Case details

R (on the application of HC) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and others (Respondents)

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Case ID: UKSC 2015/0215

Case summary

  1. Whether the statutory instruments which provide that Zambrano carers are not entitled to social benefits in the UK are unlawful, in particular whether they entail discrimination under EU law or the ECHR which cannot be justified.
  2. Whether the resolution of these points of law requires a reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

HC is an Algerian national who entered the UK lawfully, married a British citizen and had two children who are British nationals. By the time the marriage ended, HC had overstayed her visa. HC’s evidence is that she suffered domestic violence during her marriage. She and her children are accommodated by Oldham Council under s.17 of the Children Act 1989 and receives subsistence and utility costs. HC applied for and was eventually granted residency as a Zambrano carer (i.e. the third-country national carer of an EU citizen (her children), whose presence is required for the EU citizen to enjoy the rights of citizenship). HC brought an application for judicial review against the regulations that provide that Zambrano carers are not eligible to receive non-contributory social benefits, and a further application for judicial review against Oldham Council.

Judgment appealed

[2015] EWCA Civ 49




  1. Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
  2. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
  3. Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs

The AIRE Centre



Lady Hale, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson, Lord Sumption, Lord Carnwath

Hearing start date

21 Jun 2017

Hearing finish date

22 Jun 2017

Watch hearing
21 June 2017 Afternoon session
22 June 2017 Morning session Afternoon session