Landmark barristers Nathalie Lieven QC and David Blundell recently acted for Liberty in a challenge to the bedroom tax.
Nathalie and David represented three claimants, instructed by Liberty, who challenged the application of the bedroom tax (the name given to amendments to the Housing Benefit regulations) to their cases. Each claimant was a parent with shared care, together with another non-resident parent, of their children. Following the bedroom tax changes, they were no longer entitled to the payment of Housing Benefit for a separate room for their children who did not live with them full-time. The Claimants argued that the changes breached their rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 8 read with Article 14 and were also irrational.
Males J dismissed the claims: R (Cotton and others) v. Secretary of State for Work and Pensions  EWHC 3437 (Admin). He held that, contrary to the arguments of the Secretary of State, Article 8 was engaged. However, because the claimants had been granted discretionary housing payments, there was no interference with their rights under Article 8. The justification for any interference was in any event accepted.
Nathalie Lieven QC and David Blundell appeared for the Claimants, instructed by Liberty.