Tuesday, 22 March 2011
The applicant had no equality of arms, she being unrepresented and there being no legal aid available. The applicant was unable to present a fair defence in proceedings which were highly technical. She did not receive a fair hearing in terms of Article 6. Reference is made to the cases of Steel and Morris v. UK (Application 68416/01); Ashingdane v. UK (Application 8225/78); Golder v. UK (Series A No.18 of 1975); and Airey v. Ireland (Application 6289/73).
The applicant’s right under Article 8 of the ECHR to respect for her private and family life and her home has been violated. The applicant relied on the decision of the UK Supreme Court in Manchester City Council v Pinnock, 2010 3 WLR 1441 for authority for the proposition that she was entitled to found upon Article 8 as a defence to the eviction action against her.
The case of Pinnock was authority (at paragraph 53) for the proposition that in response to an Article 8 defence the Council had to ‘plead’ and ‘adduce evidence’ to justify its interference. No examination of the disputed facts was permitted to take place by the court; reference is made to Connors v. UK (2004) 40 EHRR 189 at paragraphs 81-83 and 92; McCann v. UK 40 EHRR 189; Zehentner v. Austria (Application 2008/02) and Paulic v. Croatia (Application 3572/06).