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House of Lords newsflash


The House of Lords has today given its judgment in the case of R (G) v Southwark [2009] UKHL 26.  We reported the Court of Appeal decision here.  A fuller report will follow on Nearly Legal in due course, but as we may not finish it today the headlines are:

  • The House of Lords unanimously allowed G’s appeal, Baroness Hale giving the leading speech;
  • He therefore was entitled to accommodation under s. 20 of the Children Act, not simply s.17 help with accomodation;
  • Rix LJ’s dissenting view in the Court of Appeal (which was preferred in our report of that decision) was therefore the better one.
chief is a barrister in the big city. he specialises in public law, landlord & tenant, football and rock 'n' roll (the last two are only when his clerks aren't watching). he sometimes pops by here, but not as often as he'd like. he will occasionally eschew capital letters. the reasons for this odd affectation are lost in the mists of time.


  1. The.Dark.One

    The view taken by Baroness Hale has been my view for many years. I’ve argued this point time and time again. At last, common sense!

    • NL

      Yup, writing it up at present.

  2. R

    This is really good news. I’m really pleased. Been waiting for this one! Thanks for getting the info on so quickly.

    • NL

      Take a look at the Judgment. It is pretty powerful stuff.

  3. Derek

    Can’t say I share your glee.

    The loss of the “[some] other special reason” proviso for young adults (children indeed!) was a loss for social housing in general.

    • NL

      Derek, 16 & 17 year olds have priority need under HA 1996 by virtue of Homeless (Priority Need for Accommodation) (England) Order 2002, SI 2002/2051, so not sure what has been lost.

      • R

        I for one am delighted with this outcome after some very dubious decisions by my local authority! It is indeed powerful stuff!

  4. OX

    NL – the difference will be the ongoing support that those accommodated by social services will be entitled to until they are 21. Furthermore the accommodation will be stable and suitable as opposed to B&Bs which the housing departments are putting these kids in when they are held to be in priority need.

    • NL

      OX – yes, I know that. I was wondering what Derek meant about it being a bad thing losing the ‘some other special reason’ for children – which was wholly Housing Act 1996 Part VII priority need.

  5. SP

    Highlighted the judgement with a senior social worker today with reference to an ongoing case – not entirely convinced she was that happy – still have that broad homelessness practitioner grin on my face though….

  6. house

    An excellent judgement, I was highlighting points with glee on the train home.


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