- Created by: channyx
- Created on: 20-03-20 20:12
An expedited process adopted by the secretary of state to assess the eligibility of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children to be transferred to the UK from France had breached the common law duty of fairness because the reasons given for adverse decisions under the process were inadequate.
A non-governmental organisation appealed against a decision upholding the legality of an expedited process adopted by the secretary of state to assess the eligibility of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children to be transferred to the UK from France.
The children had travelled to a camp near Calais intending to seek asylum in the UK. The French authorities announced that the camp was to be demolished. An expedited process was agreed between the British and French governments to determine the eligibility for transfer to the UK of 2,000 unaccompanied children. The process was said to be an accelerated version of the procedure under Regulation 604/2013 (known as Dublin III).
The secretary of state accepted that there were likely to be children who had close family links to the UK and would therefore be eligible for transfer under Dublin III. Following assessments, the secretary of state refused to transfer to the UK over 500 children who claimed to have family members in the UK. Refusal decisions were communicated to the French authorities via a spreadsheet with a short word or phrase explaining refusal.
There was an opportunity to ask for a reconsideration. A judge refused the NGO's judicial review claim, finding that the process had not breached Dublin III, because Dublin III had not applied; it had not breached the common law duty of fairness; and it had not breached the procedural protections offered by ECHR art.8.
Held: Appeal allowed.
Applicability of Dublin III - An application for international protection was not the same as an intention to make such an application after a person had been transferred to another Member State. An application usually had to be made in accordance with Dublin III. That meant that an unaccompanied minor would have to make an application in France. If it then transpired that the mandatory criteria for a transfer to the UK set out in art.8 of Dublin III were satisfied…