Regina (Bernard and Another) v Enfield Borough Council: Admn 25 Oct 2002

The claimants were husband and wife. They had six children. The wife was severely disabled and confined to a wheelchair. The defendant Council provided the family with a small house but in breach, as they ultimately accepted, of section 21(1) (a) of the National Assistance Act, failed to provide the family with accommodation suited to her disability. The claimants had had their human rights infringed by the respondents who had failed in their duties to provide assistance and so to respect their rights to private and family life.
Held: The courts must respect the intention of the Act and the seriousness of the infringement. The council had not acted for some 20 months. There is no comparable tort, but awards should neither be low or high in comparison. Awards or maladministration are comparable. andpound;10,000 was appropriate here.


Sullivan J


Times 08-Nov-2002, Gazette 12-Dec-2002, [2002] EWHC 2282 Admin, [2003] HLR 27, [2003] HRLR 111


Human Rights Act 1988, European Convention on Human Rights Art 8, National Assistance Act 1948 21(1)(a)


England and Wales


CitedMorris v London Borough of Newham Admn 2002
The claimant complained that the defendant authority had failed to provide her and her family with suitable accommodation pursuant to its duty under section 193. Breach of duty was conceded. The relief sought by the claimant included damages for . .

Cited by:

CitedAnufrijeva and Another v London Borough of Southwark CA 16-Oct-2003
The various claimants sought damages for established breaches of their human rights involving breaches of statutory duty by way of maladministration. Does the state have a duty to provide support so as to avoid a threat to the family life of the . .
CitedGreenfield, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 16-Feb-2005
The appellant had been charged with and disciplined for a prison offence. He was refused legal assistance at his hearing, and it was accepted that the proceedings involved the determination of a criminal charge within the meaning of article 6 of the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Damages, Human Rights, Housing

Updated: 13 July 2022; Ref: scu.178030