Regina (B) v Merton London Borough Council: Admn 14 Jul 2003

The authority had to decide the age of the applicant, an asylum seeker, in order to decide whether a duty was owed to him under the Act. He complained that the procedure adopted was unfair. The 2002 Act did not apply to persons under 18, and he would be entitled to assistance from the respondent. The assessment was made by a social worker through an interpreter over a telephone, but no record was kept.
Held: There was no statutory procedure. Without documentation, no objective procedure existed, and the respondent must rely upon its own assessment. It was difficult but not complex, and should not be made complex. It had to make its own decision, and could not simply adopt the decision of the Home Office. The procedure adopted here risked misunderstanding, and notes would have been relevant and useful. The applicant had not been given opportunity to answer points found against him, and the decision was unfair and must be set aside.
The court set out guidelines for the making of such assessments.

Stanley Burnton J
[2003] EWHC 1689 (Admin), Times 18-Jul-2003, [2003] 4 All ER 280
Children Act 1989 17, Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 18(1)(a)
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedI and Another, Regina (on the Application Of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department Admn 27-May-2005
The applicants had sought asylum. The respondent wished to detain them. They said that they were under the age of 18, which would require them to be released. The respondent obtained expert reports from a senior consultant paediatrician experienced . .
CitedRegina (A) v Liverpool City Council QBD 26-Jun-2007
The applicant sought judicial review of the authority’s decision that he was over the age of eighteen.
Held: Review was granted. The authority had to have regard to all the relevant information, and could not limit itself to adopting the . .
CitedFriends of Basildon Golf Course v Basildon District Council and Another Admn 23-Jan-2009
The council owned land on which it ran a golf course. It set out to privatise it and sought interest. An application was made for planning permission. The applicants objected to the planning permission, saying that the Environmental Impact . .
CitedA, Regina (on the Application of) v London Borough of Croydon SC 26-Nov-2009
The applicants sought asylum, and, saying that they were children under eighteen, sought also the assistance of the local authority. Social workers judged them to be over eighteen and assistance was declined.
Held: The claimants’ appeals . .
CitedAA, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 10-Jul-2013
The issue on this appeal is the effect of section 55 on the legality of the appellant’s detention under paragraph 16 over a period of 13 days. At the time of the detention the Secretary of State acted in the mistaken but reasonable belief that he . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Children, Local Government, Benefits

Leading Case

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.184712