June 5th, 2024 by James Goudie KC

In FERTRE V VALE OF WHITE HORSE DC ( 2024 ) EWHC 1234 ( KB ) the Court refuses the authority’s application to strike out an appeal against its decision that an EU national was not eligible for housing assistance. She had made a second application, based on changed circumstances. She had conceded that she was no longer homeless. She had not abandoned her appeal. It was not an abuse of process. It was not academic. If there had been error of law during the initial application the applicant would have the enduring benefit of a determination of threshold eligibility for assistance. Also there was a public interest in the point in issue.

The points of principle are that ( 1 ) the mere fact of making a fresh application does not automatically or impliedly constitute the abandonment of a prior application subject to an extant appeal; A successful fresh application might render the appeal pointless, and liable to be struck out as academic, but it could not, without some clear expression of interest or unequivocal conduct, amount to an abandonment of the appeal; ( 3 ) When there is a change of circumstances the Court has to consider whether the appeal has become academic; ( 4 ) A risk of future homelessness could be a sufficient interest such that an appeal is not academic; and ( 5 ) a point in issue can be of considerable public importance with broader ramifications where the legal issues are of wider significance affecting most income-related welfare benefits which could affect a large cohort of EU nationals.

Comments are closed.