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Tori Sicher’s Notable Cases

R (AA and RA) v Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs: AC-2023-LON-002498

Tori acted for AA in a judicial review against the Secretary of State’s decision to refuse a grant of indefinite leave to remain under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy as an Additional Family Member.

AA is the elderly mother of an Afghan national who was brought to the UK under the ARAP.  At the time he was only allowed to bring his spouse and children.  Once he was safely in the UK, he applied for his mother to join him as an Additional Family Member.  This was refused by the Secretary of State on the basis that AA did not meet the dependency and risk element of the policy.  The decision was challenged on irrationality grounds, referring to the Secretary of State’s failure to consider all the evidence before him.

Two days prior to the full hearing, the Secretary of State agreed to grant AA indefinite leave to remain and to, exceptionally, arrange for her travel to the UK.  In addition, the Secretary of State agreed to pay the Claimants costs on an indemnity basis for work from 31 January 2024.

Of note in this matter was an earlier general direction by Swift J in relation to the Secretary of State’s actions in ARAP cases before the High Court, stating:

Any application to vary any direction made in any ARAP-related High Court case involving a closed material procedure, made by the Secretary of State for Defence or by another Secretary of State for the benefit of the Secretary of State for Defence shall be supported by a witness statement made by a civil servant of appropriate seniority. The statement shall (as a minimum) shall explain (a) what has happened since the direction to be varied is made such that compliance with it is no longer possible; and (b) the reasons for the extension of time requested; and (c) the reasons why it is believed that the Secretary of State will be able to comply with the proposed amended direction.

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