Asylum age assessments: the Court of Appeal is not a tribunal

In Bedford County Council v GE (Eritrea) [2017] EWCA Civ 1521 the Court of Appeal refused to overturn an age assessment simply because the local authority disagreed with judicial findings of fact. The judgment upheld the Administrative Court’s decision that GE was born on 27 September 1994, making her 16 years old when she entered the UK. The facts GE was born in Eritrea in 1994. After parental bereavement she moved (via Sudan) to Libya with her uncle. Following the outbreak of war she escaped Libya by boat. In May 2011 GE entered the UK hidden in a lorry. GE was arrested in Dover and immediately claimed asylum. The UK...

16th November 2017 By Clare Duffy

The struggle for subsistence: Agyemang v Haringey

Last week’s Court of Appeal judgment in R (Agyemang) v London Borough of Haringey [2017] EWCA Civ 1630 reveals familiar tactics by local authorities resisting requests for support under the Children Act 1989. The claimant-appellant, a Ghanaian mother of a five-year-old child, brought judicial review proceedings with an application for interim relief against Haringey’s decision not to make subsistence payments under section 17 of that Act. The interim relief sought was subsistence payments of £53.20 per week. After papers were lodged, Haringey offered to pay £32.50 weekly pending an assessment to be produced within 45 days. The claimant accepted but maintained the judicial review challenge to the delay in carrying out this...

2nd November 2017 By John Murphy

Guest post: barriers to migrants accessing public services

Getting to the UK and applying for the right to stay is only the start of the battle, writes trainee housing solicitor John Murphy. Newcomers to the UK, whether they have immigration status or not, face formidable obstacles in accessing services such as housing or social security. This is a look at some common scenarios and how foreign nationals and their advisers deal with them. They are based on real client cases. Scenario one: the single male refugee Soon after getting refugee status, he will receive a letter telling him his National Asylum Support Service support is about to stop. He can try to rent in the private sector but he...

30th October 2017 By John Murphy

Immigration and nationality law following surrogacy agreements

A surrogacy arrangement is, broadly speaking, where a woman carries and delivers a child for another couple or person. Under section 2(1) of the Surrogacy Arrangements Act 1985, it is a criminal offence for a person on a commercial basis to initiate or take part in a surrogacy agreement in the UK. Many families in the UK opt for countries where commercial surrogacy is lawful, such as the USA and Ukraine. However, children born out of surrogacy arrangements will not necessarily be born British, even when the commissioning parents are British. This is mainly because of the definition of “father” and “mother” under British nationality law. Questions then arise as to the...

11th October 2017 By Nath Gbikpi

The Theis case: immigration and nationality law for adopted children

The story of Patrick Thies, a US NHS surgeon who had to return to the US to apply for a new visa for his two adopted children while his British wife and biological son remained in the UK, made the news a couple of weeks ago. Immigration and nationality law as it relates to international adoption is undoubtedly complex and a topic with which only a few practitioners are familiar. There are numerically very few international adoption cases, after all. The inevitable cross over with family law does not make it any easier. This blog post provides an overview of the subject. Types of adoption The first thing to note...

21st August 2017 By Nath Gbikpi

Court of Appeal reiterates effect of orders in the family courts on deportation decisions

The Court of Appeal in GD (Ghana) [2017] EWCA Civ 1126 explained once again what effect residence orders granted by a Family Court have on immigration matters, and criticised both representatives in the First-Tier Tribunal for failing to put the relevant law to the Tribunal. The ‘residence order’ regime has now been replaced with ‘child arrangement orders’ by the Children and Families Act 2014, but this does not change the effect of family proceedings on immigration proceedings. Residence orders are made by a Family Court and determine with whom a child subject to the order will live, and will usually last until the child is 16 years of age. A decision-maker...

8th August 2017 By Paul Erdunast