The Migrants’ Law Project represented Safe Passage International in a successful legal challenge to Home Office policy on deciding family reunion applications under the EU’s rules. The High Court found that the policies were unlawful and misstated the law in significant ways.
Over 500 unaccompanied child refugees in Europe had applications to join family members under Dublin III rejected last year, leaving them stranded during a global pandemic. Although these EU rules are no longer in force post-Brexit, these children are now able to ask for their cases to be re-considered by the Home Office.
The policy was found unlawful because it instructed case-workers to refuse applications simply because they had failed to complete the necessary enquiries in time to meet the deadlines under the EU’s rules. It was also unlawful in its instructions to case-workers not to obtain local authority assessments of family members in the UK unless the Home Office was satisfied there was a genuine family relationship, despite the fact that these assessments frequently helped case–workers in deciding that critical issue.