Case number: CO/1987/2023
In the High Court of Justice
King’s Bench Division
7 June 2023
The Honourable Mrs Justice Lang DBE
The King on the application of
Royal Borough of Greenwich
On the Claimant’s application for an anonymity order, urgent consideration and interim relief;
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 Claimant, nor any other particulars likely to lead to his identification. In the proceedings, the Claimant shall be anonymised and referred to as “RJ”.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Defendant do file and serve its Acknowledgment of Service and Summary Grounds of Resistance, including its response to the application for interim relief, no more than 21 days after service of the claim form, in accordance with CPR r.54.8.
- The Claimant do file and serve a Reply to the documents served by the Defendant pursuant to paragraph 4 of this order, no more than 7 days after the date of service thereof.
- The application for permission and interim relief will be considered by a Judge on the papers, within 14 days from the date of filing of the Claimant’s Reply.
- 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. The Claimant is an asylum seeker who claims to be at risk. In the circumstances, a departure from the general principle of open justice is justified.
- The Claimant claims that his date of birth is 20 September 2004, and so he is now 18 years of age. He entered the UK in September 2021, when his claimed age was 17. In August 2022, the Defendant assessed his date of birth as 20 September 2001. In response to criticisms from the Claimant’s solicitors, the Defendant undertook a further age assessment in April 2023. Its conclusion was again that his date of birth was 20 September 2001, and his age was 21.
- In my view, this is not a particularly strong or obvious case on the merits. The Court will wish to consider the Defendant’s response to the claim before deciding whether to grant interim relief and/or permission. Given the very detailed challenge by the Claimant, I consider that the Defendant will require the standard 21 days to prepare its response. The timetable provides for a Reply by the Claimant, and speedy consideration of the application by the Court.