Make sure that you have not missed a key development in your area of the law by reading our In brief review of the latest Practical Law Local Government email.
Adult social services:
- The Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016 (Commencement No 2) Order 2016 has been made and brought into force from 11 July 2016 certain provisions of the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016.
- The Court of Protection has set out guidance to local authorities and managing authorities in relation to the covert administration of medication in cases where a person lacks capacity to consent to treatment. The court concluded that the use of medication without consent or covertly must always call for close scrutiny and close regard should be paid to the justification for medication (AG v BMBC and others).
- The Welsh Government has published a consultation on the Partnership Arrangements (Amendment) (Wales) Regulations 2016 and the Care and Support (Area Planning) (Wales) Regulations 2016, together with guidance to support the implementation of the regulations.
- The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper discussing the government’s proposal to bring forward a draft bill for a public service ombudsman which will provide a unified ombudsman service for UK reserved matters and public services delivered solely in England.
- The Court of Appeal has allowed a brother to apply for contact with his sister in foster care. The court emphasised the importance of sibling relationships and that a difference in how contact should be progressed is an issue the court should hear fully (Re N (Children)).
- The High Court has:
- refused an application for an original care proceedings fact finding judgment on a child’s death to be published due to possible appeals by the parents in relation to their criminal convictions (London Borough of Sutton v Gray and Others v Guardian News and Media Limited); and
- explained how anonymisation in children cases is achieved in judgments handed down in private and in open court. The court provided suggested wording for reporting restriction order applications to keep children anonymous, yet give the media enough information about the application (Re X (A Child) (No 2)).
- The 85th update to the CPR, comprising the Civil Procedure (Amendment No 2) Rules 2016 and accompanying practice direction making document, has been published. The rules insert a new section VI into CPR Part 46 to reflect the implementation of sections 88 to 90 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015, which deal with the new costs capping order in judicial review.
- The Court of Appeal has set aside a judge’s costs order, and reiterated that without prejudice privilege cannot be waived unilaterally (Gresham Pension Trustees v Cammack).
- The High Court has held that a Part 36 offer made by the claimant was a counter-offer which amounted to a rejection of an earlier, non-Part 36 offer by the defendant, and that the earlier offer was therefore no longer open for acceptance (DB UK Bank Ltd (t/a DB Mortgages) v Jacobs Solicitors).
- The TCC has refused to grant summary judgment on a claim for sums due under an interim application (Volkerlaser Ltd v Nottingham City Council).
- The MoJ has published:
- the making document introducing changes to practice directions in the 84th CPR update has been published. The changes come into force on various dates: 17 June, 29 September and 3 October 2016; and
- the response to its consultation on the reform of judicial review and invited further views on the provision of financial information to other parties under section 85 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015.
- The Law Society has urged peers to safeguard the ability of clients to communicate confidentially with their lawyers by supporting amendments to the Investigatory Powers Bill tabled by Lord Pannick QC on behalf of the Law Society, the Bar Council, JUSTICE and a number of other legal professional bodies and organisations.
- The Supreme Court has published its annual report and accounts for the period 2015-16.
- The MoJ and HM Courts and Tribunals Service have published their annual reports and accounts for the period 2015-16.
Employment and pensions:
- The government has published guidance to take into account the new illegal working offence which came into force on 12 July 2016.
- The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has postponed its 25 year environment plan, following the Brexit vote.
- Friends of the Earth has announced that it has lodged an application at the High Court seeking a judicial review of the minerals permission for hydraulic fracturing for shale gas at Ryedale granted by North Yorkshire County Council in May 2016.
FOI and data protection:
- The draft Digital Government (Disclosure of Information) Regulations 2016 have been laid before Parliament under sections 36,46 and 54 of the Digital Economy Bill 2016-17. They relate to the disclosure of information in relation to public service delivery, reducing debt owed to the public sector and combatting fraud against the public sector.
- The ICO has published its Overview of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.
- The Care Quality Commission and the National Data Guardian for Health and Care have published a review of data security, consent and opt-outs in relation to the provision of health and care services.
- The High Court has upheld a challenge by the claimant of a local housing authority’s decision not to accept a further application from her as a homeless applicant under part VII of the Housing Act 1996 (Hoyte v London Borough of Southwark).
Property and planning:
- The draft Neighbourhood Planning (Referendums) (Amendment) Regulations 2016 have been published and are expected to come into force in England on 1 October 2016.
- New versions of CPSE.1, CPSE.5, CPSE.7 and GN/CPSE have been released and are available for immediate use.
- The House of Commons Library has published briefing papers on:
- calling-in planning applications. “Calling-in” a planning application refers to the power of the Secretary of State to take the decision making power on a planning application out of the hands of the local planning authority for determination by the Secretary of State; and
- planning for nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs). NSIPs are usually large scale developments (relating to energy, transport, water, or waste) which require development consent rather than planning permission.
- The National Assembly for Wales Research Service has published a briefing paper on local planning policy.
- The ECJ has handed down a preliminary ruling relating to the way in which bidders can be excluded due to a failure to meet the minimum requirements for technical capacity (Ambiente e Sistemas de Informação Geográfica SA v Associação de Industriais do Concelho de Pombal).
- The Modern Slavery (Transparency in Supply Chains) Bill 2016-17 has had its second reading in the House of Lords. The Bill if enacted will require commercial organisations and public bodies to include a statement on slavery and human trafficking in their annual report and accounts.
Regulation and enforcement:
- The HSE has announced that a London Borough has been fined £500,000 in the Crown Court for breaching regulations 4(2) and 4(3) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, after a council worker was seriously injured while using inappropriate equipment.