CHALLENGE TO THE STAY OF POSSESSION PROCEEDINGS FAILS IN THE COURT OF APPEAL
The Court of Appeal has now given Judgment in the case of Arkin v Marshall. In short, all challenges to the stay of possession proceedings failed. The Court held that the new Practice Direction PD51Z was lawfully made. The Court also held that the Practice Direction was not in breach of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights with regards to access to justice. The Court of Appeal said as follows – “In our judgment, the short delay to possession litigation enshrined in PD51Z is amply justified by the exceptional circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic”. The Court then made clear that Judges do have power to lift the stay before going on to say that this power should almost never be used. The Court found it difficult to think of a suitable case where the stay should be lifted. In reality, it is highly unlikely that such a case will arise.
In short, the stay remains fully effective until 25 June 2020. Whether there will be any further extension of this provision is anyone’s guess!
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