Since commencing tenancy, Robert has undertaken a number of matters in the public law field, including:
- Acting for the interested party in the Court of Appeal in Leeds Group Plc v (1) Leeds City Council, (2) Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, (3) Jones  EWCA Civ 1447. This was a judicial review of the respondent’s decsition to register the appellants’ land as a town or village green (‘TVG’) The appellants (unsuccessfully) argued that applying the new definition of TVG brought in by CROW Act 2000 to use of land prior to enactment would be contrary to the presumption against retrospectivity and breach their Article 1 Protocol 1 rights. Robert made both written and oral submissions to the Court.
- Advising a local authority as to the merits of a potential judicial review challenge of DEFRA’s designation of the South Downs National Park. This involved: interpretation the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949; consideration of the extent to which the failure of a public body to exercise discretionary powers is susceptible to judicial review challenge; formulation of potential grounds of judicial review (including on Padfield grounds) and an assessment of their merits; and advice on procedural matters
- Following the Supreme Court decisions in Pinnock and Powell an increasing number of possession proceedings against tenants who lack security of tenure are being defended on Article 8, as well as traditional public law, grounds. Robert has successfully appeared for both local authorities and social landlords in a number of possession proceedings which have been fully defended on public law/human rights grounds.
- Drafting letters before claim and judicial review grounds in relation to the failure of the Secretary of State for the Home Department to recognise an individual’s entitlement to an in-country right of appeal against the decision to remove him from the UK.
- Robert’s work in the First and Upper Tier Tribunals (Asylum and Immigration Chambers) regularly involves questions of human rights and public law, both of which are grounds for challenging immigration decisions made by UKBA
- Appearing for Local Housing Authorities in s.204/homeless appeals (what is, in effect, a judicial review in the County Court)
- Drafting and responding to letters before claim in relation to judicial reviews.
During pupillage Robert gained considerable experience of public law and judicial review proceedings in a wide range of contexts, from planning law to community care. Significant cases included:
- Assisting Bryan McGuire in A v The London Borough of Croydon  UKSC 8 in which it was argued that local authorities’ age assessments under s.20 of the Children Act 1989 are challengeable as a precedent fact and not merely on conventional Wednesbury grounds.
- Assisting Ranjit Bhose with a case in the Court of Appeal in which the vires of a local authority’s housing allocation policy was challenged and a claim of indirect discrimination made.
- Assisting Morag Ellis QC in relation to a judicial review challenge to an emerging core strategy.