Law Lords to determine if elderly in private care homes are protected by Human Rights Act 

27 April 2007

The legal challenge, brought on behalf of an 83-year-old Alzheimer’s sufferer who was asked to leave her care home because of her husband and daughter’s disruptive behaviour, seeks specifically to protect the human rights of elderly people placed by the government in private care homes.
A legal intervention in the case brought by Liberty, Justice and the British Institute of Human Rights argues that private companies must be subject to the Human Rights Act if they have been contracted by the Government to undertake a public function on its behalf.
Liberty Legal Officer Anna Fairclough said:
“To deny an elderly person her rights merely because her care has been contracted out by the Government to a private company is desperately unfair. Human rights are specifically intended to protect the most basic rights of vulnerable people but the current position undermines this safeguard.”
The Law Lords will hear YL v Birmingham City Council from 30 April until 2 May. Their decision is expected within several months.

Contact: Jen Corlew on 0207 378 3656 or 07973 831 128
Notes to Editors

1. The intervention brought by Liberty, Justice, and the British Institute of Human Rights argues that the Human Rights Act 1998 must be applied in circumstances where a governmental body makes an arrangement with a private sector body for the discharge of a function which it would otherwise undertake itself. For a copy of the intervention contact Liberty's press office on 0207 378 3656 or 07973 831 128. 
2. The Joint Committee on Human Rights published “The Meaning of Public Authority under the Human Rights Act” on 28 March 2007.