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High Court rules that student finance regulations discriminate against domestic violence survivors

OA v Secretary of State for Education [2020] EWHC 276 (Admin)

Related Member(s):
Dan Squires QC
Related Practice Area(s):
Immigration, Asylum and Free Movement, Education Law, Human Rights, Public Law
Court:
,

The High Court 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 and led to the claimant 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 student loan regulations from obtaining a student loan.

Without student funding, she incurred significant debt with her university and was forced to withdraw from her studies.

Dan Squires QC was involved in this case.

Please find press release here.