06:57, November 02 69 0 theguardian.com

2017-11-02 06:57:03
Legal challenge to cap on Dubs child refugee scheme fails

Campaigners have lost a high court challenge against the government over the number of unaccompanied child refugees accepted into the UK under the Dubs scheme.

The charity Help Refugees claimed the consultation process by which home secretary, Amber Rudd, calculated that only 480 should be accepted was “fundamentally flawed”.

It had sought court orders to force her to abandon the cap and reopen the consultation process so consideration could be given to allowing more children in. Government lawyers contested the case, arguing that there was no illegality.

In a ruling given in London on Thursday, two judges dismissed an application for judicial review by the charity.

Help Refugees said afterwards that it had lodged an application for permission to appeal against the ruling by Lord Justice Treacy and Mr Justice Ouseley.

Rosa Curling, from the human rights team at the law firm Leigh Day, which represents Help Refugees, said: “This litigation has already brought about very significant advances – 130 extra places for vulnerable children were added as the direct result of this litigation.

“The government was also forced to accept that the children to be transferred under the Dubs amendment were additional to the children the government already had to transfer under EU law. Our clients continue to believe that the way in which the DubAmendment has been implemented is seriously defective. We have sought permission to appeal.”

Josie Naughton, founder and chief executive officer of Help Refugees, said: “We are bitterly disappointed by this result but also very proud of what our litigation has already achieved. At the time our litigation was issued, not a single child had been transferred to the UK under the Dubs amendment.

“Transfers began under the pressure of this litigation and under the pressure from campaigners and parliamentarians. We’ve unearthed 130 extra places, which the government eventually admitted it had overlooked. These places for children are needed now more than ever.

“There are young unaccompanied children sleeping rough in Europe completely unprepared for the coming winter. We intend to appeal.”