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Institute of Commercial and Corporate Law


Publication details

Williams, Alexander. (2008). 'YL v Birmingham City Council: Contracting out and “functions of a public nature”. European Human Rights Law Review 4: 524-531.

Author(s) from Durham


This analysis examines the recent House of Lords ruling on the interpretation of ‘functions of a public nature’ under s 6(3)(b) of the Human Rights Act 1998. It criticises the reasoning and result, suggesting that the ruling has failed satisfactorily to settle the law and that the provision of care and accommodation by a private provider pursuant to contract with a local authority acting under s 21 of the National Assistance Act 1948 should be regarded as a function of a public nature. It concludes by assessing the ruling’s impact, briefly commenting on the new Human Rights Act 1998 (Meaning of Public Function) Bill and highlighting remaining issues for future judicial and legislative consideration.

Institute of Commercial and Corporate Law