After a long drawn-out hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice yesterday, we saw the British legal system do what it does best – rule in favour of private property ownership above all else – as it granted Barnet Council a possession order against Mostafa and the last family left on Sweets Way.
However, the judge – in spite of being bound by a set of laws that will always prioritise property rights – seemed to do what they could for Mostafa’s family, perhaps recognising the implicit moral criminality of the law, as it was playing out yesterday afternoon. Though the ruling was ultimately unfavourable, the judge made it crystal clear to Barnet Council that they need to take greater efforts to rehouse the former-carer, whose life has been hampered by a serious back injury for the past three years. They also granted six weeks’ notice before the possession order can be executed, an almost unheard of timeframe, when one-to-two week possession orders are often the norm.
But Barnet Council have had three years to find Mostafa a place to live that is suitable to someone with a spinal injury. In that time, Sweets Way is the closest they’ve had and the family are going to keep fighting to stay where they are. Of course, all of us here will continue to support them to do so. And the courts are but one of the ways we can help.