Nipa Begum v Tower Hamlets London Borough Council [2000] 1 WLR 306


The fact that the accommodation found to be available to the applicant for housing was in Bangladesh did not make it unavailable in law. The subsections must be read separately. Accommodation could be available to the applicant even though she could not afford to travel to it. The power of the County Court to hear an appeal in such matters included the power to deal with all matters which might be heard in the High Court, including those equivalent to judicial review. The Code is not an authoritative guide to interpretation of the Act.
Auld LJ summarised what is meant by an appeal on a point of law in the context of section 204(3):- ‘It is that ‘a point of law’ includes not only matters of legal interpretation but also the full range of issues which would otherwise be the subject of an application to the High Court for judicial review, such as procedural error and questions of vires, to which I add, also of irrationality and (in) adequacy of reasons. This broad construction of the provision is supported by the somewhat wider or more immediate power to vary given to the county court by section 204(3) than the High Court normally exercises in its judicial review jurisdiction.’

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