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FGM case raises question of interplay between family and immigration courts

Case report:  [2019] EWHC 2475 (Fam).

Partner Kate Hammond, an expert in child care law, has been representing a child M in an application for a female genital mutilation (FGM) protection order made by the local authority prior to the child’s expected deportation to Sudan.

The Home Secretary had refused the mother’s application for asylum, and all immigration appeal rights had been exhausted.

At the first hearing, the judge made an order prohibiting the Home Secretary from removing the child from the jurisdiction. That judge joined M as a party and the Home Secretary as an intervener and transferred the matter to the President of the Family Division to resolve a number of technical legal questions as follows:

  • Whether a judge of the Family Division and/or the Family Court can lawfully injunct or restrain the exercise of the Secretary of State for the Home Department’s immigration powers in relation to a mother and child by making an FGM protection order.
  • The role of the Family Division in assessing the risk of a child being subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM) in circumstances where the risk has been assessed by the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal and dismissed as a basis for asylum with all appeal rights exhausted.
  • The duty on the local authority in meeting its statutory obligations under the FGM Act 2003 in these circumstances.
  • Whether the FGM protection order (dated 1 October 2018) should be continued or discharged.

The matter is now the subject of an appeal that will come before the Court of Appeal.

Click here to read the judgment. [2019] EWHC 2475 (Fam)

For more information on FGM or any aspect of child care law, please contact Kate Hammond on 020 7426 0400 or email

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.

Kate Hammond

Kate Hammond

Joint Managing Partner
Joint Head of the Family Department

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