Fee of £1012 for application to register childrens' citizenship ruled unlawful

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R (oao The Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens; O; and A) v SSHD  [2019] EWHC 3536 (Admin) In a judgment given on 19th December 2019, Mr Justice Jay ruled that the fee of £1012 required as a pre-condition of the ability to apply for registration as a British Citizen under various provisions of the British Nationality Act 1981 was unlawful. The basis for the ruling was that the Home Secretary had breached her duty under s55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 to treat the interests of the children as a primary consideration in setting so high a fee, which the claimants argued was unaffordable. A declaration to that effect was granted; no quashing order was made. The judge rejected a separate argument that the level of fee was not authorised by the primary legislation, holding that he was bound to do so by  R (Williams) v SSHD [2017] 1 WLR 3283. He granted the claimants a "leapfrog" certificate on this ground; and gave the SSHD permission to appeal on the s55 issue. Richard Drabble QC appeared for all the claimants; with Admas Habteslasie for O; with Miranda Butler for PRCBC; and Jason Pobjoy and Isabel Buchanan for A. The judgment may be viewed here.

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