- Court of Appeal and High Court consider property rights under the Human Rights Act
- R (Aviva Insurance Ltd) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
- Solaria Energy UK Ltd v Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Public Law analysis: Two recent judgments have demonstrated the utility of the right to property under Article 1 of the First Protocol of the European Convention on Human Rights (A1P1) for companies and the scope for challenges where public decisions have interfered with private contracts. A1P1 is incorporated into English law by way of the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA 1998) and provides for a right to peaceful enjoyment of possessions. In R (Aviva Insurance Ltd) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the High Court found that the Secretary of State’s scheme for the recovery of state benefits from insurers in asbestos-related claims was incompatible with the insurers’ A1P1 rights. In Solaria Energy UK Ltd v Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Court of Appeal held that Solaria’s subcontract with another company was a possession for the purposes of A1P1, despite contractual limits on its assignability. Andrew Lidbetter, Nusrat Zar, Jasveer Randhawa, Shameem Ahmad and Benjamin Coney Critchley of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP set out the background, judgments and key points to take away from these cases.
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