On 14th April 2016 the High Court granted permission in a judicial review brought by two children of a decision by Lewisham that it was 'not satisfied' that the children were destitute and 'in need'. The family have no recourse to public funds and say that they are homeless and have no means of subsistence.  The Claimants are arguing that  Lewisham has misdirected itself by applying too high a threshold before being 'satisfied' that the children are destitute and in need.  They say that to apply too high a threshold is inconsistent with the statutory purpose of s.17 Children Act 1989 as it readily admits of circumstances in which children are in fact in need, but not treated as in need.  They say that the approach advocated by Mr Justice Leggatt in the case of R (MN) v Hackney [2013] EWHC 1205, at least as it is being applied by Lewisham, is wrong.

The claim has been expedited, with a final hearing to take place on 5th May 2016.  The claim is called R (AE and AO) v LB of Lewisham.  Watch this space!

The Claimants are represented by Ravinder Brar at Duncan Lewis.