Putting dignity to bed? The taxing question of the UK’s housing rights ‘relapse’

Alice Diver

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Despite being ‘wrapped up in . . .ideological discourse,’ the UK’s recent statutory cap on Housing Benefit (a form of welfare payment aimed at helping unemployed or low-paid tenants pay their rent) has significantly affected the lives of ‘some of the most vulnerable members’ of society. Recent domestic case law has examined a range of rights-relevant issues, such as the legal definition of justifiable discrimination, equality, the nature of the overlap between fundamental rights, and the fluid scope of judicial deference and the margin of appreciation as these apply to human rights issues, especially those which are underpinned (or, perhaps more accurately, undermined) by socio-economic decision-making. Taken together the decisions provide fairly detailed guidance, if only very limited hope, for anyone seeking to argue that the various impacts of harsh austerity measures might amount to unlawful human rights infringements at national level. There is little sign that a meaningfully juridical right to adequate housing is being embedded in domestic law here, with judicial concern over preserving finite, scarce resources generally serving to ‘trump’ the various arguments put forward by housing rights advocates.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJusticiability of Human Rights Law in Domestic Jurisdictions
EditorsAlice Diver, Jacinta Miller
Place of PublicationNew York; Europe
PublisherSpringer Intl
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-24016-9
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-24014-5
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


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