R (Tiller) v East Sussex County Council [2011] EWHC 3077 (Admin) well [2011] & EWCA Civ 1577; [2012] EqLR 265, CA

01 Jan 2018

Public Law and Judicial Review

Matt Hutchings and Bryan McGuire QC have submitted an application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court in the above case on behalf of Mr Tiller, who was also represented by Matt Hutchings in the Administrative Court and Court of Appeal. Mr Tiller is a disabled man who lives in sheltered accommodation owned by the local authority. His case is that the LA breached its duty under s.49A Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) to ‘have due regard’ to various disability equality aims when it decided to replace the existing 24 hour on-site warden service with a service based on -site service during office hours only.

The Administrative Court and Court of Appeal applied R (Brown) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2008] EWHC 3158 (Admin) and held that despite the absence of any mention of the DDA or s.49A in the documents, the local authority had discharged its s.49A duty.

Mr Tiller is now asking the Supreme Court to look further at the nature and extent of the s.49A duty (now replaced by the duty in s.149 Equality Act 2010), and what that duty adds to any other duties owed by the local authority. The Supreme Court will be asked to reconsider the recent case of R (McDonald) v Kensington and Chelsea RLBC [2011] UKSC 33 (in which Kelvin Rutledge and Sian Davies of Cornerstone Barristers appeared for the local authority), where it held that there was no requirement for a local authority, when discharging statutory functions which expressly directed attention to the needs of disabled persons, to make express reference to s.49A in order to demonstrate that it had had “due regard” and that there were no grounds for inferring that the authority had not regard to its duty to the claimant under s.49A.