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Judge orders council to re-take decision in first Care Act 2014 case: report

A High Court judge is reported to have ordered a council to retake a decision following a challenge from an asylum seeker, in what is thought to be the first case dealing with the application of the Care Act 2014.

According to Doughty Street Chambers, in R (SG) v Haringey LBC and SSHD the claimant, a destitute asylum seeker with mental health problems, argued that as she had a need for accommodation related care and support she should be accommodated by Haringey Council pursuant to the 2014 Act and not by the Secretary of State under the asylum support regime.

Haringey argued that it no longer had a duty to accommodate asylum seekers in light of the repeal of section 21 of the National Assistance Act 1948.

On 4 August 2015 Mr John Bowers QC, sitting as Deputy Judge at the High Court, quashed Haringey’s decision.

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No transcript of the judgment is available yet, but Doughty Street said the judge's ruling was based on the grounds that an independent advocate had not been appointed and because Haringey had not disregarded the provision of asylum support by the Secretary of State when deciding if it had to provide the claimant with accommodation in order to meet her needs.

"The council was obliged to have regard to whether the claimant's needs could be met if she was homeless and it had not done so," the chambers said.

The Deputy High Court judge did not order Haringey to provide the claimant with accommodation but instead remitted the matter back to the council to make another decision.

The claimant has been granted refugee status, Doughty Street said.

Jamie Burton of Doughty Street acted for the claimant. Burton was instructed by Katy Robinson at Wilson solicitors. 

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