All Articles: Children

Supreme Court: bad behaviour by parent irrelevant to best interests of children

The Supreme Court has today handed down judgment in four linked cases all concerning the best interests of children who themselves face removal from the UK or whose parent faces removal from the UK. The case is likely to be referred to as KO (Nigeria) ...

24th October 2018 By

Immigration and nationality law for adopted children

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 o ...

17th October 2018 By

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 ...

11th October 2017 By

Tribunal criticises government lawyers for “trench warfare” mentality and “inappropriate” conduct

In one of his final judgments as outgoing President, Mr Justice McCloskey launched a bitter broadside at the conduct of government lawyers in long-running litigation over the entry of refugee children. While the criticism of the solicitors at the Gove ...

9th October 2017 By

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 rele ...

8th August 2017 By

Court of Appeal: “Particularly where children are concerned, there is no such thing as an average case”

By the tone of this judgment, the Court of Appeal in SSHD v RF (Jamaica) [2017] EWCA Civ 124 appears to be suffering from deportation fatigue, considering ‘yet another case’ [1] involving a foreign national criminal appealing against a decision ...

25th May 2017 By

Court of Appeal reaffirms position on adult dependent relatives

In Butt v SSHD [2017] EWCA Civ 184 the Court of Appeal considers the weight to be given to the relationship between parents and their adult dependent children in the Article 8 balancing exercise. It is notable – and this was the principle reason i ...

30th March 2017 By

When is it reasonable to require British citizen children to leave Britain?

Two interesting and important legal points emerge from the Upper Tribunal’s determination in SF and others (Guidance, post-2014 Act) [2017] UKUT 120 (IAC). The first is on the issue of when, if at all, a British child might be required by immigr ...

29th March 2017 By

Home Office fails to act on recommendations of family returns advisers

The Home Office has belatedly published the reports of the Independent Family Returns Panel for 2012 to 2014 and 2014 to 2016. Home Office responses have been published in parallel. Why the Home Office was withholding from publication for so long th ...

19th January 2017 By

Dura Lex, Sed Lex: Refugee children must remain in Calais says Court of Appeal

The UK government, and Europe, has spared no expense to ensure that wherever the people trying to get to Europe end up, it isn’t here. But the courts are seemingly doing their best to help. The Court of Appeal’s judgment in Secretary of State for ...

7th September 2016 By

Serial criminal to be deported despite impact on his children

If you attempt to murder someone with a gun, and after release from prison for attempted murder (a sentence of over four years), are caught again with a loaded gun and imprisoned, do not be surprised that only the most exceptional circumstances will s ...

15th July 2016 By

Presidential guidance on public interest in removal cases affecting children

President McCloskey certainly isn’t wrong when he says of the immigration rules on human rights introduced in 2012: These provisions of the Rules have generated much jurisprudence during the last two years. In this latest contribution to that ev ...

16th December 2015 By

“I couldn’t pick her up and it just broke my heart”

Last week the Children’s Commissioner for England released a study into the impact of the Coalition Government’s new family immigration rules, introduced in 2012. The report is an emotionally difficult read with some heart breaking quotes ...

16th September 2015 By

Refusal of a child’s British citizenship application on character grounds overturned

The High Court has overturned the refusal on character grounds by the Home Office of a British citizenship application by a migrant child. Karon Monaghan QC sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court held that the Secretary of State had acted unlawfu ...

12th June 2015 By

Meaning of “access rights” to children in immigration law

With the Children Act 1988, the language of “access” and “custody” was abandoned in family law, and with good reason. The language was suggestive of incarceration, it encouraged confrontation between parents and it was based on ...

1st June 2015 By

Hundreds of children refused British citizenship on character grounds

A Freedom of Information request has revealed that 415 children aged 10-18 have been refused British citizenship on character grounds. The power to refuse citizenship on character grounds was controversially extended from adults to children as young a ...

