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- The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on the Scotland Bill 2015-16. The briefing paper deals with the various provisions of the Bill including the devolution of electoral matters, constitutional arrangements and certain welfare benefits.
- The High Court has considered an application for relief from sanction under CPR 3.9 (Chadwick (Trustee in Bankruptcy of Anthony Burling) v Burling).
- The Law Society, Bar Council and Chartered Institute of Legal Executives have issued joint guidance on how lawyers can best support a litigant in person, without this conflicting with their duties to their clients and the court.
- The MoJ has published the quarterly court statistics for the period January to March 2015, and also appellate statistics for 2014. The report provides information on the type and number of cases dealt with in the civil (excluding family) and administrative courts.
- BIS has published the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Amendment) Regulations 2015. According to the explanatory note, the purpose is to clarify section 4 of the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998.
- A bakery is to appeal against the finding that its refusal to bake a cake with the caption “Support Gay Marriage” was direct discrimination.
Education and social services:
- The Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber) has allowed an appeal by a local authority against a decision by a First-tier Tribunal naming an independent school for children with autistic spectrum disorder in a child’s education, health and care plan (Cambridgeshire County Council v SF (SEN)).
- The Court of Appeal has overturned an order requiring HMCTS to pay the costs of legal representation for an unrepresented father’s cross-examination of a child witness at a fact-finding hearing. The court also gave guidance about steps that can be taken in cases where cross-examination of a vulnerable witness by an alleged perpetrator arises because the perpetrator is a litigant in person (K and H (Children)).
- The Outer House of the Court of Session in Scotland has had its first petition for an Ethiopian adoption to be recognised in Scotland. The court followed the English test for recognising a foreign adoption at common law (Brown and another (Recognition of a Foreign Adoption at Common Law)).
- The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on carers’ rights and benefits in England. The paper summarises the law applicable to carers, in particular in relation to the right to receive a local authority assessment, employment rights and changes to benefits affecting carers.
Employment and pensions:
- The EAT has considered whether TUPE applied where certain services had been subcontracted and the original client intended to bring the services back inhouse (Jinks v London Borough of Havering).
- The minutes of the last meeting of the national employment tribunals user group (England and Wales) held on 13 March 2015 have been published.
- The Deputy Pensions Ombudsman has:
- dismissed a complaint by a member who signed a compromise agreement stating that the termination of his employment was “by mutual agreement” and that he waived any right to an unreduced pension under the scheme rules. The member later complained when his pension was actuarially reduced (Determination in a complaint by Dr Stephen White); and
- dismissed a complaint brought by an Academy school after a local authority called for prospective contributions of 43.4% of the Academy’s pensionable payroll for non-teaching staff (Determination in a complaint by Thomas Ferens Academy).
- The Pensions Regulator has published Compliance and enforcement policy for public sector pension schemes, which sets out its approach to how it will assess and enforce compliance with the new governance and administration requirements on public sector pension schemes introduced by the Public Service Pensions Act 2013.
- The Court of Appeal has held that a local housing authority was not entitled to find that an applicant was not homeless because another authority had accepted that it owed the applicant the full housing duty under the Housing Act 1996 (Johnston v City of Westminster).
- The High Court has ruled that the Department for Work and Pensions had acted unlawfully in failing to process the claimants’ applications for personal independence payments within a reasonable period (R (Ms C and another) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions).
- The Public Health (Wales) Bill has been introduced by the Welsh Government.
- The Charity Commission has published a report on its intervention into the use of a recreation ground owned by a charity in breach of trust. It provides lessons for local authorities acting as corporate trustees of charity land.
Property and planning:
- The following regulations will come into force in Wales on 22 June 2015:
- The Town and Country Planning (Referrals and Appeals) (Written Representations Procedure) (Wales) Regulations 2015;
- The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (Wales) (Amendment) Order 2015; and
- The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2015.
- The Court of Appeal has considered the scope of a planning permission where there was no occupancy condition imposed on the permission (Winchester City Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and others).
- The Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber) has considered whether there was a common character of locality between different parts of land so as to raise a reasonable inference that a squatter, who was in adverse possession of part, was in adverse possession of the whole (Smith v Frankland and another).
- The Land Registry’s address for applications by post, document exchange or personal delivery is changing with effect from 8 June 2015.
Public procurement and state aid:
- The Advocate General has handed down an opinion on a reference for a preliminary ruling from a Latvian court relating to the interpretation of Articles 47 and 48 of Directive 2004/18 (Ostas celtnieks SIA v Talsu novada pašvaldība, Iepirkumu uzraudzības birojs).
- The CMA has held seminars to help buyers and suppliers in government contracts in Northern Ireland to understand how competition law works.
- The European Ombudsman has published a decision finding that the European Commission’s failure to inform a complainant about the priority status of his state aid complaint constituted maladministration (Decision of the European Ombudsman closing the inquiry into complaint 400/2014/DK against the European Commission).
Regulation and enforcement:
- The Home Office has published guidance on injunctions to prevent gang-related violence and drug dealing, which is comprised of statutory guidance under section 47(4) of the Policing and Crime Act 2009, and a practitioners’ guide to injunctions to prevent gang-related violence and drug dealing.