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15 June 2018

Citizens UK Vs the Home Office

This week we had a two and a half day hearing of Citizens UK v. SSHD in the Court of Appeal.

Safe Passage brought this case against the Home Office to challenge the so-called ‘expedited process’ that the Home Office conducted in Calais in the days leading up to the Jungle’s demolition in October 2016.

On one hand, this process resulted in over 500 unaccompanied minors being transported quickly and safely to the UK, which was a much-celebrated outcome. However, at the same time, over 500 children were refused in a way that we argue was fundamentally unfair and unlawful.

Over the three days, the Court heard arguments from Citizen UK’s counsel, Charlotte Kilroy and Michelle Knorr from Doughty Street Chambers supported by Sonal Ghelani, a solicitor at the Migrant’s Law Project at Islington Law Centre.

we argued:

    • That the expedited process was unlawful because it was unfair to children and did not comply with the procedural safeguards provided for in the Dublin III Regulation and domestic common law.
    • That children were not notified of their negative decisions and did not receive reasons for the decisions. As a result, a minor’s chance to reunite with their family members in the UK was hindered as many were not able to challenge the decisions, and for the few that did, the decisions made in the expedited process were used to refuse later reunification claims.
    • As a result of the actions and inactions of the Home Office, children lost faith and trust in the process and further delays and lack of information provision had a severely negative impact on the wellbeing of many already vulnerable children.    

The hearing has now finished and we will hear the results in due course, we will keep our you updated when we do.