Age assessment guidance

January 18th, 2023 by James Goudie KC

In R (MA) v SSHD (2022) EWCA Civ 1663 the Court of Appeal holds that the SSHD’s Guidance relating to short-form age assessments conducted in a Kent intake unit for asylum seekers was lawful. The Guidance could be operated consistently with the Merton requirements for age assessments.

Guidance can be set aside only if it permits or encourages unlawful conduct. Permitting means something akin to sanctioning or positively approving, not merely that an action is not forbidden. The question is whether a policy authorised or approved unlawful conduct.

A public authority promulgating a policy is not required to include a detailed and comprehensive statement of the law in the area.

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