The Home Office settled five judicial review claims brought by teenagers challenging the policy under which they were refused registration as British citizens under section 3(1) of the British Nationality Act 1981. All five young people have been assisted by PRCBC and were represented by our solicitor, Solange Valdez-Symonds.
Each of these young people was brought to the UK at a young age, has grown up in this country and applied to be registered as a British citizen during their teenage years (generally at age 16 or 17).
The lead case had been expedited to be heard on 5 May as test case following an Order of Sir Wyn Willliams in the High Court. However, the Home Office has settled that case, and each of the other cases, on the basis that it will register the young person and review its policy with the aim of producing a revised policy within 3 months.
Pending this review, the Home Office has confirmed it will not refuse applications for registration by discretion; and will continue to grant registration in circumstances where it would normally have done so prior to the review.
This is a significant achievement for PRCBC, which has assisted hundreds of children to register by discretion in the last eight years. In many cases, this has necessitated the issue of a pre-action letter or the issue of a judicial review claim. The evidence collated by PRCBC from the children it has assisted over the last near decade reveals:
- the importance of citizenship to young people, who have grown up in the UK from a young age and identify as British;
- the impact upon these young people of being without and being refused British citizenship; and
- the repeated practice of the Home Office in conceding judicial review claims of these refusals.
This evidence and the learning gained by PRCBC since 2012 has all be vital in securing the concessions in these five cases and the review of policy. PRCBC will continue to monitor closely Home Office policy and practice on registration of British citizenship, including the outcome of this review.
PRCBC is grateful to the following individuals and organisations for their support:
Legal team: Solange Valdez-Symonds (PRCBC Solicitor and Director), Adrian Berry (Garden Court Chambers) and Admas Habteslasie (Landmark Chambers)
Youth consultants and other young people: Precious Arabambi, Toni-Ann Murphy, Dajay Brown, Mubarak Tairu and Linden Mercurius.
Our Funders: Therium Access, Community Justice Fund (CJF) and Trust for London.
Organisations: Amnesty International UK (Steve Valdez-Symonds), 3Million Youth Network (Alexandra Bulat), Wesley Gryk Solicitors (Diana Baxter)
Patron: Laurie Fransman QC (Garden court Chambers and author of Fransman’s British Nationality Law)
Past contributors: Declan O’Callaghan, Amanda Weston QC (Garden Court Chambers), Alison Harvey (N.5 Chambers), Ronan Toal (Garden Court Garden Chambers), Dirghayu Patel (LawStop), Ubah Dirie (Garden Court chambers).
For our legal casenote, please e-mail: email@example.com
PRCBC Board of Trustees