Bedroom tax challenge success – UK Human Rights Blog

Posted February 5th, 2016 in appeals, benefits, disability discrimination, domestic violence, housing, news by tracey

‘The Court of Appeal has given its judgment in a conjoined appeal of two of the latest challenges to the bedroom tax/removal of spare room subsidy (delete as you see fit), holding that it was unlawfully discriminatory in its application to 1.A female victim of serious domestic violence living in a home significantly adapted (including the provision of a “safe room”) to ensure her safety in the face of threats from her former partner; and 2. A severely disabled 15 year old boy cared for by his grandmother and her partner, who required a carer to stay in their home two nights per week.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 2nd February 2016

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

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Man sentenced to six weeks imprisonment for harassing victim because of disability – CPS News Brief

‘A 25 year old man who used social media to harass a man because of his disability has been sentenced to six weeks imprisonment.’

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CPS News Brief, 27th January 2016

Source: http://blog.cps.gov.uk

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Appeal court rules bedroom tax discriminatory in two cases – The Guardian

‘A victim of domestic violence and the grandparents of a severely disabled teenager have won court of appeal challenges over the lawfulness of the bedroom tax.’

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The Guardian, 27th January 2016

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Whistleblower judge: austerity policies have made courts dangerous – The Guardian

‘A district judge who is suing the Ministry of Justice after whistleblowing her complaints about courtroom dangers – death threats, violent claimants and hostage-taking – has spoken out for the first time about her experience of an under-resourced justice system.’

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The Guardian, 23rd January 2016

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Disabled workers can’t afford justice to deal with workplace harassment – The Guardian

‘Since the government introduced fees for employment tribunals, together with legal aid cuts, disabled people have increasingly been unable to have their cases heard.’

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The Guardian, 6th January 2016

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Mortgage possession and disability discrimination – Nearly Legal

Posted January 4th, 2016 in disability discrimination, mortgages, news, repossession by sally

‘This is county court case, but a very interesting one on the issue of disability discrimination in mortgage possession proceedings.’

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Nearly Legal, 3rd January 2016

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

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Austerity and Public Law: Alexander Latham: Defending Rights in the Face of Austerity: Is the Supreme Court Calling Time on Social Housing Managerialism? – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘In cases involving social housing, English courts have traditionally taken what we might call a “managerial” approach: their starting-point for analysis has not been the tenant or applicant for housing as a rights-holder, but the need of local authorities to distribute their scarce resources effectively. In Burrows v Brent LBC [1996] 1 WLR 1448, for example, where a tenant who was permitted to remain after a possession order was held not to have been impliedly granted a new tenancy, Lord Browne-Wilkinson said that “housing authorities try to conduct their housing functions as humane and reasonable landlords” (at 1455). The tenant might be forgiven for wondering why this should count against him, but clearly the implication is that as ‘humane and reasonable landlords’ local authorities should be left to manage their housing stock with as little interference from the courts as possible. More recently this attitude led to the courts’ extreme reluctance to enable a public sector tenant to rely on article 8 ECHR in possession proceedings. When the Supreme Court finally acceded to pressure from Strasbourg, it nevertheless drew the teeth from the human rights defence by agreeing with the Secretary of State’s submission that “a local authority’s aim in wanting possession should be a ‘given’ ” (Manchester CC v Pinnock [2011] UKSC 6, per Lord Neuberger at [53]), so that “there will be no need, in the overwhelming majority of cases, for the local authority to explain and justify its reasons for seeking a possession order” (Hounslow LBC v Powell [2011] UKSC 8, per Lord Hope at [37]). The local authority is simply assumed to be acting in a way which benefits the general welfare; this assumption is then taken to justify the effect of its actions on individuals in all but the most extreme of cases.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 9th December 2015

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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High Court finds council policy on disability living allowance and DHPs “unlawful” – Local Government Lawyer

‘ local authority’s policy of taking into account the care component of disability living allowance when assessing the amount of a discretionary house payment (DHPs) was unlawful, a High Court judge has ruled.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 31st March 2015

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

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Discretionary Housing Payments – the trouble with DLA – Nearly Legal

‘Oh, we have been waiting for this one. According to DWP survey evidence, some 75% of Councils take Disability Living Allowance into account as income when deciding on an award of Discretionary Housing Payments. This judicial review concerned Sandwell Council’s policy of doing just that. The implications are clearly of significance for other councils, and will potentially impact many disabled people faced with the bedroom tax.’

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Nearly Legal, 30th March 2015

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

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Disability discrimination goes to full trial – Nearly Legal

‘When the Court of Appeal held that a disability discrimination defence to possession under Equality Act 2010 had to face the same ‘seriously arguable’ summary test as an Article 8 defence, we were surprised, and very unimpressed. It seems the Supreme Court felt similarly (and unanimously), although sadly it did not help the tenant in this case.’

