#melissalaird in Court 18 @ the RCJ – on behalf of US mother deported whilst her only child is kept for adoption

The Queen on the application of Melissa Laird
v. Secretary of State for the Home Department
CO 9385/2013

Application for Judicial Review of Melissa’s deportation to the USA September
Before Anthony Elleray QC sitting as a deputy judge of the High Court
Queen’s Bench Division, Administrative Court 18, 5 December 2013, 10.30

Prior to Melissa’s case 2 other applications were heard, both for leave to appeal against deportations brought by foreign fathers with children still in UK (the court stenographer said Court 18 was a very sad place…). Melissa’s application only arrived before the judge at 12.50, brought on her behalf by members of the Association of McKenzie Friends (AMF) Sabine McNeill, Belinda McKenzie and others.

It was clearly in Mr Elleray’s mind to dispense with the case with all speed, as required by the Home Department which had requested it be re-listed for ‘disposal’.  The AMF had received a copy of his Order to this effect on 3 December, giving as his reasons “This case is now spent and I do not consider it appropriate in this claim to consider further the concerns of Mr Justice Jay as to the ability or appropriateness of the Association of McKenzie Friends to represent the claimant.”

Sabine/AMF having already lodged an Objection against Disposal immediately asked Mr Elleray why had the case been thus listed? The judge said he’d been asked to do so by the Treasury Solicitor (letter of 12 November). The claimant had been removed from the UK, she had no further rights of residence, she had no address here.

Sabine objected that the court had been provided with 2 addresses of Melissa’s McKenzie friends now representing her, one of whom had twice tried to get her out on bail to stay with her and referred the judge to the letter of 29 August from the Administrative Court Office to CLP Solicitors stating “the permission application in the above case has been listed for oral hearing on 5/12/13” and giving the time-frame for the submission of skeleton arguments, etc.

This seemed to throw Mr Elleray out somewhat – it would appear he had not taken note of the Court’s 29 August letter to CLP Solicitors. He would adjourn the case therefore as “dealing with it today is not going to be effective.”

Summing up the morning’s proceedings he arrived at the question-mark as to who would be ‘on the record’ as representing Ms Laird from here on in – Ms Laird herself by video-link or Skype, as suggested by Sabine; AMF who might or might not have the “right or ability” to represent the litigant; or Ms Laird’s still appointed solicitors, CLP.

Sabine said CLP were no longer in the case having been dismissed by Ms Laird and CLP having emailed the Court to apprise them of the changeover from CLP to AMF. The judge said they were still appointed; solicitors must inform the court of their dismissal via a special form but CLP hadn’t done that, so technically they were still on the record. And anyone wishing to apply to the court to represent a claimant must likewise submit a formal application which AMF hadn’t done.  Hence Mr Elleray repeated “it is not safe to dispose of the case today.”

Sabine asked how/in what form should AMF make the application? But the judge said he was not here to give advice.  Basically Ms Laird should write in to the court stating who was representing her.

BM/AMF 5 December 2013

Belinda McKenzie

PS. Please note this judgement re the use of skype in international cases and this unique tweet opportunity to ask questions.

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About Sabine Kurjo McNeill

I'm a mathematician, software designer, system analyst, event organiser, independent web publisher and online promoter of positivity.
This entry was posted in Acting as McKenzie Friend, Judicial Review, Public Interest Advocacy, Right of Audience, Royal Courts of Justice and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to #melissalaird in Court 18 @ the RCJ – on behalf of US mother deported whilst her only child is kept for adoption

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