A recent House of Lords' case considered a decision to terminate an appellant traveller's licence to occupy a site and has widened the law on human rights jurisprudence in the context of property law.

In Doherty & Ors v Birmingham City Council the Lords considered whether a local authority can obtain a summary order for possession against an occupier of one of its sites. The appellant traveller's appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeal, stating that there were only two possible "gateways" for a successful challenge of summary judgment in a possession case: (a) a challenge under Article 8 to the law itself and (b) a challenge on traditional judicial review grounds.

The House of Lords allowed the appeal and ordered that the case be remitted to the judge in the High Court for a determination whether the decision to terminate the appellant traveller's licence was reasonable, having regard to the length of time he and his family had lived on the site.

Lord Hope said that it would be "unduly formalistic to confine the review strictly to traditional Wednesbury grounds". Factual disputes between the parties would be capable of resolution by the court.

Click here for the case.