CLAIMANT’S HUMAN RIGHTS CLAIM FOR LOSS OF CHERISHED NUMBER PLATES NOT STRUCK OUT:
I am grateful to solicitor Ian Bailey from PGB Gitlin Baker for sending me a copy of the decision of HHJ Roberts in Phillips -v- Secretary of State for Transport. (County Court at Central London 24/02/2020 – a copy of which is available Phillips. The case is interesting because it involves the use of the Human Rights Act in what is, essentially, a commercial matter. It also involved the judge considering (and rejecting) arguments in relation to limitation, striking out, abuse of process and summary judgment.
The claimant brought an action for damages following the loss of registration rights of cherished number plates. The claim was brought under the Human Rights Act 1998 on the grounds of interference with property rights. The defendant sought to strike out the claim and/or summary judgment.
The defendant’s applications were dismissed. The judge found that:
- The claim was not statute barred.
- The application was not an abuse of process
- “In my judgment, the issue of liability in this case is very clearly whether there has been an unlawful interference with the Claimant’s right to property under A1P1. The fact that a Human Rights claim is part of public law does not obviate the fact that this is not a judicial review claim.”
- The Part 7 procedure was better suited to the disposal of the questions at issue than judicial review.
- “This case requires a Defence, disclosure, witness statements and oral cross-examination to resolve the conflicts of fact.”
- The claimant had reasonable grounds for bringing the claim.
- The defendant could not obtain summary judgment because there were reasonable grounds for funding the claim.