Free Webinar - The need for lawful notice prior to eviction of Travellers: SO v Thanet an important case study

Tuesday 25 July 2023


Tim Baldwin

Michael Imperato

This webinar was brought to you by the Garden Court Public Law and Romani, Gypsy & Traveller Rights Teams.

Date: Tuesday 25 July 2023
Time: 5pm - 6.30pm
Venue: Online  
Cost: Free
Areas of Law: Administrative and Public Law , Civil Liberties and Human Rights , Romani Gypsy and Traveller Rights , Planning Law

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In this webinar, our speakers examined the legal issues which arose in the Court of Appeal in R (On the application of SO) v Thanet DC others [2023] EWCA 398 and R(on the application of SO) v Thanet DC (Costs) [2023] EWCA 526 which concerned the eviction of Irish Travellers from Ramsgate Port. Speakers will also look at the practical issues of funding and running such a case.

Tim Baldwin of Garden Court Chambers, who led Lara Simak, discussed the legal issues in this case, including the costs argument, and the potential wider implications of the case for eviction of Gypsies and Travellers from tolerated sites.

Michael Imperato, Director and Head of Public & Administrative Law at Watkins & Gunn Solicitors, discussed the challenging practical issues in funding and running such claims via Legal Aid.

The claim concerned a representative claimant, SO, a member of a group of Irish Traveller families who were invited by the defendant onto land owned and leased, in part, from the Crown Estate at a disused Ferry Port in Ramsgate, Kent. The Travellers were invited onto the land as a result of the welfare needs of some of the extended Traveller family and entered into a temporary agreement to occupy the land with the consent of the defendant Council in May/June 2021. On 1 December 2021, The defendant served a notice pursuant to s 77 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, requiring the claimant and the Travellers to leave the land, and subjecting them to enforcement proceedings before the Magistrates Court under s 78 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1996. A claim for judicial review was issued with an injunction staying enforcement and this claim was heard in a “rolled up” hearing before the High Court and a reserved judgment of 8 July 2022.

The judge refused permission for judicial review (see R(on the application of SO) v Thanet District Council [2022] EWHC 1731 (Admin)). The issue concerned a novel point of public law as to whether it was unlawful to use such a notice without first giving the Travellers occupying the Land reasonable notice that consent had been withdrawn, prior to giving and serving the s 77 notice. The Court of Appeal found that the Defendant had acted unlawfully by serving the notice without notifying the Travellers of the withdrawal of consent.

Speaker Panel

Tim Baldwin, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
Tim Baldwin is ranked as a leading junior in the Legal 500 for Court of Protection and Community Care, Social Housing and Administrative Law & Human Rights, and is ranked in Chambers & Partners in Social Housing and Community Care. Tim is known for his fierce commitment to representing vulnerable, marginalised and disadvantaged clients. Tim is highly regarded for his public and administrative law practice, which includes housing, community care and social welfare, Court of Protection and DOLS, civil liberties, human rights and inquests, planning, general administrative and public law, commercial judicial review and judicial review of regulatory bodies and Ombudsman cases. He has appeared in a number of reported cases in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, High Court, and Upper Tribunal, as well as significant inquests. Tim writes regularly for the Garden Court Chambers Social Welfare Updates Blog and was a contributing author to the LAG books Adult Social Care Law and Children’s Social Care Law by the late Stephen Knafler QC and is the editor of the Community Care Law Reports.

Michael Imperato, Director & Head of Public & Administrative Law, Watkins & Gunn Solicitors
Michael Imperato is a Director, Solicitor, and Head of Public & Administrative law at Watkins & Gunn. He is also a highly regarded personal injury lawyer. Michael has been involved in some of the highest-profile cases in Wales in recent years that cover Judicial Review, Education law and Personal Injury matters. He is regularly asked to speak at national Personal Injury and Public Law conferences and events and has a back catalogue of high-profile articles and media commentaries on his cases.

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