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

4 June 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 Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Right (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.

James Stark of Garden Court North Chambers, instructed by Chris Johnson of the Travellers Advice Team of the Community Law Partnership, represents Mr Jones.

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