Judgments - AL (Serbia) (FC) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for the Home Department R (on the application of Rudi) (FC) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for the Home Department

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53.  There was plainly no question here of the policy intentionally disadvantaging children qua children (quite the contrary given, as I have stated, that they were not to be removed in any event) or unaccompanied children qua unaccompanied children (as opposed to unaccompanied children as one amongst a large number of disparate categories of people consisting of all those who failed to come within a specified family group on whose behalf an asylum application had been made by the due date). Even supposing that those coming within the policy and those falling outside it were in otherwise similar situations (in that all were aspiring to settlement in this country), if one asks whether the differences in their respective situations justified their different treatment (the question which Lady Hale at para 24 reminds us that Strasbourg asks in these cases), I would unhesitatingly answer “yes". The policy was introduced on a selective basis for sound pragmatic reasons. It involved no discrimination on any “suspect” ground. It was not sexist, nor racist, nor ageist.

54.  Accordingly I see no possible basis for overturning this policy either under article 14 or at common law. In my opinion the claims of both appellants were rightly rejected at all stages below. In common with all your Lordships, I too would dismiss both these appeals.

 
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Prepared 25 June 2008