SG v Haringey and others  EWCA Civ 322, 3 May 2017
SG, an Afghan national, had been provided with asylum support including accommodation and limited financial assistance. She sought judicial review of the local authority's refusal to provide accommodation under s.18 Care Act 2014, despite its finding that she had eligible needs for care and support under the Act.
She claimed that s.18 established a duty on a local authority to meet the care and support needs identified, and that where those needs were "accommodation-related" they had to be met by the provision of appropriate accommodation. The judge concluded that the local authority's process had been defective and quashed the decision, but declined to grant the declaration sought.
The Court of Appeal, in dismissing the appeal held the following. The appeal was academic in the sense that SG had been granted refugee status. A further assessment had been carried out and she had been provided with safe, secure and suitable accommodation. However, the appeal was also "academic" in a wholly different context, and could not be regarded as a viable vehicle for G's argument regarding the interpretation of s.18 on the question of "duty" or "power".
The role of a local authority under s.18, whether it be a duty or a power, only came into play after a determination under section 13 had been made to the effect that the individual had accommodation-related care and support needs.
As the judge found, the local authority had failed to address the question of accommodation during its assessment and had not therefore made a relevant determination under s.13 sufficient to trigger the next stage of the process with respect to accommodation under s.18. The judge had set the assessment aside with the implication that it had to be undertaken afresh.
The full judgement is available: SG v Haringey and others  EWCA Civ 322, 3 May 2017