SXM -v- Secretary of State for the Home Department (anonymity order)

Administrative CourtHigh CourtKing's Bench DivisionAnonymity Order

Claim number: AC-2023-LON-000142

In the High Court of Justice
King’s Bench Division
Administrative Court

16 January 2024


The Honourable Mrs Justice Hill DBE


The King on the application of


Secretary of State for the Home Department


On the Claimant’s application for urgent consideration and interim relief
Following consideration of the documents lodged by the Claimant

ORDER by the Honourable Mrs Justice Hill DBE

1. The Defendant may not until further order disperse the Claimant from her present address at the Ambassadors Hotel, 16 Collingwood Road, London SW5 0LX.

2. Should the Defendant wish to vary or discharge this order he shall provide a written response to the application for interim relief by 4.00 pm on 22 January 2024.

3. Any response to the above by the Claimant should be provided by 4.00 pm on 24 January 2024.

4. Any application made under paragraph 2 is to be listed before a High Court Judge or deputy judge for hearing, with a time estimate of 2 hours, as soon as possible after 4.00 pm on 24 January 2024, for consideration and further directions as appropriate.

5. If no application is received under [2] above, the usual timetable for progression of the claim under the CPR 54 shall apply.

6. The Claimant is granted anonymity by separate order.

7. Costs reserved.

This is an order for an injunction. Breach of paragraph 1 of this order may give rise to contempt proceedings. Even if an application has been made under [2] to vary or discharge, the order at [1] must be complied with unless or until such an order is made.


  1. The Claimant is an Iranian asylum-seeker who fears persecution on grounds of her conversion to Christianity. She is in an established relationship with a Mr G. The application for interim relief indicates that the Defendant has agreed that they be accommodated together. Despite this, they have been sent separate dispersal notices suggesting that SM will be dispersed to Swindon during 16 January 2024 (today) and that Mr G will be dispersed to Essex during 17 January 2024.
  2. SM seeks judicial review of the dispersal notice sent to her dated 4 January 2024 which erroneously describes her as a “single female” on the grounds that it (i) appears to be premised on a mistake of fact about her relationship status; (ii) disproportionately interferes with her private and family life by separating her from her long-term partner and established kinship networks centred around her church; and (iii) fails to take into account her education and the impact dispersal will have on her studies, in breach of the Defendant’s published policy in this regard.
  3. An email was sent to the Defendant by the Claimant’s solicitor on 5 January 2024 requesting that the proposed dispersal notice be cancelled. A letter before action was sent on 10 January 2024 and a response was required by 3.00 pm on 12 January 2024. The Defendant was notified by email that a claim for judicial review and application for interim relief would be made on 15 January 2024. No substantive response from the Defendant has been provided.
  4. The application for urgent consideration was referred to me at 10.56am on 16 January 2024. Because dispersal is timetabled for today and given the previous attempts to engage the Defendant which have not been responded to, I am satisfied that the case merits urgent consideration without the Defendant being afforded a further opportunity to respond.
  5. I consider that interim relief is appropriate for the reasons set out at [6]- [8] of the grounds appended to the N463 form. In summary, there are serious issues to be tried, as to whether the Defendant is proceeding on a mistaken factual basis and as to whether this, together with the other grounds advanced, renders the dispersal unlawful. Damages will not be an adequate remedy and the balance of convenience favours interim relief for the reasons set out.
  6. The Defendant’s position is adequately protected by the ability to apply to court on short notice to vary or discharge this order.

On consideration of the documents lodged by the Claimant including an application for anonymity

ORDER by the Honourable Mrs Justice Hill DBE

1. The Claimant in this matter is entitled to anonymity until further order and there must be substituted for all purposes in this claim in place of references to the Claimant by name, and whether orally or in writing, reference to “SXM”.

2. A non-party may not inspect or obtain a copy of any document from the court file other than this order (duly anonymised) without the permission of the Court. Any application for such permission must be made on notice to the Claimant.

3. A non-party may not obtain any copy statement of case or other document from the Court file unless it has been edited (anonymised) in accordance with this direction.

4. Pursuant to CPR 39.2(4) and s.11 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981, the publication or disclosure of the identity of the Claimant or of any material tending to identify the Claimant shall be prohibited.

5. The Court file shall be clearly marked with the words “An anonymity order was made in this case on 16 January 2024 and any application by a non-party to inspect or obtain a copy document from this file must be dealt with in accordance with the terms of that Order.”

6. The Defendant or any non-party affected by this anonymity order may on 7 days’ notice to set it aside or vary it.

7. The costs of obtaining this order shall be costs in the case.

8. Pursuant to CPR 39.2(5) and the Practice Guidance: Publication of Privacy and Anonymity Orders dated 16 April 2019 a copy of this order shall be published on the Judicial Website of the High Court of Justice ( For that purpose, a court officer will send a copy of the order by email to the Judicial Office at


1. The Claimant is an Iranian asylum-seeker who fears persecution on grounds of conversion to Christianity. The Claimant seeks to challenge the Defendant’s dispersal decision dated 4 January 2024, which would have the effect of separating the Claimant from their long-term partner, links with church and studies.

2. There is a presumption in favour of anonymity in cases involving asylum seekers, see Practice Note (Court of Appeal: Asylum and Immigration Cases) [2006] 1 WLR 2461. The Claimant’s case also raises allegations of breaches of the right to private and family life under Article 8 of the ECHR.

3. Having considered the Article 8 rights of the Claimant and the Article 10 right to freedom of expression, as well as the open justice principle, I am satisfied that (i) non-disclosure of the identity of the Claimant is strictly necessary in order to secure the proper administration of justice and protect the interests of the Claimant; and (ii) there is insufficient countervailing public interest in disclosure of their identity to justify interfering with their Article 8 rights.