Are private care homes that provide services to publicly funded residents performing a public function?
As a taxpayer, that’s an easy one: “yes.” If the State agreed residents would be able to challenge decisions over being moved or evicted under human rights laws.
Unfortunately, the House of Lords said “no”. Like the courts, they’ve interpreted the law to apply only to public bodies.
At least the government is likely to introduce a bill to extend human rights protection to private care homes. But it is likely to stop short of applying it more widely, say, to domiciliary care or asylum seekers’ accommodation.
It prompts another question: is it fair that the government wants to arbitrarily decide who can have recourse to the Human Rights Act when it’s encouraging a diversity of providers? Again the answer is easy: “no”.
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This article appeared in the 28 June issue under the headline “Grudging rights extension”