The duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children: practical tips
Produced in partnership with Andrew Krisman, Consultant Solicitor
The duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children: practical tips

The following Immigration guidance note Produced in partnership with Andrew Krisman, Consultant Solicitor provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children: practical tips
  • Section 55 duty in practice
  • Practical tips

Under section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009, the Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD) has a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children when making decisions affecting them (the s 55 duty). This Practice Note outlines some general principles emerging from the case law relating to the s 55 duty. It also provides tips for preparing submissions in cases where the duty is engaged. For information on legal basis and scope of the duty, see Practice Note: The duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children: legal framework. For information on the Home Office's policies for complying with the duty and example case law, see Practice Note: The duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children: policy and cases.

Section 55 duty in practice

The case law to date confirms that an assessment is required at an early stage in the decision-making process about the best interests of the child. The outcome of that assessment is to be kept under review and should be accorded very significant weight by the decision-maker.

The development of the case law since ZH (Tanzania) has required the decision-maker to take far more account of the best interests of children, but they are not a trump card, even in non-deportation cases. See the cases of Zoumbas