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R (on the application of Q) v Secretary of State for the Home Department

[2004] QB 36 (CA)

Case summary last updated at 07/01/2020 13:23 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case R (on the application of Q) v Secretary of State for the Home Department

 This case concerned the regime under which asylum seekers, who could not be lawfully removed nor were entitled to work, were considered for benefits. The CA held that the withholding of benefits could constitute inhuman/degrading treatment, per art.3, but that the imposition by the legislature of a regime which prohibited destitute asylum seekers from working and from receiving support amounted to "treatment" for the purpose of article 3 of the Convention but such treatment would only be "inhuman or degrading" in breach of article 3 if it attained a minimum level of severity and involved actual bodily injury or intense physical or mental suffering. S.6HRA obliged the sec state to provide support where this basic level of suffering was reached, and his regime currently employed often led to this, so that it could be in breach of art. 3. It was also in breach of art. 6 as being neither independent nor impartial and DID NOT ALLOW JUDICIAL REVIEW, so that the type of compatibility with art. 6 achieved in other cases (e.g. Begum) didn’t apply here. 

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