Court: Administrative Court
OA v Secretary of State for Education  EWHC 276 (Admin)
The High Court has today ruled that a survivor of domestic violence was unlawfully refused a student loan and that the current student finance regulations discriminate against victims of domestic violence. The court ruled there was a breach of her ECHR, article 14 and article 2 of the first protocol.
The claimant’s ex-partner had withheld her immigration documents. This led to her spousal visa not being renewed in time and led to the client remaining unlawfully in the UK for nearly a year through no fault of her own.
She was later granted indefinite leave to remain as a victim of domestic violence. But the gap in ‘lawful residency’ caused by her ex-partner’s abuse led to her being precluded by the current education regulations from obtaining a student loan.
Without student funding, she incurred significant debt with her university and was forced to withdraw from her studies.
R (Gill on behalf of the Sikh Federation) v The Cabinet Office  EWHC 3407 (Admin)
The Sikh Federation has campaigned for the inclusion of a Sikh ethnic group tick box response in the census, in the hope that funding and public services will then be more effectively focused on meeting the needs of the Sikh community. In this case, they applied for judicial review of “the contemplated exercise of Her Majesty’s discretion to direct a census based on an Order in Council, which does not include a Sikh ethnic tick box”.
Held: The claim is dismissed on the ground that it is premature, and in breach of parliamentary privilege and the constitutional convention of the separation of powers. If the Court were to rule that it would be unlawful for Her Majesty to not include a Sikh ethnic tick box, it would be a clear interference with the Queen in Council’s law-making function, contrary to the constitutional convention of the separation of powers.
There is a fundamental constitutional distinction between the Court reviewing the lawfulness of an Order in Council once it has been made, and the Court making a declaration which curtails the Queen in Council’s exercise of discretion when making law. This is not an exceptional case which justifies any departure from the general rule that this Court will respect the separation of powers and so not interfere with Parliamentary proceedings.
JP and BS v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 3346 (Admin)
In this case the High Court decided that the Home Office’s approach to protecting victims of trafficking is unlawful.
The test case was brought by two victims of trafficking, who challenged the lawfulness of the Secretary of State’s policy that, in the case of a victim of trafficking who is also making an application for asylum, the Secretary of State will not determine the victim’s application for a residence permit under Article 14(1) of ECAT before making a decision on the asylum application.
The court held that the Defendant breached the rights the claimants under Article 14 (read with Articles 4, 8 and A1P1) of the ECHR, contrary Human Rights Act 1998, s6.
R (BBC) v Newcastle Crown Court  EWHC 2756 (Admin)
DE, a former Newcastle United footballer, was interviewed live-to-air on the Victoria Derbyshire show about sexual abuse by a club coach in the 1990s. A BBC researcher had made a note of a mock interview with DE, recording answers giving his account of the abuse.
DE was to be a prosecution witness at the subsequent Crown Court trial of the coach. After the trial commenced the police obtained a production order for the note from the trial judge under PACE, Schedule 1. The CPS wanted to disclose it to the defence for possible use to attack DE’s credibility at trial, if (depending on its contents) it undermined/contradicted his evidence for the prosecution.
Held: The Divisional Court upheld the judge’s rulings that the police application was “for the purposes of a criminal investigation” under PACE, s.9(1), and that the note was likely to be of substantial value to the investigation. But another PACE, Schedule 1 para 2, access condition requirement was not made out because it was not open to the judge to conclude that the note was “likely to be admissible evidence”. The DC held that this access condition requires that the material the journalist is ordered to produce must be immediately admissible per se, whereas the admissibility of this document was conditional.
IS (Bangladesh) v SSHD  EWHC 2700 (Admin)
The claimant challenged the legality of his detention for a period of 28 months pending his deportation. He says that it was unlawful to detain him for that period of time having regard to his young age (he was 18 when first detained), his mental health, history of self-harm and risk of suicide, and the conditions of his incarceration. He claims a violation of his rights under the ECHR, art 3, 5 and 8.
Held: The detention of the Claimant between 28 July 2016 and 29 June 2018 was lawful and did not involve a breach of his Convention rights. The detention of the Claimant between 29 June 2018 and 30 November 2018 was unlawful and amounted to a breach of his right to liberty under Article 5 ECHR. His treatment of being subjected to constant observation for a period of 75 days whilst unlawfully detained amounts to a separate breach of the right to respect for private life under Article 8 ECHR. There was no breach of the prohibition on inhuman or degrading treatment under Article 3 ECHR.