Court of Appeal Confirms that Family Court Cannot Prevent Home Office Removing a Child from the UK

The Court of Appeal has confirmed that the family courts cannot interfere with the Home Office in its efforts to remove or deport a child who is subject to immigration control.

In the case of Secretary of State for the Home Department v GD (Ghana) [2017] EWCA Civ 1126 the Court of Appeal criticised legal representatives for not being familiar with the existing law on this issue.

The Court reiterated the following principles in relation to a child subject to immigration control:

  • When deciding whether to remove or deport a child, the Secretary of State is not bound by any Care Order or Residence Order of the Family Court.
  • A family court judge cannot grant an injunction to restrain the Secretary of State removing such a child – even if the child is a ward of court.
  • The Secretary of State remains under a duty to consider any order made or views expressed by the Family Court when making a decision in relation to a child

If you have a child who is subject to a Residence Order (now known as a Child Arrangement Order) or Care Order, it is not enough to simply rely on this to prevent their removal or deportation.

You must provide further details and reasons as to why the child should not be removed and why it is in their best interests to remain in the UK.,  Diary of an Immigration Lawyer, is a blog run by Fahad Ansari, the director and principal solicitor of Riverway Law, a niche UK immigration and nationality law practice based in London.  If you would like any advice or assistance in relation to your immigration matter, please do not hesitate to email me at or submit your details here.


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