High Court orders Home Secretary to bring back potential victim of trafficking from France following application of secret policy


Re: AA (Sudan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 1869 (Admin) (06 July 2021)

Wall J today made an interim order in AA (Sudan) v SSHD, requiring the Home Secretary to use her best endeavours to bring back the Claimant swiftly from France.

The Judge concluded that there were high prospects at trial of establishing that the Claimant’s removal had been unlawful, on the ground that the Home Secretary had operated a secret policy not to ask new arrivals the screening questions that might identify them to be victims of trafficking, contrary to her published screening policy.

The Judge granted the Claimant a 7-month extension of time, on the grounds that he could not have challenged the legality of the policy at the time of his removal because it was secret, the Secretary of State had denied the existence of the secret policy to the Immigration Law Practitioners Association, and the screening form had been completed in a way which made it look as though the omitted questions had in fact been asked.

Interim relief was granted having regard to the fact that the Claimant was street homeless in France and evidence that the French authorities do not fully comply with their obligations under the Anti-Trafficking Convention and might refoul the Claimant to Sudan.

Chris Buttler QC was involved in this case.


The case is reported at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/jul/06/asylum-seeker-removed-by-priti-patel-must-be-brought-back-to-uk

The judgment is at https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2021/1869.html