Supreme Court calls a halt to the exporting of a homeless family

Friday 20 March 2015

The UK Supreme Court has quashed a decision made by Westminster City Council that it could lawfully provide a London-based homeless woman with temporary accommodation in Bletchley, near Milton Keynes.

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The Council’s decision would have meant all five children of the family leaving their schools and colleges, and their relocation to an area with which the family had no connection at all.

The case was heard on Tuesday 17 March 2015 but in recognition of the seriousness of the case, the Supreme Court has announced its decision immediately and will give its reasons later.

The effect of the judgment will be to trigger the suspension (or ‘stay’) of scores of other cases where similar decisions have been made.

Shu Shin Luh was instructed by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for Shelter Children’s Legal Services. Shelter were interveners in the Supreme Court case. A summary of the case is available here.

Jan Luba QC represented the homeless woman in the Court of Appeal. He was instructed by Hodge Jones and Allen solicitors. For the judgment of that Court, click here.

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