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A (Claimant) v CROYDON LONDON BOROUGH COUNCIL (Defendant) & SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Interested Party) : WK (Claimant) v (1) SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (2) KENT COUN

The court gave guidance as to the proper approach to be taken by the secretary of state or by a local authority who, having concluded that an unaccompanied asylum seeking child was over 18, was presented with a report from a paediatrician whose opinion was that the child was under 18.

26 May 2009

In conjoined applications, the claimants (X and W) applied for judicial review of decisions of the defendant local authorities that they were over the age of 18. X and W had each arrived in the United Kingdom seeking asylum and claiming to be under 18. On their arrival, immigration officers had suspected that they were over 18 and had referred them to the respective local authorities for their ages to be assessed. In each case the local authority had concluded that they were over 18. Both had instructed solicitors who subsequently arranged for them to be assessed by a paediatrician (B). In each case B had concluded that they were under 18 but in each case the local authority had rejected that conclusion and had declined to change its assessment of their age. X and W submitted that if the secretary of state or a local authority decided to maintain a decision that an individual was not a child, clear and cogent reasons had to be given for rejecting a paediatric report that reached the...

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