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Case details

CAO (Respondent) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Appellant) (Northern Ireland)

Case ID: UKSC 2023/0056

Case summary


The correct approach to remedy breaches by the Home Office of their statutory duty to consider children in immigration applications and whether that approach varies across different parts of the UK.


CAO sought asylum in the UK accompanied by two children. Her case is that she faced domestic violence at the hands of her husband on return to Nigeria and her daughter would be subject to FGM.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department ('SSHD') did not accept her account of domestic abuse or find it plausible that her daughter was at risk of FGM. CAO appealed to the First-Tier Tribunal ('FTT').

The FTT judge accepted CAO had been subject to domestic abuse but found that she had not established she was subject to abuse after she moved around Nigeria or that her father-in-law could locate her. She did not prove that CAO's husband wanted to subject the daughter to FGM. The FTT upheld the Secretary of State's decision.

The Upper Tribunal ('UT') upheld the decision of the FTT.

The Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland found that the FTT and the UT had failed to remedy the SSHD's failure to take into account the best interests of CAO's children as required by section 55(3) of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009. The Court of Appeal highlighted that there were different approaches to this legislation in different parts of the UK.

The Court of Appeal set aside the decision of the UT and sent the case back to the FTT to reconsider.

The SSHD appeals to the Supreme Court.

Judgment appealed

[2023] NICA 14



Secretary of State for the Home Department





Lord Lloyd Jones, Lord Sales, Lord Hamblen, Lady Rose, Dame Siobhan Keegan

Hearing start date

5 June 2024

Hearing finish date

6 June 2024

Watch hearing
5 June 2024 Morning session Afternoon session
6 June 2024 Morning session