James and Others v The United Kingdom: ECHR 21 Feb 1986

The claimants challenged the 1967 Act, saying that it deprived them of their property rights when lessees were given the power to purchase the freehold reversion.
Held: Article 1 (P1-1) in substance guarantees the right of property. Allowing a mechanism for the compulsory transfer of the freehold interest in the house and the land to the tenant, with financial compensation to the landlord, cannot in itself be qualified in the circumstances as an inappropriate or disproportionate method for readjusting the law so as to meet the proper concern for the equitable distribution of ownership. There must be a reasonable relationship of proportionality between the means employed and the aim sought to be realised. ‘[T]he taking of property in the public interest without payment of compensation is treated as justifiable only in exceptional circumstances not relevant for present purposes. As far as Article 1 is concerned, the protection of the right to property it affords would be largely illusory and ineffective in the absence of any equivalent principle.’ and ‘Article 1 does not, however, guarantee a right to full compensation in all cases, since legitimate objectives of ‘public interest’, such as pursued in measures of economic reform or measures designed to achieve greater social justice, may call for less than reimbursement of the full market value.’
The court discussed a nation’s discretion as to what was in the public interest: ‘Because of their direct knowledge of their society and its needs, the national authorities are in principle better placed than the international judge to appreciate what is ‘in the public interest’. Under the system of protection established by the Convention, it is thus for the national authorities to make the initial assessment both of the existence of a problem of public concern warranting measures of deprivation of property and of the remedial action to be taken. Here, as in other fields to which the safeguards of the Convention extend, the national authorities accordingly enjoy a certain margin of appreciation.
Furthermore, the notion of ‘public interest’ is necessarily extensive. In particular, as the Commission noted, the decision to enact laws expropriating property will commonly involve consideration of political, economic and social issues on which opinions within a democratic society may reasonably differ widely. The Court, finding it natural that the margin of appreciation available to the legislature in implementing social and economic policies should be a wide one, will respect the legislature’s judgment as to what is ‘in the public interest’ unless that judgment be manifestly without reasonable foundation.’

Ryssdal, P
8793/79, (1986) 8 EHRR 123, [1986] ECHR 2, Series A no 98, [1986] RVR 139, [1986] RVR 139
Worldlii, Bailii
Leasehold Reform Act 1967, European Convention on Human Rights P1-1
Human Rights
Citing:
CitedMarckx v Belgium ECHR 13-Jun-1979
Recognition of illegitimate children
The complaint related to the manner in which parents were required to adopt their own illegitimate child in order to increase his rights. Under Belgian law, no legal bond between an unmarried mother and her child results from the mere fact of birth. . .
CitedSporrong and Lonnroth v Sweden ECHR 23-Sep-1982
Balance of Interests in peaceful enjoyment claim
(Plenary Court) The claimants challenged orders expropriating their properties for redevelopment, and the banning of construction pending redevelopment. The orders remained in place for many years.
Held: Article 1 comprises three distinct . .

Cited by:
ConsideredMing Pao Newspapers Limited and others v The Attorney General of Hong Kong PC 20-May-1996
(Hong Kong) A newspaper had been ordered to reveal the source of a story wit regard to a corruption investigation. The statute required such disclosure only with regard to a named individual, and in this case no suspects name was yet known. The . .
CitedM, Petitioner OHCS 11-Jul-2002
The petitioner challenged his detention and treatment as a mental patient under the 1984 Act, claiming that his human rights to a fair trial had been infringed. It was argued that since the Act automatically dispensed with his common law right to . .
CitedMatthews v Ministry of Defence HL 13-Feb-2003
The claimant sought damages against the Crown, having suffered asbestosis whilst in the armed forces. He challenged the denial to him of a right of action by the 1947 Act.
Held: Human rights law did not create civil rights, but rather voided . .
CitedWilson v Secretary of State for Trade and Industry; Wilson v First County Trust Ltd (No 2) HL 10-Jul-2003
The respondent appealed against a finding that the provision which made a loan agreement completely invalid for lack of compliance with the 1974 Act was itself invalid under the Human Rights Act since it deprived the respondent of its property . .
CitedCarson and Reynolds v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions CA 17-Jun-2003
The claimant Reynolds challenged the differential treatment by age of jobseeker’s allowance. Carson complained that as a foreign resident pensioner, her benefits had not been uprated. The questions in each case were whether the benefit affected a . .
