The Court of Appeal today (23 July 2013) granted permission to Nick Brown for a Judicial Review of the Canal & River Trust’s (CRT) 2011 Guidance for Boaters Without a Home Mooring. Lord Justice Jackson said in his judgement that the issue of whether the 2011 Guidance accurately sets out the powers of CRT and the restrictions on licence holders arising from Section 17 (3) (c) (ii) of the British Waterways Act 1995 merits pursuit in Judicial Review.
This overturns the High Court judgement of Mrs Justice Cox in November 2012 that refused permission for Judicial Review and endorsed the 2011 Guidance.
Nick Brown said “The decision of Lord Justice Jackson means that any boat dweller who is subject to Section 8 proceedings in court where CRT allege they have not complied with Section 17 (3) (c) (ii) can apply to have their case adjourned until the Judicial Review is concluded.
Mr Brown is the Legal Officer of the NBTA. The NBTA receives regular requests for help from boat dwellers who are threatened with the seizure of their homes under Section 8 of the British Waterways Act 1983 following allegations that they have not complied with CRT’s interpretation of Section 17 (3) (c) (ii).
Boats may be licensed to use Canal & River Trust waterways without a permanent mooring provided that they comply with Section 17 (3) (c) (ii) of the 1995 Act. CRT claims that the Guidance for Boaters Without a Home Mooring sets out what a boater is required to do to comply, but the Court of Appeal believes it is arguable whether CRT is correct in this assertion.
In 2012 CRT committed £500,000 on the strength of its interpretation of Section 17 (3) (c) (ii) on a project to reduce the numbers of boaters who do not comply with its interpretation of the law.