R (on the application of MA and others) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Equality and Human Rights Commission intervening)
Social security Benefit. The applicants had, unsuccessfully, sought judicial review of changes in the calculation of housing benefit in respect of rents in the public sector (colloquially known as the 'bedroom tax') which impacted upon households with a disabled occupant. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, found that, although the Housing Benefit (Amendment) Regulations 2012, SI2012-2994 (as amended), were discriminatory, that discrimination had been justified. Further, the Secretary of State had not breached his public sector quality duty under s149 of the .
Obrey and others v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Equality and Human Rights Commission, intervener)
Social security Housing benefit. The claimants each suffered from a serious mental illness and were detained in hospital for a period in excess of 52 weeks. The local authorities responsible for payment of their housing benefit decided that, after the expiration of the 52 week period, they were no longer eligible for housing benefit, pursuant to the '52 week rule' contained in reg7(17) of the Housing Benefits Regulations 2006, SI2006-213. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in dismissing the claimants' appeal, held that the Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber) having found that the 52 week rule did indirectly discriminate against the mentally ill, had been correct to hold that that discrimination was justified as it was not manifestly without foundation.
Housing Local authority. The appellant had taken on a private tenancy of a property. He fell into arrears. His partner and her child subsequently moved in with them and the appellant's partner gave birth to another child. The appellant did not apply for an increase in his housing benefits as a result of his changed circumstances. The arrears continued to accrue and the appellant was evicted. The local authority determined that it would provide the appellant with advice and assistance only because he had made himself intentionally homeless as he had fallen into rent arrears and he had deliberately taken a tenancy that he could not afford. Had he applied for the increased housing benefits, it would have been reasonable for him to have continued living at the property on the assumption that his application would have been successful. That determination was upheld on review and by the county court. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held that that authority had been entitled to make its decision on the facts as it had found them.
Social security Income support. The Supreme Court ruled on an appeal by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions against a decision of the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in which the Court of Appeal had held that the Jobseeker's Allowance (Employment and Enterprise) Regulations 2011, , were unlawful and would be quashed. The claimants in those proceedings also cross-appealed against the Court of Appeal's decision regarding two other issues.
European Union Social Security. The Court of Justice of the European Union made a preliminary ruling concerning the interpretation of Council Directive (EEC) 76-207 (on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women as regards access to employment, vocational training and promotion, and working conditions) and Council Directive (EEC) 92-85 (on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health at work of pregnant workers and workers who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding). The request had been made in proceedings between M and the National Social Security Agency concerning the refusal to grant him maternity benefit because his child's mother was not covered by a state social security scheme.
Social security Housing benefit. Following dismissal by the Administrative Court of an application for judicial review of the Rent Officers (Housing Benefit Functions) (Amendment) Order 2012, , on the ground that the Order was neither ultra vires nor in breach of the the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the claimant charity's appeal.
Social security Housing benefit. The Divisional Court held that the implementation of a policy which placed a cap on amounts payable by way of housing benefit by reducing the eligible rent for the purpose of the calculation in cases where the number of bedrooms in the property let exceeded the number permitted had not been discriminatory towards the claimants, each of whom was either disabled or living with a disabled person, and had not been manifestly without reasonable foundation.
Social security Benefit. The appellant had failed to disclose an annual income loss award received from her former employer when applying for housing and council tax benefit. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the appellant's appeal against the decision of the respondent local authority to terminate those benefits. It held that, under the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006, pre-injury compensation formed part of the appellant's income and was not to be left out of account for housing and council tax benefit purposes.
Family proceedings Orders in family proceedings. The youngest child of the defendant mother was found to have fractured ribs and was taken into care under an interim care order. At a fact finding hearing, the judge found that she was unable to be satisfied that the injury was non-accidental. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the local authority's appeal as it had it had just been open to the judge to come to the conclusion which she had after having heard all of the evidence over a five day hearing.
Family proceedings Orders in family proceedings. A prohibited steps order had been made which prevented the mother from removing a child from the United Kingdom. She had unsuccessfully appealed that order and, in circumstances where the mother had not attended the application or the appeal, the matter had been remitted to a judge who was familiar with the facts of the case, having earlier granted a non-molestation order in favour of the mother. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the mother's appeal as the prohibited steps order had been correctly granted on the evidence that had been before the justices. The interference with the mother's right to family life under art8 of the European Convention on Human Rights was not disproportionate, whereas the risk that removal posed to the child's family life with her father might have been a disproportionate interference with her right to a family life.