5 Essex Court

News

10 Jul 20 Back to Listing

Alan Payne QC and John Goss appear in landmark Court of Appeal case regarding confidentiality of information provided by refugees

Alan Payne QC and John Goss appear in Court of Appeal in a landmark appeal considering the extent to which material provided to the Secretary of State for the Home Department by refugees in support of the claim for international protection is protected from disclosure into family proceedings.  

On 10 June 2020, the Court of Appeal heard the appeals of a refugee and the Secretary of State against a number of judgments of MacDonald J ordering disclosure of asylum material provided by  the refugee mother into private law Children Act 1989 proceedings to the father, the person who (in the asylum context) was considered to be her persecutor. The case raises important issues about the interaction between family and asylum law, and the balance to be struck between the public interest in maintaining confidentiality of the asylum process whilst at the same time ensuring that the best interests of the child are protected. 

Although the Court of Appeal dismissed the mother’s appeal, the reasons for their decision and their decision on the wider issues of public importance raised by the Secretary of State for the Home Department are awaited.

Alan and John acted for the Secretary of State for the Home Department both in the Court of Appeal and in the High Court. They are both instructed in a variety of cases dealing with confidentiality and the interaction between the family and asylum/immigration jurisdictions.