Government and Legislation
On 24 July 2006 the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) issued a new Homelessness Code of Guidance for local housing authorities in England. It takes effect on 4 September 2006. At 268 pages it will require careful consideration by authorities and advisers. Click Here to download a copy.
On 25 July 2006 the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DC) published a Review of the Implementation of the Human Rights Act. It contains a useful review of the interpretation of the Act by the Courts and seeks to dispel myths relating to the impact of the Act on subjects such as Gypsy and Traveller issues. Click Here to download a copy.
Parliament is now in recess until 9 October 2006 (Lords) and 10 October 2006 (Commons).
Robinson v Hammersmith & Fulham LBC  EWCA Civ 1122, 28 July, CA. The appellant was excluded from her parental home when aged 17. On 17 February 2005 she applied to the Council as homeless. She was due to turn 18 on 11 March 2005. On 10 March 2005 the Council told her by telephone that she did not have a priority need and that was confirmed in a written notice with reasons given on 11 March 2005. On 10 May 2005 the Council confirmed its decision on review. The Court of Appeal held that: (1) the Council's decision had been made on 10 March 2005; (2) that decision was unlawful because on that date the applicant was 17 even if only one day short of 18; (3) the review decision was wrong in law because even though the review took place when the applicant was 18 she should have had the benefit of what would have been a lawful decision on 10 March. The judgment explains that 'family mediation' cannot be used to justify a delay in enquiries.
Click Here to read the transcript
R(Kilby) v Basildon DC  EWHC 1892 (Admin), 26 July, High Crt. The council's standard secure tenancy provided that its terms could not be varied (save as to rent or statutory requirements) without the approval of tenants' representatives. The council proposed to vary the agreement using Housing Act 1985 ss102-103 to drop that clause, without the approval of tenants' representatives. A claim for judicial review of that decision was dismissed. The council had acted unlawfully in agreeing the initial clause because that amounted to a delegation of its powers to another body (the tenants' representatives). The clause was unenforceable and no 'legitimate expectation' could sustain it. Click Here to read the transcript
R(Cleary) v Highbury Corner Magistrates Court  EWHC 1869 (Admin), 26 July, Divisional Court. The claimant was a council tenant. The police believed her home was being used for dealing in Class A drugs and served her with a closure notice on 10 November 2005 under section 1 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003. The police applied to the magistrates the following day for a closure order and that hearing was adjourned for 14 days. The justices refused a further adjournment and began to try the application. In a judicial review of that decision the Divisional Court gives guidance on the requirements for disclosure by the police of relevant evidence and the proper approach to the use of hearsay evidence at such a trial.
Click Here to read the transcript
Today (31 July) is the last day of the Legal Term. The Supreme Court (Court of Appeal and High Court) vacation ends with the new Term starting on 2nd October
Special Note: The next edition of this Bulletin will be issued in September.
12 September 2006: Anti Social Behaviour first of the RespectAcademy (free) Autumn conferences. Click Here for booking details
20 September 2006: Rent arrears & Possession HLPA General meeting.
Click here for details
2 to 5 October 2006: Homelessness & Allocation series of seminars organised by Jordans.Click here for details see