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Upper Tribunal awards significant damages for unlawful Dublin refusal


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In a helpful judgment, the Upper Tribunal has awarded £10,500 to a child who was unlawfully prevented from entering the UK from Greece to be re-united with his cousin who had been recognised as a refugee and had lived in the UK for many years. R(MA) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (unreported, but available on the Doughty Street website) will be a useful guide for calculating quantum in similar cases.

MA had a difficult upbringing in Somalia and had a medical condition which required him to use a colostomy bag. ASM, his cousin, became involved in helping him with money from the UK and developed a close relationship with MA on visits to Somalia. This included arranging for MA to have an operation in Greece and medical treatment in Turkey.

Later MA entered Greece and claimed asylum. The Greek authorities submitted a take charge request to the UK on 24 December 2019. The UK refused to accept the request and MA challenged the decision in the Upper Tribunal. The Tribunal allowed his judicial review and quashed the decision on 15 December 2020. MA did not actually enter the UK until May 2021.

Upper Tribunal Judge Blum determined that the Secretary of State for the Home Department’s breach of Article 8 ECHR had caused MA harm that required compensation:

“I am satisfied there is a causal link between the respondent’s breaches of Article 8 ECHR and the harm suffered by the applicant which, by reason of the impact on the applicant due to his separation from ASM, should be appropriately reflected in an award of compensation in addition to the declaratory relief already granted and the fact that the applicant has now been united with ASM. I am therefore satisfied, for the reasons given below, that damages are necessary in order for the applicant to achieve just satisfaction.”

The judge reviewed the psychiatric evidence and determined that £10,500 was an appropriate figure, bearing in mind the evidence of psychiatric harm and the extent of the relationship between MS and ASM. The judgment is a great result and will hopefully help others with similar civil claims against the Home Office.

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Picture of Alex Schymyck

Alex Schymyck

Alex is a barrister at Garden Court Chambers