CitedFisher and Another v English Nature Admn 4-Jul-2003
The claimants were trustees of land. The Respondent had notified the Secretary of State that they considered that part of the land satisfied the criteria to be certifed as being of special scientific interest. They now intended to confirm the . .
CitedStockholms Forsakrings- Och Skadestandsjuridik Ab v Sweden ECHR 16-Sep-2003
Hudoc Judgment (Merits and just satisfaction) Preliminary objection rejected (non-exhaustion) ; Violation of P1-1 ; No violation of Art. 6-1 ; Violation of Art. 13 ; Pecuniary damage – financial award ; Costs and . .
CitedThe Bahamas District of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas and Others v The Hon Vernon J Symonette M P Speaker of the House of Assembly and 7 Others (No 70 of 1998) and Ormond Hilton Poitier and 14 Others v The Methodist Church PC 26-Jul-2000
PC (The Bahamas) The Methodist community had split, eventually leading to a new Act. Others now challenged the constitionality of the Act, and that lands had been transferred in breach of the constitution.
CitedP, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department Admn 11-Dec-2003
The applicant was a discretionary life prisoner compulsorily detained in a mental hospital. His tariff had now expired. If not detained under the 1983 Act he would now be entitled to a review. He argued that there should be a joint hearing.
CitedTrailer and Marina (Leven) Limited v The Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, English Nature QBD 6-Feb-2004
The claimant owned land which contained a canal. After disuse it had become subject an order declaring it a site of special scientific intrest. The owner complained that this removed his right to develop uses of the land and infringed his human . .
CitedSecretary of State for Work and Pensions v Kehoe CA 5-Mar-2004
The claimant had applied to the Child Support Agncy for maintenance. They failed utterly to obtain payment, and she complained now that she was denied the opportunity by the 1991 Act to take court proceedings herself.
Held: The denial of . .
CitedGita Ram v Baskinder Ram,Solinder Ram, Monder Ram and Maurice William Russell CA 5-Nov-2004
A bankrupt had, before his bankruptcy disposed of his share in a house at an undervalue. His wife appealed an order that the share disposed of should vest entirely in the trustee in bankruptcy. Matrimonial proceedings had also been commenced.
CitedTrailer and Marina (Leven) Ltd, Regina (ex parte) v Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Another CA 15-Dec-2004
The claimant sought a declaration that the 1981 Act, as amended, interfered with the peaceful enjoyment of its possession, namely a stretch of canal which had been declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest, with the effect that it was unusable. . .
CitedHooper and Others, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions HL 5-May-2005
Widowers claimed that, in denying them benefits which would have been payable to widows, the Secretary of State had acted incompatibly with their rights under article 14 read with article 1 of Protocol 1 and article 8 of the ECHR.
Held: The . .
CitedKehoe, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions HL 14-Jul-2005
The applicant contended that the 1991 Act infringed her human rights in denying her access to court to obtain maintenance for her children.
Held: The applicant had no substantive right to take part in the enforcement process in domestic law . .
CitedPM v The United Kingdom ECHR 19-Jul-2005
A father complained that tax deductions which were granted to married fathers but not to unmarried fathers were discriminatory. He had paid maintenance for his daughter, but was not allowed to set the payments off against his income tax in the way . .
CitedCampbell v MGN Ltd (No 2) HL 20-Oct-2005
The appellant sought to challenge the level of costs sought by the claimant after she had succeeded in her appeal to the House. Though a relatively small sum had been awarded, the costs and success fee were very substantial. The newspaper claimed . .
CitedJ A Pye (Oxford) Ltd v The United Kingdom ECHR 15-Nov-2005
The claimants had been the registered proprietors of land, they lost it through the adverse possession of former tenants holding over. They claimed that the law had dispossessed them of their lawful rights.
Held: The cumulative effect of the . .
CitedIn re P and Others, (Adoption: Unmarried couple) (Northern Ireland); In re G HL 18-Jun-2008
The applicants complained that as an unmarried couple they had been excluded from consideration as adopters.
Held: Northern Ireland legislation had not moved in the same way as it had for other jurisdictions within the UK. The greater . .
