JS and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Others: QBD 5 Nov 2013

The claimants challenged the benefits cap introduced under the 2012 Act, saying that it was discriminatory, affecting more women than men. Mr Eadie QC submitted on behalf of the Secretary of State that, as ‘an international instrument with no binding effect in English law’, the Convention had no bearing on the case.
Held: That suggestion was rejected. Notwithstanding the fact that the UNCRC is an international convention which has not been incorporated into our domestic law, the court should nevertheless have regard to it as a matter of Convention jurisprudence
Elias LJ said: ‘It was obvious from the outset that the introduction of the cap would have severe and immediate consequences for claimants who had been receiving substantially in excess of the relevant amount’ and ‘The two items most likely to trigger the operation of the cap [are] housing benefit [and] the number of children in the family. Housing benefit reflects (but does not necessarily meet in full) the cost of housing, whether social or private. Accordingly, the cap will bear most heavily on those in receipt of benefit who live in areas where rental costs are high. In practical terms, therefore, this means that those who live in London or in the centre of other big cities where rents tend to be high will be most likely to be affected. It is a striking feature of the scheme – and lies at the heart of this application – that the cap applies equally to a childless couple in an area with cheap and plentiful social housing as it does to a lone parent mother of several children in inner London compelled to rent on the private market.’
Elias LJ, Bean J
[2013] WLR(D) 425, [2014] PTSR 23, [2013] EWHC 3350 (QB)
WLRD, Bailii
Welfare Reform Act 2012, Benefit Cap (Housing Benefit) Regulations 2012, European Convention on Human Rights 14 A1P1, Human Rights Act 1998
England and Wales
Cited by:
Appeal fromSG and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Others CA 21-Feb-2014
The claimants challenged the manner of implementation of a benefits cap under the 2012 Act, sayig that it was discriminatory. . .
At first instanceSG and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions SC 18-Mar-2015
The court was asked whether it was lawful for the Secretary of State to make subordinate legislation imposing a cap on the amount of welfare benefits which can be received by claimants in non-working households, equivalent to the net median earnings . .
CitedMA and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions SC 9-Nov-2016
The appellants claimed housing benefit. They appealed against rejection of their claims that the imposition of limits to the maximum sums payable, ‘the bedroom tax’, was unlawful on equality grounds. The claimants either had disabilities, or lived . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 10 February 2021; Ref: scu.517385