R v Social Security Commissioner ex parte George

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
CourtQueen's Bench Division (Administrative Court)
JudgeMR JUSTICE LAWS
Judgment Date12 October 1995
Judgment citation (vLex)[1995] EWHC J1012-4
Date12 October 1995
Docket NumberCO/2390/95

[1995] EWHC J1012-4

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE

QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION

(CROWN OFFICE LIST)

Before: Mr Justice Laws

CO/2390/95

Regina
and
Social Security Commissioner Ex Parte George

MISS N LIEVEN (Instructed by Solicitor for the Department of Social Security/Health, 48 Carey St, London WC2A 2LS) appeared on behalf of the Applicant.

MR N PAYNES (Instructed by The Treasury Solicitor) appeared on behalf of the Respondent.

1

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2

Thursday, 12th October 1995

MR JUSTICE LAWS
3

I have been much assisted by counsel and I do not think it is necessary for me to rehearse this at any great length. The short point is that the Social Security Commissioner refused this Applicant leave to appeal against a decision of the Disability Appeal Tribunal. That Tribunal had held that the Applicant was not entitled to the middle rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance. Whether or not he was so entitled depended, at any rate for the purposes of this case, upon whether he could fulfil, on the facts, the requirement prescribed by Section 72(1)(b)(1) of the Social Security and Contributions Benefit Act 1992, namely that he required from another person: "Frequent attention throughout the day in connection with his bodily functions."

4

The Tribunal heard evidence. It held, to put the matter as shortly as I can, that he needed substantial assistance at the beginning and end of the day in getting up, washing, and so forth and then at the end of the day getting undressed again and washing himself. During the day itself, as the Tribunal put it, the need for attention only arises on some six or seven occasions. Miss Lieven submits that on those facts a reasonable tribunal ought to have concluded that the statutory test was fulfilled. She puts it not merely as an argument based on the elementary Wednesbury principle; rather she submits that Lord Denning in R v National Insurance Commissioner, ex parte Secretary of State for Social Services [1981] 1 W.L.R. 1017 has given, if not a definition, at least general and strong guidance as to what "frequently" means in a statute containing an identical provision to that before me. It is said "frequently connotes several times, not once or twice".

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