CitedCadogan and others v 26 Cadogan Square Ltd, Howard de Walden Estates Limited v Aggio and others HL 25-Jun-2008
In each case all or part of a building was let by a head-lease and then as self-contained units under sub-leases. The head lessees had served notices under the 1993 Act requiring new leases. The freeholder denied that they were qualifying tenants, . .
CitedAnimal Defenders International, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport HL 12-Mar-2008
The applicant, a non-profit company who campaigned against animal cruelty, sought a declaration of incompatibility for section 321(2) of the 2003 Act, which prevented adverts with political purposes, as an unjustified restraint on the right of . .
CitedEarl Cadogan v Pitts and Wang; Similar HL 10-Dec-2008
The House considered the basis of valuation on an acquisition of the freehold reversion of a lease under the 1967 Act of the three elements, the rent, vacant possession after the lease, and the marriage or hope value of the two interests when . .
CitedScopelight Ltd and Others v Chief of Police for Northumbria CA 5-Nov-2009
The claimant sought return of items removed by the defendants under the 1984 Act. A decision had been made against a prosecution by the police. The police wished to hold onto the items to allow a decision from the second defendant.
Held: The . .
CitedBank Mellat v HM Treasury QBD 11-Jun-2010
The respondent had made an order under the Regulations restricting all persons from dealing with the the claimant bank. The bank applied to have the order set aside. Though the defendant originally believed that the Iranian government owned 80% of . .
CitedMGN Limited v United Kingdom ECHR 18-Jan-2011
The applicant publisher said that the finding against it of breach of confidence and the system of success fees infringed it Article 10 rights to freedom of speech. It had published an article about a model’s attendance at Narcotics anonymous . .
CitedAXA General Insurance Ltd and Others v Lord Advocate and Others SC 12-Oct-2011
Standing to Claim under A1P1 ECHR
The appellants had written employers’ liability insurance policies. They appealed against rejection of their challenge to the 2009 Act which provided that asymptomatic pleural plaques, pleural thickening and asbestosis should constitute actionable . .
CitedBull and Bull v Hall and Preddy CA 10-Feb-2012
The appellants owned a guesthouse. They appealed from being found in breach of the Regulations. They had declined to honour a booking by the respondents of a room upon learning that they were a homosexual couple. The appellants had said that they . .
CitedHumphreys v Revenue and Customs SC 16-May-2012
Separated parents shared the care of their child. The father complained that all the Child Tax Credit was given to the mother.
Held: The appeal failed. Although the rule does happen to be indirectly discriminatory against fathers, the . .
CitedBarnes (As Former Court Appointed Receiver) v The Eastenders Group and Another SC 8-May-2014
Costs of Wrongly Appointed Receiver
‘The contest in this case is about who should bear the costs and expenses of a receiver appointed under an order which ought not to have been made. The appellant, who is a former partner in a well known firm of accountants, was appointed to act as . .
CitedSalvesen v Riddell and Another; The Lord Advocate intervening (Scotland) SC 24-Apr-2013
The appellant owned farmland tenanted by a limited partnership. One partner gave notice and the remaining partners indicated a claim for a new tenancy. He was prevented from recovering possession by section 72 of the 2003 Act. Though his claim had . .
CitedCusack v London Borough of Harrow SC 19-Jun-2013
The landowner practised from property in Harrow. The former garden had now for many years been used as a forecourt open to the highway, for parking cars of staff and clients. Cars crossed the footpath to gain access, and backing out into the road . .
CitedRecovery of Medical Costs for Asbestos Diseases (Wales) Bill (Reference By The Counsel General for Wales) SC 9-Feb-2015
The court was asked whether the Bill was within the competence of the Welsh Assembly. The Bill purported to impose NHS charges on those from whom asbestos related damages were recovered.
Held: The Bill fell outside the legislative competence . .
CitedCoventry and Others v Lawrence and Another SC 22-Jul-2015
The appellants challenged the compatibility with the European Convention on Human Rights of the system for recovery of costs in civil litigation in England and Wales following the passing of the Access to Justice Act 1999. The parties had been . .
CitedTigere, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills SC 29-Jul-2015
After increasing university fees, the student loan system was part funded by the government. They introduced limits to the availability of such loans, and a student must have been lawfully ordinarily resident in the UK for three years before the day . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Landlord and Tenant, Rating

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.164955