UPDATE: see this judgment.
I read in some stakeholder minutes recently that UKBA thought it had only be judicially reviewed once about failure to grant permission to work following the case of ZO (Somalia) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 442 in the Court of Appeal. I thought this was very surprising at the time, and have now heard that there have been several successful judicial reviews. High Court judges are granting mandatory orders that UKBA grant permission to work. Judgment was given in one such case this week and I’ll post a link to it here once it is reported on BAILII.
This is a classic example of the Home Office wanting it both ways. UKBA lost the case and are so far having no luck appealing it. When UKBA win a court case but the appellants appeal, UKBA insist that the law is at stated in the judgment and will seek to remove people on this basis. When UKBA lose a case and try to appeal, they claim that the judgment should not be enforced. This particular example is even worse, though, as UKBA had the chance to apply for the judgment to be suspended pending resolution of any appeal but declined to do so at the proper time, only to resurrect the argument in individual cases later on.
The legal position is that anyone out there who has been waiting for a year or more for a decision on an asylum claim — whether a first claim or a fresh claim — can seek permission to work and can judicially review UKBA if permission is not granted.