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13/02/2019

Supreme Court to consider remedies in bedroom tax cases

We noted here the Court of Appeal decision in Carmichael v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2018] EWCA Civ 548. In very summary terms, the Supreme Court decided in an earlier case that the application of the “social sector size criteria” / “bedroom tax” (choose the appropriate label depending on your view), as contained in Housing Benefit Regulations 2006, reg.B13, breached art.14 of the European Convention on Human Rights in Carmichael’s case (and in one other case too): see [2016] UKSC 58, our post here. In the subsequent proceedings in the tribunals and Court of Appeal, the Court of Appeal held that the tribunals could not simply disapply reg.B13 in order to avoid the art.14 breach occurring.

Now, thanks to a note on the Landmark Chambers website,* we know that the Supreme Court has granted permission to consider whether this is correct. This is not on appeal from Carmichael in the Court of Appeal, but on a leapfrogged appeal from the Upper Tribunal in a case called RR v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (which might be this one, but I am not entirely sure).

Anyway, there we have it. The Supreme Court will at some point consider what, if any, remedy the tribunals can grant in relation to reg.B13 so as to avoid a breach of art.14.

* which cites the Court of Appeal decision in Carmichael as “[2018] 3429 (CA)”, presumably just because everyone loves to hear my well-rehearsed rant about neutral citations.

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.

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