Abdullah v Aberdeenshire Council [2024] CSOH 8

Themis members appeared on both sides in a recent age assessment judicial review petition. Tim Haddow acted for the petitioner and Jordanna Blockley acted for the respondent.

The petitioner was an asylum seeker who entered the UK claimed to be under 18 years old. The age of a person has consequences in terms of whether or not the local authority is required to accommodate under the Children (Scotland) Act 1995, section 25. The petitioner raised an action for Judicial Review and complained that the material relied upon by the local authority in reaching their conclusions was unfair and irrational. They sought reduction of the decision. The petitioner also sought declarator of his true age. There was a question of whether it was competent to seek declarator in the context of a Judicial Review. Exceptionally in this case, between the action being raised and the case being heard before the Court, the petitioner was sentenced to a period of imprisonment and was then no longer the responsibility of the local authority.

In his Opinion, Lord Sandison held that the age assessment was disciplined, and wholly complied with the principles set out in the cases of Merton [2003] EWHC 689 (admin) and AB [2020] EWHC 109 (admin). On that basis the petition was dismissed as irrelevant. The age assessment no longer had any practical consequences and was dismissed as academic. Finally, Judicial Review is not concerned with the merits of a decision i.e. whether the decision is factually correct. Judicial Review is only concerned with whether a decision has been lawfully made. In the context of declarator, the correct procedure is to raise an Ordinary Action for declarator of age. There is no need to demonstrate that the age assessment is reducible on traditional public law grounds if declarator is sought via Ordinary Action.

The published judgment can be accessed via the following link; https://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/docs/default-source/cos-general-docs/pdf-docs-for-opinions/2024csoh8.pdf?sfvrsn=1b8e8829_1

Steven Walker KC to speak at the flagship event of Thailand Arbitration Center (THAC)

We are delighted to invite you to attend the flagship event of Thailand Arbitration Center (THAC) “International ADR Week 2022” with the most excited topic that you are looking for “Arbitration and ADR Beyond the Pandemic”. 

The webinar is entitled “Arbitration and ADR Beyond the Pandemic” and will feature Steven Walker QC of Themis Advocates.

14th July 2022 at 10:00 – 18:00 (GMT+7 Thailand time)

Please register from this link here



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Employment Law Conference

Friday 24th May 2024

The Royal Mile, 80 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1TH

Themis Advocates are delighted to invite you to attend our Employment Law Conference on Friday 24th May at the Radisson Blu, High Street, Edinburgh from 1pm-5pm.  The event is free to attend, open to all solicitors, trainees and paralegals and you will be accredited 3 hours CPD.


1300 hrs – Registration & Refreshments

1330 hrsKaterina SteinCase Law Update

1415 hrs – Catherine MacColl – Venturing beyond the contract – the quest for the true agreement in employment relationships

1500 hrs – Refreshment Break

1520 hrsDavid James – Whistleblowing Update

1600 hrsTim Haddow Free Speech and the Workplace

1645 hrs – Conclusion

1700 hrs – Drinks & Canapés to which all attendees are invited

To book your place please register here: