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De-Winter Heald v Brent LBC

[2009] EWCA Civ 930

Case summary last updated at 07/01/2020 13:38 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case De-Winter Heald v Brent LBC

Question of whether it was contrary to article 6 for reviews of a council’s decision on housing applications to be contracted out to a private company, hired by the council for the purpose. CA said it didn’t breach art. 6 
Brunton-Stanley LJ: He adopts the Begum reasoning that, provided the reviewer is subject to judicial control then article 6 is not breached, and that a review performed by a contracted out TP is no less independent than a review carried out by a council officer, as in Begum. The test for apparent bias is well established: “Would a fair-minded and informed observer conclude that there was a real possibility, or a real danger, the two being the same, that the tribunal was biased?” This was not made out, even though TP’s website boasted of carrying out 3,500 reviews with ‘unparalleled success’, which CA naively interpreted to mean successfully completed in a fair manner, rather than rejected in a court proof manner, (which is what a council would want so it cant be JRed and can avoid having to give out housing if it cant afford to do so.). 

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