HC, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions: SC 15 Nov 2017

This appeal concerns the rights of so-called ‘Zambrano carers’ and their children to financial support from the state. The appellant, an Algerian national married and had children here, but was refused housing after the break up the marriage. HC challenged the legality of the Regulations, contending that the denial of mainstream welfare and housing provision to a Zambrano carer and her child was unlawful, because it amounted to unlawful discrimination under article 21 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms and/or under article 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights.
Held: The appeal failed. The European court had upheld such rights to the extent that they put at risk the enjoyment by the carer of rights under EU law. HC now argued that in EU law, once a right of residence is established, the Zambrano carer was automatically entitled to the same social security assistance as nationals of the host state. In contrast the rights asserted here were ones under domestic law.
Otherwise: Sanneh v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions


Lady Hale, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson, Lord Sumption, Lord Carnwath


[2017] UKSC 73, (2018) 21 CCL Rep 127, [2017] 3 WLR 1486, [2018] 2 CMLR 11, [2018] 2 All ER 1, [2018] HLR 6, [2017] WLR(D) 761, [2019] AC 845, UKSC 2015/0215


Bailii, Bailii Summary, WLRD, SC, SC Summary, SC Summary Video, SC 2017 Jun 21 pm Vide, SC 2017 Jun 22 am Video


Child Benefit (General) Regulations 2006, European Convention of Human Rights, EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms 21


England and Wales


At AdmnSanneh, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Admn 30-Apr-2012
Challenge to payment of Zambrano Income Support . .
CitedRuiz Zambrano (European Citizenship) ECJ 8-Mar-2011
ECJ Citizenship of the Union – Article 20 TFEU – Grant of right of residence under European Union law to a minor child on the territory of the Member State of which that child is a national, irrespective of the . .
CitedDereci and Others (European Citizenship) ECJ 15-Nov-2011
ECJ Grand Chamber – Citizenship of the Union – Right of residence of nationals of third countries who are family members of Union citizens – Refusal based on the citizen’s failure to exercise the right to freedom . .
CitedDH (Jamaica) v Secretary of State for The Home Department CA 21-Dec-2012
Elias LJ said: ‘The right of residence is a right to reside in the territory of the EU. It is not a right to any particular quality of life or to any particular standard of living. Accordingly, there is no impediment to exercising the right to . .
Appeal fromSanneh and Others v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions CA 10-Feb-2015
The appeals concerned the question of whether ‘Zambrano carers’, who are non-EU citizens responsible for the care of an EU citizen child, are entitled to social assistance (that is, non-contributory welfare benefits) on the same basis as EU citizens . .
CitedSecretary Of State For The Home Department v CS (Judgment : Citizenship Of The Union) ECJ 13-Sep-2016
The Court of Justice held: ‘that there are very specific situations in which, despite the fact that the secondary law on the right of residence of third-country nationals does not apply and the Union citizen concerned has not made use of his freedom . .
CitedRendon Marin (Judgment : Citizenship Of The Union) ECJ 13-Sep-2016
ECJ (Grand Chamber) Reference for a preliminary ruling – Citizenship of the Union – Articles 20 and 21 TFEU – Directive 2004/38/EC – Right of a third-country national with a criminal record to reside in a Member . .
CitedAgyarko and Ikuga, Regina (on The Applications of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 22-Feb-2017
Applications were made by foreign nationals, residing unlawfully in the UK, for leave to remain as the partners of British citizens with whom they had formed relationships during their unlawful residence, relying primarily on the duty imposed on the . .

Cited by:

CitedStott, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice SC 28-Nov-2018
Extended Determinate Sentence created Other Status
The prisoner was subject to an extended determinate sentence (21 years plus 4) for 10 offences of rape. He complained that as such he would only be eligible for parole after serving two thirds of his sentence rather than one third, and said that . .
CitedPatel v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 16-Dec-2019
Zambrano states that a non-member state national (‘TCN’) parent of an EU citizen child resident within the EU is entitled to
reside in the EU. This is solely to avoid the EU citizen child being deprived of the substance of their Union . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Benefits, European, Human Rights

Leading Case

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.599382