Case number: CO/2858/2023
In the High Court of Justice
King’s Bench Division
2 August 2023
The Honourable Mrs Justice Foster DBE
The King on the application of
Secretary of State for the Home Department
On an application by for an Anonymity Order
And for expedition
Following consideration of the documents lodged by the Claimant
ORDER by the Honourable Mrs Justice Foster DBE
- The Claimant shall be referred to in these proceedings as “SHA” and, pursuant to CPR 39.2, there shall be no publication of the name or address of the Claimant or any particulars of the case likely to lead to the identification of the Claimant without the leave of the Court.
- Any person has liberty on three days’ written notice to the parties and to the Court to apply to vary or discharge paragraph 1 of this Order.
- The time for filing and service of an Acknowledgement of Service and Summary Grounds of Defence specified in CPR 54.8 shall be abridged. The Defendant shall, by 4pm on Monday 7 August 2023, file and serve such Acknowledgement of Service and Summary Grounds of Defence including as to the Claimant’s application for Interim Relief as she may be advised to serve.
- Following either (a) the Defendant’s compliance with paragraph 3 above; or (b) by 4pm on Tuesday 8 August 2023, whichever is the sooner, this case shall, as soon as possible, be referred to a judge to consider what further directions should be made. (For the avoidance of doubt, at that stage the judge may decide the application for Interim Relief and/or permission to apply for judicial review, give directions for expedition, or make directions on such other matters as are appropriate.)
- This claim is suitable for vacation business.
- The parties shall have liberty to apply to vary the terms of this Order on 48 hours’ written notice to the other party and to the Court by email.
- Costs reserved.
- The Claimant who is pregnant (EDD 30 Oct 23) alleges breach of s.95 IAA 1999 and seeks self-contained, non-shared, non-hotel accommodation within one hour’s travel by public transport from King’s College Hospital, London SE5 9RW, within 7 days.
- The evidence before the Court shows the Claimant is an asylum seeker accommodated at the Best Western Hotel in Peckham since June 2022, is six months’ pregnant with a high-risk pregnancy, underweight, anaemic, and at risk of gestational diabetes causally linked, according to her midwives, to the poor diet at the hotel. She has fibroids so also is at a higher risk of preterm birth and miscarriage having had a medical termination during a previous pregnancy for that reason. She describes that she suffers from constant lower abdominal pain so much so that she cannot stand up. She is both distressed and depressed.
- The (undisputed) medical evidence shows she and her baby are at serious risk of harm because of her current situation.
- She has asked to be moved since March 2023. The Defendant acknowledges the need for expedited dispersal and, by letter dated 4 July 2023, that the Home Office Medical Advisor has also recommended expedited dispersal on medical grounds. Following a proposed move (later withdrawn) to an inappropriate catered hostel, on 14 July 2023 the Defendant confirmed dispersal to self-catered accommodation would be expedited but gave no timescale. Although confirming arrangements are being made (the letter of 14 July) nothing has happened. The Claimant has tried to resolve the matter without litigation – but an Order of the Court is now necessary.
- The accommodation provided under s.95 IAA 1999 is on a no-choice basis under s.97 so she calls on the Defendant to make “every effort” to protect her and her baby’s health – as is required by the Defendant’s Healthcare and 22 Pregnancy Dispersal Policy (which Policy requires a case by case assessment of the needs and circumstances of a new mother when considering dispersal location, and speed, and to ensure as a priority that the woman is able to be accommodated as close to the maternity unit where they are accessing maternity care both pre and postpartum). The materials suggest there is no reasoned opposition to this move, but no response has been made to 26 July 2023 correspondence on behalf of the Claimant.
- It is appropriate for the SSHD to provide such defence as she may have to this application for IR and for permission on an expedited basis given the circumstances.
- It is clearly appropriate for an anonymity Order to be made.