Well the judgement is made, published on 31st March 2011.
We are still waiting to see the full judgement so our ability to make informed comment is limited to the two press releases in the two previous posts. The first is prepared by the National Bargee Traveller’s Association and edited by Paul, the second is from the British Waterways website.
There is already a huge amount of speculation about what this means in practice, understandably so as it affects so many people’s lives and chosen lifestyles. There seems to be very little point in drawing any conclusions until the judgement is public, whereas it is already in the public domain it will take a while before it becomes accessible to all.
In the meantime you can read the two press releases.
There are a few facts that seem to be emerging;
One is that BW have asked for an injunction to get Paul to remove his boat within three months. BW state that they have this injunction, Paul says that there is an extra process and asks us to make no comments about the judge as the future of his home is in the judge’s hands.
The second is that the additional statement in BW’s statement that the judgement applies to lower courts is wrong – well maybe not wrong but there are no lower civil courts than the County Court. The judgement does not apply to any other case and the judge has stated that any other Section 8 notice must be accompanied by an opportunity for the boat owner to defend themselves in court.
The third is that BW will have to rewrite the contentious “Moorings Guidance to Continuous Cruisers”. We can only hope that part of this will be to drop the horrible expression “Continuous Cruisers” giving, as it does, the impression of the Flying Dutchman, cruising the canals with no cessation or peace.
We will examine the ruling as soon as we possibly can.