UK: High Court dismissed appeal against procedural issues in the implementation of the Dubs amendment

Thursday, November 2, 2017

On 2 November 2017, the England and Wales High Court ruled in case R (on the application of Help Refugees Limited) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD), which concerned a complaint brought by Help Refugees in relation to the delay in relocating unaccompanied children under section 67 of the UK Immigration Act 2016 (the so-called “Dubs amendment”). The AIRE Centre was an intervener in the case.

In brief, the claimant had argued that the number ultimately accepted by the SSHD was arbitrary, that there had been no proper consultation with councils on the number of children they could take, that UK authorities had not acted “as soon as possible” as required under the Dubs amendment and that children had been deprived of fundamental procedural safeguards.

First, the High Court recognised the complexity behind the implementation of the duties arising from section 67, including the need for the UK Government to have the consent and cooperation of the national governments in France, Italy and Greece. It rejected the claim that the UK authorities had not specified the number or made arrangements to relocate children “as soon as possible”.

Secondly, the High Court did not accept the claims that the absence of a written decision and of formal mechanisms for challenging an adverse decision was procedurally unfair. It argued that the clear purpose of the Act was that it should be operated swiftly and without the bureaucratic or legal processes such as those in the immigration field. The High Court rejected the argument that children who were eligible for transfer were entitled to be transferred under the Dubs amendment.


This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the weekly ELENA legal update supported by the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Funding Programme and distributed by email. The purpose of these updates is to inform asylum lawyers and legal organizations supporting asylum seekers and refugees of recent developments in the field of asylum law. Please note that the information provided is taken from publicly available information on the internet. Every reasonable effort is made to make the content accurate and up to date at the time each item is published but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE, the IRC or its partners.



Best interest of the child
Child Specific Considerations
Unaccompanied minor
Vulnerable person