REUTERS | Mike Blake

In brief for week ending 15 April 2015

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.

Civil litigation:

  • 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.


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 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.

Human rights:

  • 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).

Local government:

  • 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:
  • Defra has approved the creation of six new Food Enterprise Zones to improve food and drink economies in certain British regions.

Public procurement:

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