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Lawfully present?

Entitlement to social welfare provision in European Social Charter countries: Hannah Godfrey discusses Szoma

25 November 2005

The House of Lords has allowed the appeal of the claimant in Szoma v Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions [2005] UKHL 64:
  • Art 13 of the European Social Charter (ESC) provides a right to social and medical assistance.
  • EAA states, and non-EAA states which have ratified the ESC (made at Turin on 18.10.61) and/or the European Convention on Social and Medical Assistance (ECSMA), made at Paris on 11.12.53, undertake to provide the social and medical assistance guaranteed by Art 13 on an equal footing with their nationals to nationals of other contracting parties lawfully within their territories.
  • Their Lordships’ decision in Szoma will mean that persons from ESC countries subject to immigration control who have applied for leave to enter, been temporarily admitted and who have complied with all conditions of their temporary admission, are ‘lawfully present’ in the UK. Being ‘lawfully present’ in the UK is a necessary prec...
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