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The Supreme Court has ruled in favour of claimants in two immigration cases today.

In R (on the application of A) v London Borough of Croydon their Lordships have ruled that it is for the courts to decide age assessment issues. The courts should not simply defer to local authorities, as was being held by the Administrative Court and Court of Appeal. While there is certainly a resources imperative at local authorities to assess children as adults and lawyers have been concerned this is happening in practice, this outcome certainly doesn’t mean no more disputed age assessments. It does re-open the door to independent age assessments, depending on the outcome of the appeal against Collins J’s decision that pediatrician age assessments are a load of hocus pocus.

In BA Nigeria¬†v SSHD their Lordships have upheld the Court of Appeal’s decision in BA (Nigeria) [2009] EWCA Civ 119, which means that there is an in-country appeal if a person advances a human rights claim, even if UKBA do not believe the claim constitutes a fresh claim as defined by Immigration Rule 353. There are, however, other ways for UKBA to act to limit appeal rights, primarily through a clearly unfounded certificate under s.94 2002 Act, which is what they have started to do in recent months.

More analysis to follow, in a bit of a rush at the moment.

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The Free Movement blog was founded in 2007 by Colin Yeo, a barrister at Garden Court Chambers specialising in immigration law. The blog provides updates and commentary on immigration and asylum law by a variety of authors.


5 Responses

  1. Dear FM

    Given the general magnificence of your site for which none of us will ever be able to thank you enough it seems well, bumptious in the extreme to point it out – but I think you meant to describe the Croydon case when you were describing BA Nigeria

    1. You are undoubtedly right, many thanks for pointing that out. As I said earlier, I was in a rush! Correction made.

  2. Age assessments are an interesting area – I’ve come across some where the appellant has been accepted as a minor, and I’ve thought, “come off it, he’s as old as I am”, and some where obviously immature young people have been assessed as 20 or so.