevant to the issues in the claim.
- I have expedited the hearing and abridged the standard time limits for case preparation because the Second Claimant is in a precarious position in a third country and may be returned to Afghanistan, where she would be at risk of harm.
- I have granted an anonymity order. The Second Claimant is at risk if she is returned to Afghanistan, because of her association with the First Claimant. In the circumstances, a departure from the general principle of open justice is justified.