Home Secretary cannot be blocked from deporting woman whose daughter is at FGM risk, judge rules

PUBLISHED: 19:40 05 March 2019 | UPDATED: 22:01 05 March 2019

Suffolk County Council chiefs launched a child protection review Picture: ARCHANT

Suffolk County Council chiefs launched a child protection review Picture: ARCHANT

Home secretary Sajid Javid cannot be blocked from deporting a failed asylum seeker from Suffolk whose young daughter could be at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM) if expelled from the UK, a judge has ruled.

Sir Andrew McFarlane, the most senior family court judge in England and Wales and President of the Family Division of the High Court, heard that the woman has links to Bahrain and Sudan.

She fears that her nine-year-old daughter, whose welfare is the responsibility of Suffolk County Council, would end up in Sudan if she left Britain, where she would be subjected to FGM.

A family court judge who looked at the case had previously concluded the girl would be at risk if deported.

However, officials at the Home Office had rejected the woman’s asylum application and ordered her removal.

She then failed to persuade immigration tribunals to overturn the Home Office’s decision.

Suffolk County Council had begun High court litigation and Sir Andrew was asked whether a judge could bar a Home Secretary from deporting the girl’s mother.

He has now concluded that a judge cannot make such an order having looked at the issue at a High Court hearing in London earlier this year.

His decision was announced on Tuesday at a follow-up hearing and he is expected to publish a ruling, outlining his reasoning, in the near future.

Another senior judge, Mr Justice Newton, is set to further analyse the issues of the case at future hearings.

Lawyers say Mr Justice Newton, who is based in the Family Division of the High Court in London, will assess issues including the level of risk the girl faces and whether she could be protected abroad.

Mr Justice Newton has, at an earlier hearing, described the case as the first of its kind.

He says it raises public interest issues relating to “tensions” between politicians and the courts.

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