Section 8 cases stayed pending appeal

If you have been served with a Section 8 and CRT is continuing court action against you, you need to make a request to the Court for your case to be stayed pending the result of the appeal in the case of CRT v Jones.

Mr Jones, a boat dweller without a home mooring who is represented by Community Law Partnership’s Travellers Advice Team, was served with a Section 8 in 2013. CRT made an application to strike out the Article 8 part of his defence when the case was heard in Bristol County Court last year. CRT was successful in obtaining the strike out. Community Law Partnership appealed to a High Court Judge who dismissed the appeal. However last week Mr Jones was given Leave to Appeal to a full hearing at the Court of Appeal by Lord Justice Lewison. The full hearing will take place some time between September 2015 and January 2016. CRT alleges that Mr Jones was not using his boat bona fide for navigation.

A spokesperson for Community Law Partnership said “In the meantime, our other Section 8 cases are being stayed (since all the cases involve Article 8 as part of the Defence). Hopefully CRT will be ensuring that all Section 8 cases throughout the country are now put on hold. It is extremely unlikely that any such case has a defence which does not, amongst other things, include Article 8. If you hear of any Section 8 cases that are continuing, you should inform the Defendant in question that they should request a stay pending the result in this appeal to the Court of Appeal”.

He continued “Our argument is that the narrow approach to Article 8 contained in the cases of Manchester City Council v Pinnock and London Borough of Hounslow v Powell should not apply to cases such as this one because those cases involved the housing management and allocation functions of a local authority housing provider. This is a very important issue, of course”.

It is deeply ironic that CRT is claiming that it should be treated in the same way as a local housing authority for the purposes of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to respect for one’s home) when it has strenuously denied many times to boat dwellers that it is a housing authority.

Below is the text of an article by Mr Jones’s Barrister James Stark of Garden Court North Chambers.

“CA to rule on whether Canal and River Trust entitled to have same approach applied to Article 8 defences as landlords of social housing 04/06/2015.

Permission was granted this week to appeal the decision of the High Court that the Canal and River Trust is to be treated in the same way as a local housing authority for the purposes of Art 8 of the ECHR.

The Court of Appeal (Lewison LJ) has granted permission for a second appeal on the papers against the decision of McGowan J dismissing an appeal from HHJ Denyer QC at Bristol County Court in Canal and River Trust v Jones . The County Court judge had struck out a defence under Article 8 ECHR to a claim by the Trust for a declaration and an injunction to remove Mr Jones and his boat from the waterway on the basis that it was not being moved sufficiently on the canal to meet the terms of his waterways licence.

The lower courts had held that the Canal and River Trust were entitled to be treated in the same way as a provider of social housing in considering whether an Article 8 defence could be sustained.

Permission to appeal has been granted as it is an important question whether the Canal and River Trust is entitled to the same exception as housing authorities to the general rule that a structured approach to proportionality should be applied and that it is for the public authority to demonstrate the strength of the legitimate aims it relies on and whether its actions are proportionate to those aims.”

Community Law Partnership’s Travellers Advice Team has represented a number of boat dwellers in Section 8 cases. You can contact them on 0121 685 8677 or
office@communitylawpartnership.co.uk

See
http://www.communitylawpartnership.co.uk/noticeboard/news/313-article-8-challenge–canal-and-river-trust-v-jones

http://www.gcnchambers.co.uk/news

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