May 12th, 2023 by James Goudie KC in Judicial Control, Liability and Litigation

In TRANSPORT FOR LONDON v PERSONS UNKNOWN (2023) EWHC 1038 (Admin) a final injunction is granted against named defendants and persons unknown. They were supporters of, and activists connected with, INSULATE BRITAIN. The injunction prohibits them from blocking identified roads and bridges during their protests.



May 11th, 2023 by James Goudie KC in Decision making and Contracts

The time from which the term of a lease is to commence is essential to the creation of a binding agreement for lease. In PRETORIA ENERGY v BLANKNEY ESTATE (2023) EWCA Civ 482 the Court of Appeal says that if the start date cannot be deduced with reasonable certainty that is a very powerful indicator that the agreement is incomplete and there was no intention to contract.



May 4th, 2023 by James Goudie KC in Housing

Section 208(1) of Housing Act 1996 requires a local housing authority to take reasonably practicable steps to accommodate a homeless applicant in-borough. The authority should have and should follow a policy. MOGE v EALING LBC (2023) EWCA Civ 464 concerned the adequacy of the Council’s searches for accommodation in-borough. The Court of Appeal says that authorities are not required to gve an exact account of every search and enquiry that had been made to find accommodation as close as possible. It should explain in general terms what had been done to apply its relevant published policy.



April 27th, 2023 by James Goudie KC in Planning and Environmental

Section 78 of the Building Act 1984 gives a local authority power to take steps to deal with a building or structure which is in a dangerous state, such that immediate action is needed to remove the danger. Does this power abrogate the ned to obtain planning permission, where this would otherwise be required in order to take the necessary steps? Yes, says Lane J in R ( Samuel Smith Old Brewery ) v Redcar & Cleveland BC ( 2023 ) EWHC 878 ( Admin).The exercise of the power is not contingent upon any need to have obtained planning permission. The fact that planning permission was required, but not obtained, by the Council before commencing demolition of the property, an unlisted building in a conservation area, did not mean that that the Council acted outside the Section 78 power.



April 14th, 2023 by James Goudie KC in Land, Goods and Services

Section 77 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 enables a local authority to give a Direction that persons and any others with them leave land remove a vehicle or vehicles and any other property they have with them on the land if “ it appears “ to the authority that persons are fir the time being residing in a vehicle or vehicles within that authority’s area on any land forming part of a highway, on any other unoccupied land, or on any occupied land without the consent of the occupier. In R ( SO ) v THANET DISTRICT COUNCIL ( 2023) EWCA Civ 398 the Court of Appeal hold, at para 34, that the necessary state of affairs must exist at the time when the decision is taken to give the Direction. That is the point at which the authority decides what appears to it to be the case.



April 4th, 2023 by James Goudie KC in Housing

Part 1 ( Sections 1-4 inclusive ) of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 ( the 1977 Act ) is concerned with Unlawful Eviction and Harassment. Section 1 (2) provides that if any person unlawfully deprives the residential occupier of any premises of his occupation of the premises or any part thereof or attempts to do so  he shall be guilty of an offence unless he proves that he believed and had reasonable cause to believe that the residential occupier had ceased to reside in the premises. In WU v CHELMSFORD CITY COUNCIL ( 2023 ) EWCA Crim 338 the Court of Appeal says that the subsection ( 2 ) offence is not equivalent in every respect to the concept of eviction under landlord and tenant law. It is concerned with deprivation of occupation rather than of possession. It is rights focussed. The actus reus of unlawful eviction under subsection (2) requires (i) that the resident occupier has been subject to actual physical deprivation of occupation and (ii) that the Defendant’s conduct had put, or kept, the occupier out of physical occupation. Read more »



April 3rd, 2023 by James Goudie KC in Land, Goods and Services

R (STRACK) v SOS (2023) EWHC 655 (Admin) concerned an application for de-registration of a village green under the Commons Act 2006 and the scope of “neighbourhood” for the purposes of de-registration. Section 16(1) sets out the factors to be considered on such an application. One of those factors is “the interests of the neighbourhood”. The Court holds that the use of that word in Section 16 is different from its use in Section 15. A neighbourhood for the purpose of the former is broader than a “neighbourhood” within a locality for the purposes of the latter. When considering a de-registration application, “neighbourhood” is to be taken as referring to “local inhabitants”, without recourse to the history of the original registration.



April 3rd, 2023 by James Goudie KC in Capital Finance and Companies

In the transfer of the business of BULK ENERGY case (2022) EWHC 717 (Admin) a Divisional Court states that, in addition to the Subsidy Control Act 2022 and Regulations and Statutory Guidance thereunder, the TCA has been fully implemented into the UK’s domestic law by means of a blanket, generic implementation. Domestic subsidy control law to that extent means what the TCA says; but how the principle of proportionality should be applied in the particular context is also a matter of domestic law; and a wide margin of appreciation is to be afforded to a public authority when considering commercial circumstances in a private market and the market operator investment principle.



March 23rd, 2023 by James Goudie KC in Housing

The appeal in BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL v BRAVINGTON (2023) EWCA Civ 308 raises issues as to whether Section 233 of the Local Government Act 1972 (“the 1972 Act”) applies in relation to the service by a local authority of a notice under Section 83ZA of the Housing Act 1985 (“the 1985 Act”) and if it does, whether the requirements of Section 233 were met on the facts of this case and the consequences of that.

In general, a secure tenancy cannot be brought to an end by the landlord except by obtaining an order for possession and executing it. To obtain an order for possession, a landlord normally has to serve a notice pursuant to Section 83 of the 1985 Act and establish one or more of the grounds set out in Schedule 2 to the Act. However, the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 introduced an alternative basis for recovering possession through the insertion of what is now Section 84A of the 1985 Act. Section 84A provides (to quote its heading) an “Absolute ground for possession for anti-social behaviour”. By Section 84A(1), the Court is required to make a possession order where it is satisfied that one of the conditions specified in subsections (3)-(7) is met. Read more »



March 23rd, 2023 by James Goudie KC in Human Rights and Public Sector Equality Duty

R (ANGELL) v SOS for HEALTH and SOCIAL CARE (2023) EWHC 495 (Admin) is concerned with whether there is a breach of the ECHR by failing adequately to inform the public about potential health risks. Stacey J states that Judicial Review is not an appropriate vehicle for determining contested scientific matters: paras 59 and 60. She further states that ECHR Article 2 requires the establishment of a framework designed to provide effective deterrence against threats to the rights of life: paras 62-66 inclusive, and for the purpose of Article 8 severe environmental pollution could affect private and family life: paras 48, 49 and 67. State authorities have a positive obligation to provide access to essential information enabling individuals to assess risks to their health and lives: paras 50 and 76. In certain circumstances that duty can extend to providing such information, rather than merely providing access to it: para 51.