Stephen Knafler QC wins community care test case in the Court of Appeal and High Court, Northern Ireland

Friday 1 February 2013

Stephen Knafler QC wins community care test case in the Court of Appeal and High Court, Northern Ireland.

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In a landmark decision, after a remittal by the Court of Appeal, in In the matter of an application by JR 47 for judicial review, Mr Justice McCloskey granted declarations establishing that, for the first time in Northern Ireland, there was a statutory duty to assess apparent community care needs, implicit in Article 15 of the Health and Personal Social Services (NI) Order 1972, and that there was a substantive legitimate expectation that such assessments would normally be completed in accordance with the 2 volumes of People First guidance applicable in Northern Ireland and that, once an assessment has been completed the Department and its agents (the Health and Social Care Trusts) are under a resource-free duty to provide the assessed social care benefit within a reasonable time. Mr Justice McCloskey further held that these duties had been breached in the case of JR 47, a test case on the community re-location of long-stay learning disabled hospital residents.

Stephen Knafler QC led Michael Potter of the Bar Library and was instructed by Law Centre (NI).

Click here for the BBC news report and click here for some of the other early publicity in Northern Ireland about this case

Stephen Knafler QC is a member of Garden Court Chambers Community Care Team.

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