Home > News > No recourse to public funds policy declared unlawful – again

On 20 June 2022, the High Court allowed a claim for judicial review brought by two British children and their mother against the Home Office’s policy of depriving migrants of access to mainstream benefits (through “no recourse to public funds” conditions).

Alex Goodman acted for the Claimants in what is now his fifth successful test case in four years challenging no recourse to public funds conditions:

  • In 2018, the Home Office conceded as part of the settlement that a Public Sector Equality Duty compliant review of the policy needed to be undertaken.
  • In May 2020 in R (W) v SSHD [2020] 1 W.L.R. 4420 the Divisional Court declared the policy unlawful because, in breach of Article 3 ECHR and the common law of humanity it required people to become destitute before they could apply to have recourse to public funds.
  • In April 2021 in R (ST and VW) v SSHD [2021] 1 W.L.R. 6047 the Divisional Court declared Immigration Rule GEN 1.11A and the associated guidance unlawful because it failed to comply with the duty under section 55 Borders, Citizenship & Immigration Act 2009 to safeguard and promote the welfare of children
  • In January 2022 HHJ Ralton awarded human rights act damages to four lead claimants in a test case in respect of breaches of procedural rights under article 3 ECHR.

Today, on 20 June 2022 ,in R (AB) v SSHD [2022] EWHC 1524, Lane J held that the guidance contained in “Family Policy Version 16.0” revised following the judgment of the Divisional Court in ST was unlawful in  still failing to reflect the duty under section 55 under section 55 Borders, Citizenship & Immigration Act 2009 to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

Alex Goodman of Landmark Chambers acted for the Claimant instructed by Adam Hundt of Deighton Peirce Glynn.

The judgement can be found here.

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