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



Themis Advocates are committed to protecting the privacy and security of personal information. By using your information, we hope we can provide the news, content, products and services you’re interested in. The use of your information helps us understand what your needs and interests are, provide you with relevant content, and let you know about our events and services.

Our Privacy Policy explains how we collect and use information about you.

You can change your preferences at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at clerks@themis-advocates.co.uk.

Commercial / Land & Property Seminar

Friday 21st April 2023

1 William Street, Glasgow G3 8HT

Themis are delighted to invite you to attend our Inaugural Glasgow Conference on Friday 21st April at the Hilton from 1pm-5pm.  Talks will be provided on Commercial and Land & Property.  The event is free to attend, however a donation to our charity of the year Andys Man Club would be appreciated.  You will be accredited 3 hours CPD and is open to all solicitors, trainees and paralegals. 

To register please complete the undernoted registration form.

1:00 – Registration & Refreshments

1:30Andys Man Club (Charity of the Year)

1:45Michael Upton – If Personal Bar is Personal can it also be Real?

2:30Alan McLean KC – The Law of Prescription

3:15 – Refreshment Break

3:30Catherine MacColl – How bright a light at the end of the tunnel? How to consider director’s duties in the face of insolvency following the case of BTI 2014 LLC v Sequana SA.

4:15Julie McKinley – Case law update

5:00 – Conclusion

5:15 – Drinks and Canapes for which all attendees are invited.