The end of Puhlhofer?

Date: Tuesday 07 July 2015

Time: 18:30 - 20:00

Venue: Doughty Street Chambers, 53-54 Doughty Street, London, WC1N 2LS

Speakers: Dominic Preston, Martin Westgate QC, Zia Nabi

CPD: 1.5

Fee: Free

The Housing and Social Welfare Team are delighted to invite you to a seminar, 'The end of Puhlhofer?'.

In 1986 Lord Brightman sought to halt the “prolific” use of judicial review in homelessness cases by urging that:

“where the existence or non-existence of a fact is left to the judgment and discretion of a public body and that fact involves a broad spectrum ranging from the obvious to the debatable to the just conceivable, it is the duty of the court to leave the decision of that fact to the public body...” Puhlhofer v LB Hillingdon [1986] AC 484. 

This “duty” was enthusiastically championed by decision-makers and has featured in countless homelessness cases since then. But it is increasingly out of step with modern developments in the common law and in statute.

This seminar will look at the current state of the law on review for unreasonableness, including whether proportionality is now a part of the common law. It will also address provisions like s. 149 of the Equality Act 2010 and s. 11 of the Children Act 2004 which now require the courts to consider much more closely how authorities have evaluated and considered certain fundamental interests.

The seminar will ask whether it is now time to move away from the Puhlhofer standard and consider how judges on appeal can be persuaded to say their farewells.

To reserve your place please RSVP to events@doughtystreet.co.uk or contact a member of our events team on 020 7404 1313. 

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