Article 8 and night-time care

The ECtHR Chamber has delivered its decision in McDonald v UK. For the reasons given below, the Court has decided that there was no breach of Article 8 ECHR following the reduction in Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s care services package for Ms McDonald, except for a period from November 2008 to November 2009, when her care needs were not met.

Ms M’s health began to deteriorate seriously following a stroke, which she suffered in 1999 and which left her with restricted mobility. Her mobility was compromised still further when she fell heavily on three occasions, making it difficult for her to access the toilet safely. Needs assessments … Read the full post

Deciding without a decision

R (on the application of PK) v Harrow LBC (2014) QBD Admin 30 January 2014 [Lawtel note, no transcript yet]

This judicial review is possibly one for the ‘what were they thinking?’ pile.

The Claimants were the children of M. The family was street homeless and destitute following eviction. It appears that Harrow had decided there was no duty to accommodate M, as the family was referred to Social Services.

Harrow carried out an assessment, then said that it was obliged to provide the children with accommodation under s.17 and s.20 Children Act 1989, but not the mother.

The children applied for judicial review, and interim relief was granted. The … Read the full post

On families, powers and duties to accommodate

R (on the application of MK) v Barking and Dagenham London Borough Council [2013] EWHC 3486 (Admin) [Judgment on Lexis, not on Bailii yet]

A judicial review raising the extent of a Council’s duties and powers under s.17 Children Act 1989 and s.1 Localism Act 2011 (the general power of competence) in providing housing for someone not otherwise eligible for housing assistance.

MK was from Nigeria. She was in the UK illegally. A current application for leave to remain had been refused and was under appeal to the First Tier Tribunal. (If MK left the UK, this appeal would fall.) MK’s age was unclear. Barking had assessed her date of … Read the full post

The meaning of care and attention

SL v Westminster [2013] UKSC 27 is a very important case concerning the meaning of “care and attention” in the context of s.21, National Assitance Act 1948.

We can only apologise for not writing it up sooner. All we can say is that the nearlylegal backlog of cases is threatening to rival the UK Border Agency’s backlog of immigration and asylum cases.


SL was a failed asylum seeker. He approached Westminster and asked that they provide him with accommodation under s.21, National Assistance Act 1948.

Section 21 provides that an authority is under a duty to provide persons with accommodation if:

1) by reason of age, disability, mental illness … Read the full post

Outside the Boxall

This is an important case on costs on settled Judicial Reviews. Following on Bahta & Ors, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department & Ors [2011] EWCA Civ 895 [Our report] and Lord Jackson’s view on JR costs, the Court of Appeal in M v London Borough of Croydon [2012] EWCA Civ 595 has given general guidance for awarding costs. The principles should also apply to the equally troublesome area of costs in settled s.204 Housing Act 1996 Homeless appeals.

The actual judicial review that gave rise to this hearing was an age assessment case which was conceded by the Local Authority … Read the full post

Care needs, eligibility and human rights

De Almeida, R (on the application of) v Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea [2012] EWHC 1082 (Admin)

This was a judicial review of RBK&C’s refusal to provide support under s.21 and s.29 National Assistance Act 1948 and indeed to carry out an assessment under s.47 of the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990.

Mr De A is a Portuguese national. He lived in the UK from 1998 to 2001 and from 2008 to date. He worked during the first period and for a year after his return. Mr De A had contracted HIV and AIDS. His health deteriorated so that he was not able to work. His … Read the full post

“About to be in need” and prospective care assessment

This is a quick note on the effect of  NM, R (on the application of) v London Borough of Islington & Ors [2012] EWHC 414 (Admin) on when a Council is required to carry out an assessment under section 47 of the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990.

NM was a prisoner with an upcoming parole hearing. He had significant learning disabilities. Both NM and the parole board wanted to know what accommodation and support would be offered if he was released. If supported accommodation was not available, it was likely that NM would be instead sent to a low security prison. However, Islington (and another local authority) … Read the full post

R (R) v Croydon LBC – A call for information

In R. (R) v Croydon LBC, February 10, 2012, Administrative Court [not on bailii - taken from a lawtel note] the Administrative Court was asked to determine whether the applicant was a former relevant child for the purposes of s.23C Children Act 1989.

The applicant was an Afghan national. Upon arriving in the UK he made an asylum application and claimed he was 15 years old. The UK Border Agency did not accept that was his age and referrred him to Croydon for their social services department to carry out an assessment as to his age. Croydon, after assessining the applicant, decided he wasn’t 15 and that he was in … Read the full post