Ealing Law Centre’s first High Court judgment

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Ealing Law Centre’s first High Court judgment

“‎R (on the application of T) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWHC 2453 (Admin)

Ealing Law Centre has reached a milestone in its development with its first High Court judgment. This judgment is of significance to all those representing destitute victims of domestic violence. The case of T was heard in the High Court on 10 July 2014 and was an attempt to clarify the immigrations rules for those who are accepted as victims of domestic violence and SEEK access to public funds through the Destitute Domestic Violence Concession (DDVC).

Unfortunately the application for judicial review was dismissed. The Law Centre will be making an application for permission to the Court of Appeal.

Mr. Justice Dingemans handed down judgment yesterday morning in a challenge to the domestic violence rule incorporated in Section DVILR of Appendix FM. The challenge was by a post-flight spouse of a refugee who was accepted to have been a victim of domestic violence and sought access to public funds through the Destitute Domestic Violence Concession (DDVC). The Home Office determined that she could not be considered under the relevant domestic violence immigration rule due to her husband not having settled status at the date she secured leave to enter the United Kingdom.

Though expressing concern that there were some difficulties with the drafting of this part of the Rules, Dingemans J held that the relevant rule was to be read as requiring a victim of domestic violence to have been either married to a British citizen or a settled person at the date of the last grant of leave to enter or remain and therefore the Rules did not provide the Secretary of State with a discretion to consider persons such as post-flight spouses of refugees despite the strong likelihood that the spouse would ultimately secure settlement, as occurred in this matter.

Ms Valdez committing on the case stated ‘This is an important decision for extremely vulnerable victims of domestic violence. It has a wider impact on women’s refuges and other organisations providing support for victims of domestic abuse. We are naturally disappointed with the outcome of the application but will be seeking permission to appeal’

For more information Ms Valdez is available to comment on the case and can be contacted at the Law Centre on 0208 579 4598 or by e-mail: solange.valdez@ealinglaw.org.uk

Mrs. T was represented by Ms. Solange Valdez, Ealing Law Centre and by Ms. Judith Farbey Q.C., Doughty Street Chambers, and Mr. Declan O’Callaghan, Landmark Chambers.”

Full judgment can be found at http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2014/2453.html

22 July 2014

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