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 House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts has published a report on personal budgets in social care.
- The Law Society has published a new version of its practice note on lasting powers of attorney.
- The Court of Appeal has dismissed appeals against an order requiring three children to be returned to Hungary under the Hague Convention on civil aspects of international child abduction of 25 October 1980, and observed that proper adherence to the principles in Re W will see increasing numbers of children giving evidence in family proceedings (Re F (Children)).
- The High Court has:
- found that a district judge had been wrong to find that the extradition of a single mother of a five-month-old child to Ireland to face a charge of facilitating illegal immigration would be a disproportionate interference with her rights under Article 8 of the ECHR (Ireland v Iosifidou);
- highlighted the ineffectiveness of port alerts and collection orders in preventing a mother and child from leaving the UK (London Borough of Sutton v MH and others (No2));
- stressed the need for practitioners to consider jurisdiction when issuing private law proceedings under section 8 of the Children Act 1989, in any case that appears to have an international element, especially where a parent has recently arrived in the country with a child (R v R);
- given guidance to parents and local authorities in respect of the notice to be given when taking girls on holiday to countries where FGM occurs and the notice to be given for initiating legal proceedings if action is required (Buckinghamshire County Council v MA and another);
- directed a rehearing of findings made in 2013 that a child suffered non-accidental injuries caused by his parents, a year after the child had been adopted (Re X (A Child)); and
- held that both a local authority and an independent reviewing officer were found to have breached a relinquished child’s Article 8 rights under the European Convention on Human Rights, because care proceedings were not issued soon after it was clear that adoption was not a realistic care option for the child (London Borough of Brent v C).
- The government has confirmed that it is working with the Bar Council and the Law Society to preserve legal professional privilege under the Investigatory Powers Bill 2015-16.
- The Court of Appeal has partly allowed an appeal against a costs decision, and has imposed a Bullock order against one of the defendants (Blindley Heath Investments and others v Dixon and others).
- The High Court has:
- allowed an application to strike out a litigant in person’s counterclaim (Jones v Longley and others); and
- held that it would be wrong to direct a trial when a fair result could be achieved by a hearing with oral submissions in a claim where all the issues between the parties except costs had been resolved without a trial (Hanspaul and another v Ward and others).
- The Senior Court Costs Office has held that sums previously allowed as reasonable on a line by line assessment in a privacy claim were disproportionate and reduced each of the items which made up those costs (BNM v MGN Ltd).
- The TCC has issued a costs order against a claimant that failed to provide a properly paginated bundle (PM Project Services Ltd v Dairy Crest Ltd).
- The County Court has held that a claimant (C) was entitled to fixed costs up to the end of the relevant period, and indemnity costs thereafter, where the defendant had accepted C’s Part 36 offer in a low-value RTA claim about a month after the end of the relevant period (Sutherland v Khan).
- The Upper Tribunal has allowed an appeal by a council against a decision of the First-tier Tribunal that ordered the council to pay for home to school transport for a 21 year old woman (Staffordshire County Council v JM (Special educational needs: Other)).
Employment and pensions:
- The Ministry of Justice has published the statistics for tribunals for the period January to March 2016.
- The Wales Bill 2016-17 has been introduced to the House of Commons. The Bill includes devolution to Welsh Ministers of powers relating to licensing of onshore oil and gas exploration, approval of energy projects up to and including 350 megawatts, and all onshore wind projects and marine licensing and marine conservation.
- The European Commission has published a draft Council Decision on ratification by the EU of the Paris Agreement.
FOI and data protection:
- The Upper Tribunal has held that:
- the class-based exemption for court records under section 32(1)(c) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 also applies to statistical data drawn from court documents (Brown v The Information Commissioner and The Ministry of Justice (Information rights : Freedom of information – absolute exemptions)); and
- the mere fact of physical possession of information does not satisfy the test as to whether information is “held” under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR) (Holland v Information Commissioner and another).
- The FTT(IR) has ruled that personal notes taken by individuals attending a meeting to discuss council business should have been disclosed under the EIR (William Chapman v Information Commissioner and Duddon Parish Council).
- The terms of reference for an independent review of the operational case for bulk powers under the Investigatory Powers Bill 2016-2017 has been published.
Local government law:
- The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on the Wales Bill 2016-17. The briefing paper was published following the introduction and first reading of the Bill in the House of Commons on 7 June 2016.
- The Department for Transport has published an explanatory note on eligibility for concessionary travel.
- The High Court has set aside an automatic suspension which arose in proceedings challenging the award of a contract for adult community services (Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust v NHS Swale Clinical Commissioning Group and another).
- The European Commission has published a notice in the Official Journal announcing that it has received a request from the Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry under Article 35 of Directive 2014/25 on procurement by utility companies.
Regulation and enforcement:
- The Policing and Crime Bill 2016 has progressed beyond report stage, and had its third reading in the House of Commons.
- The Attorney General’s Office has announced that two jurors found guilty of contempt of court have been sentenced to suspended prison terms.
- The House of Commons Justice Committee has published a first session report on the reduction in sentence for a guilty plea guideline.
- The Attorney General’s Office has issued a revised code of practice on the investigative powers of prosecutors.
- The Sentencing Council has developed an offline version of the Magistrates’ Court Sentencing Guidelines.
- The Criminal Courts Solicitors Association has issued a protocol on inadequate or late disclosure by the prosecution.