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 Public Sector email.
- The Practice Direction (PD) making document associated with the 79th CPR update has been published. There are important changes to a number of PDs, as well as a new PD on pre-action conduct and a PD on electronic working.
- The Court of Appeal has considered whether a settlement should be set aside for fraud (Hayward v Zurich Insurance Company plc).
- The High Court has considered costs budgeting issues where the costs in relation to expert evidence, disclosure and witness statements exceeded those in the costs budget of a successful defendant, and refused an application to increase the costs budget of the defendant after trial (Parish and another v The Danwood Group Ltd).
- The Law Society is continuing to campaign against the substantial increases to court fees introduced on 9 March 2015.
- The High Court has considered the meaning of “drafted in advance” under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 (Khurana and another v Webster Construction Ltd).
Education and social services:
- The President of the Court of Protection has issued six new practice directions for the Court of Protection, which came into force on 6 April 2015.
Employment and pensions:
- The EAT has given its view on the meaning of the words “in the public interest” which were inserted into the whistleblowing legislation by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013, for disclosures made on or after 25 June 2013 (Chesterton Global Ltd (t/a Chestertons) and another v Nurmohamed).
- The Household Waste (Fixed Penalty and Penalty Charge) Regulations 2015 have been made and will come into force on 15 June 2015.
- The Court of Appeal has allowed an appeal against a decision of the Secretary of State to direct Natural England to give consent for a cull of gulls (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds v Secretary of State for Environment Food and Rural Affairs and others).
- The DECC has published guidance on how community energy projects may be able to benefit from the new provisions on community ownership introduced to the feed-in tariffs scheme by the Feed-in Tariffs (Amendment) Order 2015.
- The Environment Agency has issued the eighth version of its Enforcement and Sanctions Offence Response Options, which details the enforcement options available for key environmental offences for which the EA is the regulator.
- The DECC has published a summary of stakeholder responses to its informal consultation on the carbon capture and storage policy scoping document that it published in August 2014.
- The European Court of Human Rights has upheld applications by two claimants regarding claims that, in the context of unannounced inspections carried out by the French competition authority on the companies, their rights to a fair trial and to private and family life (particularly with regard to documents protected by legal professional privilege) had been violated (Vinci Construction and GMT genie civil and services v France).
- The DCLG has published a letter from the Minister for Local Government to the Leader of Rother District Council, stating that the council’s new burdens funding for 2014-15 will be withheld, due to its failures to comply with the Local Government Transparency Code.
Property and planning:
- The High Court has:
- considered whether restrictive covenants which were imposed over 100 years ago were enforceable as part of a building scheme (Birdlip Ltd v Hunter and another); and
- dismissed an application to quash an order under section 53(2) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 modifying the definitive map to include a new footpath over a landowner’s alleyway (Ali v Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and others).
- Defra has approved the creation of six new Food Enterprise Zones to improve food and drink economies in certain British regions.
- The High Court has refused an application by a council to lift the suspension on its award of a contract pending resolution of a procurement dispute (Bristol Missing Link Ltd v Bristol City Council).
- The High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland has dismissed an application by Northern Ireland Water to strike out a procurement challenge on the basis that it was brought out of time (ROL Testing Ltd v Northern Ireland Water).