How housing practitioners can use public law arguments to resolve housing benefit issues where a tenant’s home is under threat

Desmond Rutledge explains how housing practitioners can use public law arguments to resolve housing benefit issues where a tenant’s home is under threat due to possession proceedings.

In an article published in this month’s Legal Action Group Magazine (July/August p 24), Desmond Rutledge considers the circumstances in which housing practitioners can use judicial review as a ‘remedy of last resort’ in order to resolve outstanding housing benefit issues where these are the sole cause of the rent arrears which have led to the landlord taking action to repossess the claimant’s home. Continue reading

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What legal aid is still available for work undertaken on welfare benefits post-LASPO?

Desmond Rutledge examines the availability of public funding for welfare benefits cases in the Upper Tribunal and by way of judicial review.

The proposal to remove legal aid for welfare benefits cases

In November 2010, the Government published Proposals for the Reform of Legal Aid in England and Wales (Cm 7967), in which it announced that  all work done under the category of welfare benefits would be removed from the scope of civil legal aid.  The stated aim was to ensure that legal aid was targeted for those who need it most.  Work undertaken in relation to welfare benefits was deemed to be of low importance because it is concerned with financial issues rather than with issues of “safety or liberty”Continue reading

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Player Contracts: Football transfers v European Union law: analysis

FIFPro’s recent challenge to the international football transfer system has highlighted that there are a number of issues with the compatibility of the current system with European Law. Ifeanyi Odogwu, a Barrister with Garden Court Chambers, examines FIFPro’s challenge in the light of previous challenges to the international transfer system based on its incompatibility with EU law, and assesses some of the issues that need to be considered.

With the January transfer window closed, the latest criticism of the football transfer system is timely and poses difficult questions for the sport’s governing bodies in relation to compatibility with EU law. FIFPro, the international players’ union, recently released a scathing statement on football transfer policy, announcing a series of challenges aimed at reforming the global transfer system and ‘the current economic make-up’ of the professional game1. Continue reading

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Challenging discretionary housing payments by way of judicial review

Desmond Rutledge looks at the role discretionary housing payments (DHPs) have assumed in the wake of the Government’s welfare reform programme and examines the scope for challenging DHP decisions.

The changing role of discretionary housing payments

The discretionary housing payments (‘DHP’) scheme was established in 2001 under sections 69-70 of the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000 to enable local authorities to provide further financial assistance to claimants in receipt of housing benefit who required additional help with their housing costs due to a shortfall in the rent due and the amount of housing benefit they receive.  Historically, DHPs have provided short term help to allow applicants extra time to consider their housing options and take reasonable steps to resolve their situation.  Continue reading

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‘Let’s Talk FGM’

Garden Court co-hosts an evening of inspiring talks and lively debate about the issue of FGM with the Fabian Women’s Network. Here, Maria Moodie gives her take on the evening.

Last week, Garden Court Chambers was delighted to welcome the Fabian Women’s Network for an evening of discussion about the pressing issue of female genital mutilation (FGM). On the panel, experts from the fields of law, politics, civil society campaigning and the health services talked about their experiences regarding FGM and made recommendations about what the Government must do if it is serious about ending the practice in the UK. Continue reading

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A Call to Arms: Why we Must Hold the Line

Sam Parham and Jo Cecil explain why voting ‘yes’ in the CBA ballot is a key step in the fight to save UK justice.

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark” Michelangelo

  1. The ballot is a referendum on the merits of the deal and not on the leadership. We respect Nigel Lithman QC, Tony Cross QC and members of the CBA executive who have worked tirelessly on our behalf and in what they believed were our best interests. The CBA secured concessions but our demands were too limited in the wider context of the criminal justice system as a whole and it would be wrong to agree the terms of this deal.

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Deprivation of Liberty Defined by the Supreme Court: a difference of views concerning deprivation of liberty of disabled persons

Tim Baldwin comments on today’s Supreme Court judgment regarding the deprivation of liberty of people with disabilities.

This note concerns the case of P (by his litigation friend the Official Solicitor) (Appellant) v Cheshire West and Chester Council and another (Respondents); P and Q (by their litigation friend, the Official Solicitor)(Appellants) v Surrey County Council (Respondent) [2014] UKSC 19 handed down on the 19 March 2014

The issues

These conjoined appeals concern the criteria for determining when the living arrangements made for a person who lacks mental capacity to make decisions for themselves constitute a deprivation of liberty. Continue reading

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