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Nearly Legal, 29th March 2015

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

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Aster Communities Ltd (formerly Flourish Homes Ltd) v Akerman-Livingstone (Equality and Human Rights Commission intervening) – WLR Daily

Aster Communities Ltd (formerly Flourish Homes Ltd) v Akerman-Livingstone (Equality and Human Rights Commission intervening); [2015] UKSC 15; [2015] WLR (D) 121

‘The approach to be taken to a defence to a claim for possession of residential premises which alleged unlawful discrimination against a disabled person, contrary to the Equality Act 2010, was different from that which applied to a defence which alleged a breach of an individual’s rights under article 8 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. In particular, summary judgment would not normally be an appropriate procedure for dealing with a possession claim where a disability discrimination defence was raised.’

WLR Daily, 11th March 2015

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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All proportionality defences are equal, but some are more equal than others – Zenith Chambers

‘The Supreme Court, in the case of Akerman-Livingstone v Aster Communities Ltd [2015] UKSC 15, have provided some much needed and helpful clarification of the practicalities of raising and potentially defeating a defence based on discrimination on a summary basis. In the event, events overtook the appeal, and Mr Akerman-Livingstone’s appeal was dismissed, but had it not been for a suitable offer of accommodation and the superior landlord serving notice to quit on the Housing Association and requiring vacant possession from them, the result would have been different.’

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Zenith Chambers, 12th March 2015

Source: www.zenithchambers.co.uk

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Supreme Court considers tests for justification under s15 Equality Act 2010 and Article 8 ECHR in a housing eviction case against a disabled tenant – Cloisters

‘The Supreme Court handed down its decision yesterday in Akerman-Livingstone v. Aster Communities Ltd (formerly Flourish Homes Ltd) [2015] UKSC 15 in which it considered the test of justification for discrimination under section 15 of the Equality Act 2010 (the EqA) as compared with justification for Article 8 of the Convention.’

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Cloisters, 12th March 2015

Source: www.cloisters.com

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Supreme Court sets out approach to disability discrimination defences in evictions – Local Government Lawyer

Posted March 12th, 2015 in appeals, disability discrimination, news, repossession, Supreme Court by sally

‘A judge hearing an eviction case misdirected himself in adopting the same approach to the defence of disability discrimination as to an alleged breach of Article 8 of the European Court of Human Rights, the Supreme Court has ruled.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 11th March 2015

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

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Discrimination – tendency to physical abuse – Education Law Blog

‘A three-judge Upper Tribunal panel X v GB of a school has considered the exclusion of a tendency to physical abuse from the definition of disability under the Equality Act 2010.’

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Education Law Blog, 25th January 2015

Source: www.education11kbw.com

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Victims of contaminated NHS blood launch legal case – BBC News

Posted January 15th, 2015 in blood products, compensation, disability discrimination, health, news, reports by sally

‘Three men who contracted hepatitis C from contaminated imported blood have begun a legal case in the UK to challenge the compensation scheme.’

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BBC News, 15th January 2015

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Disabled tenants to challenge bedroom tax in supreme court – The Guardian

‘A legal case to be heard at the supreme court will decide whether the government’s housing benefit regulations – the bedroom tax – discriminates unfairly against disabled adults. The ruling could have consequences for hundreds of thousands of people.’

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The Guardian, 10th January 2015

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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First Bus wins wheelchair court judgement – BBC News

Posted December 8th, 2014 in damages, disability discrimination, disabled persons, equality, news, transport by sally

‘Bus companies are not required by law to force parents with buggies to make way for wheelchair users in designated bays on vehicles, senior judges ruled.’

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BBC News, 8th December 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Conduct and disability – Employment Law Blog

Posted November 21st, 2014 in assault, disability discrimination, mental health, news, unfair dismissal by tracey

‘Was there gross misconduct? If there was, did it justify dismissal? Those were issues before Judge Eady QC in Burdett v Aviva Employment Services Ltd, UKEAT/0439/13/JOJ, a case concerned with both unfair dismissal and discrimination arising from disability. The employee had committed assaults in the workplace. However, this was because of his disability. He suffered from a paranoid schizophrenic illness. The ET was judged to have been in error in finding gross misconduct. They had failed to engage with the question of blameworthiness. The ET was also found to have been in error in assuming that dismissal will necessarily fall within the range of reasonable responses in a gross misconduct case.’

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Employment Law Blog, 20th November 2014

Source: www.employment11kbw.com

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Employment tribunal did research on Wikipedia “to help litigant in person” – Litigation Futures

‘An employment tribunal which decided to carry out its own internet research, apparently to help a litigant in person, has been condemned by Mr Justice Langstaff, president of the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT).’

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Litigation Futures, 20th November 2014

Source: www.litigationfutures.com

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