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John McKendrick in High Court challenge on behalf of learning disabled residents


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John McKendrick has represented residents of a learning disabled community in North Yorkshire.

For more than 60 years, the village of Botton has been home to people with learning disabilities who share accommodation with volunteer “house parents” and their families. The charity which manages the village, Camphill Village Trust, has proposed that “house parents” be treated as employees rather than volunteers, which the residents believe will gravely disrupt their lives.

The three residents whom barrister John McKendrick has represented brought a challenge to the proposed plans, as a breach of their human rights. John told the court:

“The claimants have enjoyed a private life both by way of developing relationships with others and also by respect for privacy in their homes – as there are no intrusive paid care workers coming in and out. This special arrangement respects their autonomy and dignity. The changes proposed presents a significant threat to the established and successful way of life that the claimants have enjoyed for many years.”

Unfortunately, the court has rejected the challenge and refused permission for judicial review proceedings.


Barristers: John McKendrick QC
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