26th January 2015 By

Reported immigration case on prospective family proceedings

Official headnote from Mohammed (Family Court proceedings-outcome) [2014] UKUT 419 (IAC): Whilst it may be that in the Family Court jurisdiction prior to the coming into force on 22 April 2014 of the Children and Families Act 2014 there was always the ...

25th September 2014 By

How children become failed asylum seekers

Kent Law Clinic has published a new report, How Children Become Failed Asylum Seekers, which needs to be read by anyone representing children in asylum cases. Taking the files of 25 “failed asylum seekers” who had arrived in Kent as children, the ...

20th August 2014 By

Court of appeal guidance on best interests of migrant children

The Court of Appeal has finally grappled with the question of how to apply the best interests of children in an immigration context and given detailed guidance on how judges should approach the exercise. The judgment, in the case of EV (Philippines) & ...

4th July 2014 By

Home Office presses to remove severely ill 6 year old child

A child referred to in court only as “Maya” is six years old. She has Spina Bifida and is very severely disabled. She also has severe learning difficulties and extremely complex needs. For the last five years she has received highly specia ...

27th May 2014 By

Child victims and protective measures

This jumped out at me from the newspaper the other day: People who may find it difficult to give their best possible evidence in a courtroom environment and all child victims will be considered in the pilot areas. This allows them to give evidence and ...

29th April 2014 By

Yashika Bageerathi and the Family Returns Process

The story of Yashika Bageerathi has touched many. A bright student brought to the UK by her mother with her siblings to escape domestic violence at home in Mauritius, she has a promising future here if allowed to remain. Because she has turned 18 and ...

30th March 2014 By

Resources Guide for Legal Practitioners Working with Refugee Children

A new fourth edition is out, published by ILPA and written by Shauna Gillan with Alison Harvey and Sarah Myerscough. Free to download. ...

24th March 2014 By

Best interests in the Supreme Court: a round-up of 2013

The Supreme Court considered the best interests principle in the immigration, asylum and nationality context twice during 2013.  Both cases continued the trend of the contraction of the principle in the higher appellate courts. ...

24th March 2014 By

Human rights, expulsion and medical treatment cases: a review

Human rights medical treatment expulsion cases are perhaps some of the most stark, most difficult and most challenging cases faced by a human rights lawyer. They concern life itself and will often involve a miserable, painful death if unsuccessful. T ...

27th November 2013 By

Residence test threatens access to justice for children

On Wednesday 23rd October 2013, Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights heard oral evidence on the government’s latest proposals to cut legal aid. The evidence was clear.  Those that will suffer the most from the proposals are society’ ...

8th November 2013 By

Stranded spouses: a convenient form of child abduction

Child abduction is a criminal offence. It requires covert departure from the UK to another country, and from the abductor’s point of view preferably one that is not in Europe, not a signatory to the Hague Convention and that does not have a bila ...

24th October 2013 By

Test in health human rights removal cases different for children

The Court of Appeal has held that a different test applies to children in human rights health cases. These difficult cases involve a person seeking to remain in the UK in order to receive life-saving medical treatment not available in his or her home ...

23rd October 2013 By

Getting an appealable removal decision

Many migrants and their families get caught in a situation where they apply to the Home Office for permission to stay, are rejected but then are unable to appeal the decision to the immigration tribunal. This has long been a problem (‘Refusal wi ...

23rd September 2013 By

More hope for separated parents with British children

Zambrano cases for admission to the UK finally seem to be filtering through to the Upper Tribunal. In MA and SM (Zambrano: EU children outside EU) Iran [2013] UKUT 00380 (IAC) there are two linked appeals, both involving a child resident in the UK wit ...

9th August 2013 By

Choice of religious upbringing for child not a basis for international protection

In SS (Malaysia) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWCA Civ 888 a child’s Christian mother had fled with the child from Malaysia after the father said he was to convert to Islam, fearing that their child would be brought up a M ...

19th July 2013 By
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