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Case details

SC, CB and 8 children (Appellants) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and others (Respondents)

Case ID: UKSC 2019/0135

Case summary


The Supreme Court is asked to decide whether the 'two child limit', a provision of primary legislation which restricts payment of amounts of subsistence benefit for children to the first two children in a family, is incompatible with the Appellants' rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.


The Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016 imposed a limit of two on the number of children in respect of whom child tax credit (and its replacement, universal credit) is payable.

The limit applies, with a few exceptions, to all children born after 6 April 2017, when the new law came into force.The Appellants are members of families affected by this two child limit.

SC lives with her three youngest children, for whom she is solely responsible. Her youngest child was born on 11 July 2017 (and therefore after the two child limit took effect).

CB has five children, the youngest of whom was born on 19 April 2017 (just after the new legislation came into force).

The High Court dismissed the Appellants' claims, and the Court of Appeal dismissed their appeal.

The Appellants now appeal to the Supreme Court.

Judgment appealed

[2019] EWCA Civ 615



SC, CB and 8 children (Appellants)


Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and others



Lord Reed, Lord Hodge, Lady Black, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lord Kitchin, Lord Sales, Lord Stephens.

Hearing start date

20 Oct 2020

Hearing finish date

22 Oct 2020

Watch hearing
20 Oct 2020 Morning session Afternoon session
21 Oct 2020 Morning session Afternoon session
22 Oct 2020 Morning session

Reporting restrictions

Case SC, CB and 8 children (Appellants) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and others (Respondents)

Case Case ID: UKSC 2019/0135

THE COURT ORDERED that no one shall publish or reveal the names or addresses of the Appellants who are the subject of these proceedings or publish or reveal any information which would be likely to lead to the identification of the Appellants or of any members of their family in connection with these proceedings.

Future Judgment Update

Please note that appeal in the matter of SC, CB and 8 children (Appellants) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and others (Respondents) has been heard by the Supreme Court and is currently awaiting judgment.

As soon as the judgment hand-down date is confirmed, it will be published on the Future judgments page of this website. As a very broad indication, judgments tend to follow between three to nine months after the conclusion of the appeal hearing, although in some cases it may be earlier than that. Information about judgment hand-downs is usually announced one week in advance. We are unable to give any indication of the likely hand-down date for judgments not listed on the Future judgments page.