Magazine article Public Finance

DCA Calls for Human Rights Act Exception

Magazine article Public Finance

DCA Calls for Human Rights Act Exception

Article excerpt

The Department for Constitutional Affairs is urging the Law Lords to avoid making registered social landlords and foster carers subject to the Human Rights Act, Public Finance has learned.

The issue has been sparked by a case this week in which the Lords were told the Human Rights Act should apply to private care homes. At present, the Act applies only to public sector care homes, but the DCA believes it should also be applied to private care homes, as they are effectively fulfilling a 'public function .

But PFhas been told that the DCA is also trying to persuade the Lords to introduce only a very narrow change in law, as it does not want the same rights afforded to asylum seekers housed by social landlords, or applied to other outsourced accommodation services.

'The DCA is really terrified it will have a knock-on, coach-and-horses effect through government procurement policy said Nony Ardile, legal policy adviser to Age Concern, who is involved in the case. 'They are trying very hard to avoid RSLs being drawn into it.' She said foster parents were also a concern for the DCA

Eric Metcalfe, director of human rights policy at legal action group Justice, added that the biggest single contractor of private accommodation - the National Asylum Support Service - was also a 'prime issue' for the DCA. …

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