Important domestic violence case for refugees

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) (incorporated in Section DVILR of Appendix FM). The Home Office determined that she could not be considered under the relevant rule due to her husband not having settled status at the date she secured leave to enter the UK.

The spouse (Mrs. T) JR’d the Home Office decision. 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 liklihood that the spouse would ultimately secure settlement, as occurred in this case.

You can read the judgment – R (on the application of T) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWHC 2453 (Admin) in full here.

Mrs. T was represented by Solange Valdez, Ealing Law Centre and by Ms. Judith Farbey QC, Doughty Street Chambers, and Mr. Declan O’Callaghan, Landmark Chambers. Ealing Law Centre initially acted pro bono, as the client did not meet the requirements of paragraph 28 of Schedule 1 of LASPO; but the JR was legal aid funded.

Mrs. T’s legal representatives intend to appeal.

 

 

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Filed under Advocacy, Civil, Immigration, Public Law

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