Social Welfare Lawyers in the Centre of Birmingham

Article 8

Lawal – v – Circle 33 Housing Trust Limited

Lawal – v – Circle 33 Housing Trust Limited [2014] EWCA Civ 1514

By David Watkinson (retired barrister) and Chris Johnson (Travellers Advice Team)

In R (JL) – v – Secretary of State for Defence [2012] EWCA Civ 449, the Court of Appeal upheld the Judge at first instance who had held that a proportionality argument could be raised at the enforcement stage of a possession order (i.e. after it had been made and when a writ or warrant to bailiffs to execute the order had been issued) although only in exceptional cases, otherwise it would be an abuse of the process of the court to do so.  Such a case could be where “there is a fundamental change in the occupants’ personal circumstances after the making of a possession order but before its enforcement” (para 41) or, as in this case, the state of the law at the time of the possession hearing was that the proportionality argument could not be made (para 42).  In the recent Court of Appeal Judgment in Lawal – v – Circle 33 Housing Trust Limited ([2014] EWCA Civ 1514), the Court of Appeal added a case where an Article 8 defence had been advanced before the first instance judge but she “either declined to hear it or peremptorily dismissed it but in either case, she gave no reasons for doing so” (para 90, Sir Terence Etherton LJ). 

To read the Judgment in this case, see:

McDonald -v- McDonald

McDonald -v- McDonald [2014} EWCA Civ 1049 24 July 2014

Ms McDonald was an assured shorthold tenant of a private landlord. Eviction action was taken against her on the basis of the automatic ground for possession contained in Housing Act 1988 section 21. One of her grounds of defence was reliance on Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights ( the right to respect for private and family life and home). The question, in terms of this ground, for the Court of Appeal, was whether she could rely on this ground of defence in an action involving a private landlord.

Leicester City Council -v- Shearer

Leicester City Council – v – Shearer [2013] EWCA Civ 1467, 19th November 2013

This is not a Traveller case but is an important reminder that a judicial review challenge can be successful even in cases involving trespassers. The facts were quite complicated but, to simplify them somewhat, Mrs Shearer ended up living in the property that had been the tenancy of her husband. Her husband had committed suicide.