Today, 26 June 2013, the Court of Appeal has dismissed the local authority’s appeal in R (KA) v Essex County Council  1 WLR 1163 on the basis it was academic. The case concerned the extent of a local authority’s duty to accommodate persons (in this case a family with children) without leave to remain in the UK, in circumstances where there was no outstanding immigration claim (that having been refused) but where there would be an appeal as soon as the Home Office issued removal directions.
The claim had become academic even by the time it was heard in the High Court, but that court was still prepared to hear it. By the time it reached the Court of Appeal, however, it was even more academic because removal directions had been issued, new Home Office guidance had emerged which showed the problem which had emerged might never now emerge or if it did would emerge in a different way, and there was also outstanding an appeal to the Supreme Court in Patel v SSHD  1 WLR 63 which might also have an impact.
In these circumstances the appeal fell to be dismissed. Nick Armstrong instructed by Adam Hundt of Deighton Pierce Glynn acted for KA. Nick was led by Stephen Knafler QC of Garden Court in the Court of Appeal.