Disabled woman’s welfare benefits inadequate to avoid a breach of her Article 3 ECHR rights

01.08.16 | |

 

R (GS) v. Camden BC [2016] EWHC 1762

 

The High Court has declared the London Borough of Camden’s refusal to provide accommodation to a disabled woman a breach of Article 3.  GS is not entitled to means tested social security but receives a Personal Independence Payment (‘PIP’), a benefit designed to meet the additional living costs caused by significant disabilities.  The Council maintained that GS could meet her essential living needs from her weekly PIP payment and therefore it did not have to provide her with services.  GS, by her litigation friend the Official Solicitor, argued that she could not afford accommodation and that the Council had a duty to provide it in order to avoid a breach of ECHR rights.  The court agreed with GS.  It found as a question of fact that she could not afford accommodation and, having regard to her disabilities, a failure to provide accommodation gave rise to an imminent breach of Article 3.  The Court rejected the Claimant’s argument that a duty arose under the Care Act 2014 but accepted that a power existed under s.1 Localism Act 2011 and that power was converted into a duty by virtue of s.6 Human Rights Act 1998.  The Claimant was represented by Julie Cornes of Simpson Millar and Jamie Burton of Doughty Street Chambers.

 

Read the full judgement.

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