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That must be annoying

By J

Butt v LB Hounslow [2011] EWCA Civ 1372 is, frankly, daylight robbery. You’ll remember that in Bubb v Wandsworth (our note here), the Court of Appeal made clear that the county court on a s.204 appeal should not start finding facts. Ever.

So, we come to Butt. The issue was whether or not the reviewing officer had taken certain matters into account and how the review decision had come to be made, especially, which officer had been involved in that decision. To deal with this issue, the Circuit Judge allowed the review officer to give oral evidence on both issues. And so an appeal to the Court of Appeal. You might have thought that permission would be granted.

Oh no. For, in the view of the MR, it would be “little short of absurd” if disputes over the review procedure could not be resolved by hearing oral evidence as to what happened during the review procedure. Permission refused.

Frankly, this is absurd. How on earth you square this with Bubb is beyond me. No doubt this permission decision will be referred to in the application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court in Bubb. On a personal note, I suspect that Toby Vanhegan (a longstanding friend of this blog) must be very annoyed about this, having acted for both Bubb and Butt and having lost both, for wholly contradictory reasons.



J is a barrister. He considers housing law to be the single greatest kind of law known to humankind and finds it very odd that so few people share this view.


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