Case No: CO/428/2022
In the High Court of Justice
Queen’s Bench Division
14 June 2022
Mr Tim Smith sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge
The Queen on the application of
ZA (by his litigation friend Mr Francesco Jeff of the Refugee Council)
The London Borough of Brent
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 Claimant, the Acknowledgement of Service filed by the Defendant and the Reply filed by the Claimant
ORDER by Mr Tim Smith sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge
1. The application for permission to apply for judicial review is granted on all grounds.
2. The application is to be listed for half a day; the parties to provide a written time estimate within 7 days of service of this order if they disagree with this direction.
3. Pursuant to CPR 39.2 the identity of the Claimant must not be disclosed and the name of the Claimant must not be referred to publicly. In this claim the Claimant shall be referred to using the initials “ZA” noting that he acts by his litigation friend
1) I have noted the grounds cited by the Claimant and the submissions against those grounds in the Defendant’s SGR. I am mindful of the fact that the Court should only intervene if it considers that the approach adopted by the Defendant was unlawful. The SGR provide a robust answer to a number of the criticisms made of the decision-making process. However, I am left with residual concerns in relation to the relative weight and prominence given to the testimony of witnesses who conclude that the Claimant presented as a child (as compared with both the testimony of those who considered him to be an adult), and to the Claimant’s account of his journey and his coming into possession of an image of his Tazkira. If these concerns prove to be well-founded then the legality of the approach taken by the Defendant is in question. It may be that the Defendant’s approach ultimately stands up to scrutiny in a substantive hearing, but taken together my concerns lead me to conclude that the Claimant’s case is arguable
2) As is common in cases such as this there is a degree of overlap between the individually pleaded grounds. I have therefore considered it appropriate to grant permission for all grounds to proceed
3) On the Claimant’s pleaded case, which I have found to be arguable, the Claimant is a vulnerable child. The Defendant does not resist anonymity being granted in the terms sought. It is therefore plainly appropriate, having regard to CPR 39.2, that anonymity be ordered
Case Management Directions
1. 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 35 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. For the avoidance of doubt, a party who has filed and served Summary Grounds pursuant to CPR 54.8 may comply with (a) above by filing and serving a document which states that those Summary Grounds shall stand as the Detailed Grounds required by CPR 54.14.
2. Any application by the Claimant to serve evidence in reply shall be filed and served within 21 days of the date on which the Defendant serves evidence pursuant to 1(b) above.
3. The parties shall agree the contents of the hearing bundle and the Claimant must file it with the Court not less than 21 days before the date of the hearing of the judicial review. An electronic version of the bundle shall be prepared and lodged by the Claimant in accordance with the Guidance on the Administrative Court website. The Claimant shall, if requested by the Court lodge hard-copy versions of the hearing bundle.
4. The Claimant must file and serve a Skeleton Argument not less than 14 days before the date of the hearing of the judicial review.
5. The Defendant and any Interested Party must file and serve a Skeleton Argument not less than 7 days before the date of the hearing of the judicial review.
6. The parties shall agree the contents of a bundle of authorities to be referred to at the hearing. An electronic version of the bundle shall be prepared by the Claimant in accordance with the Guidance on the Administrative Court website. The Claimant shall if requested by the Court, prepare a hard-copy version of the authorities bundle. The electronic and hard copy versions of the bundle must be lodged by the Claimant with the Court not less than 5 days before the date of the hearing of the judicial review.
7. If permission has been granted on some grounds but refused on others, the Claimant may request that the decision to refuse permission be reconsidered at a hearing by filing and serving a completed Form 86B within 7 days after the date this order is served on the Claimant. The reconsideration hearing will be fixed in due course.