Autumn Training Day – Summary Possession Orders – Current Practical & Legal Issues



  1. The ability to apply to the Court for a summary order for possession pursuant to CPR Part 55 against “persons unknown” is a well-known and established procedure. It is intended to provide a quick and easy scheme for a landowner to recover possession of property from unwanted and unauthorised occupiers. Nevertheless, the urgent circumstances in which such orders have often been obtained may not have been the best of contexts for the development of a clear and consistent body of jurisprudence or guidance on this important summary procedure.  This is particularly unfortunate, given that the cases which been the subject of this procedure have often involved some fundamental legal questions, such as how the rights of a private landowner in relation to trespassers may be affected by the European Convention on Human Rights.
  2. The purpose of this paper is to provide a summary of some of the most recent guidance from the Courts on the following topical issues:
    • Scope of the order
    • Relevance of Articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights
    • Relevance of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights
    • Writs of restitution and extensions to the warrant for possession

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