Court set for state support challenge

A High Court challenge to the government’s decision to block state
support to asylum seekers from the 10 accession countries will take
place next week.

A judicial review is being sought by two asylum seekers, known as
Mr H and Mr D, on the grounds that the decision was procedurally
unfair and a breach of the European Convention of Human

Campaigners are concerned that more than 2,500 asylum seekers and
their families from the accession countries could become homeless
as a result of the government’s decision to deny them National
Asylum Support or local authority support from May 1, when their
countries joined the EU (news, page 7, 6 May).

Unemployed accession country nationals are not entitled to any
benefits or social housing.

The test case’s ruling will have far reaching implications for the

During hearings last week, Stephen Knafler, appearing for Mr H,
said the asylum seekers had only been given a few weeks to find
work and alternative accommodation and that this was unfair.

He called for all the asylum seekers to receive transitional
support for three months from May 1 while they found

None of the 1,131 asylum seekers supported by the National Asylum
Support Service have been made homeless so far, although it is
unclear if any of the 1,483 local authority-supported asylum
seekers have been affected.

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