April 25th, 2024 by James Goudie KC

The appeal in GHAOUI v WALTHAM FOREST LBC (2024) EWCA Civ 405 concerned the role of the Human Rights Act 1998 in the context of Part VII of the Housing Act 1996, which places duties upon local authorities in relation to homeless people.  Specifically, how should human rights considerations be factored in to the assessment for suitability of accommodation.  The Court of Appeal said, at para 36, that homelessness decisions may raise issues that engage Convention rights, but instances where a decision designed to relieve homelessness will amount to a violation will be rare. The question (para 37) is as to the lawful application of a proper definition of suitability to the circumstances of the case, identifying and weighing up relevant factors.

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