The question of whether independent care providers should be governed by human rights law looks set to be settled by the highest court in the land.
This week, the Appeal Court gave four care home residents from Birmingham and Havering, north London, leave to appeal to the House of Lords over whether being placed in the independent sector was a breach of their human rights.
Lord Justice Buxton, one of three judges trying the case, said the court was bound by legal authority to throw out the claimants’ appeal, but said the issue was so critical that it would benefit from being considered by law lords.
The court’s judgement upholds precedents that have restricted the Human Rights Act 1998 to services provided by public bodies only.
But the House of Lords could decide that the law should apply to all providers of public services, a judgement that would match the government’s intentions for the act.