Wednesday, June 20, 2007

British human rights law doesn't cover private homes

Guardian Unlimited:
Parliament is under pressure to block a legal loophole opened up on Wednesday by a Law Lords judgment that elderly and vulnerable people sent to private care homes by their local authorities are not protected by human rights laws.

Five Law Lords, by a 3-2 majority, rejected argument that a private home is 'exercising a public function' when it cares for people referred to it by a council, and is therefore bound by the Human Rights Act.

The decision, which could affect up to 300,000 residents throughout the country, came in the case of an 84-year-old Alzheimer's patient. Her lawyers argued that her threatened eviction from a private home would violate her right to family life.

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