REUTERS | David Bebber

In brief for week ending 15 October 2014

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:

Education and children’s services:

  • The High Court has extended the six month time limit in which commissioning parents are able to apply for a parental order, following a surrogate mother giving birth to a child. Unusually, the application was granted although it was made 26 months after the child was born (Re X (A Child) (Surrogacy: Time Limit)).
  • The Family Court has considered what constitutes an exceptional case when obtaining public funding in private law children cases (Re H).

Employment and pensions:

  • The Court of Appeal has held that an employer did not breach its duty of care to an employee by bringing disciplinary proceedings against her (Coventry University v Mian).
  • The Teachers’ Pension Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2014 and the Teachers’ Pensions (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No 2) Regulations 2014 will come into force on 1 April 2015 and set out the finalised version of changes to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme proposed by a DfE consultation.
  • The Court of Appeal has considered the application of the guidelines for calculating pensions loss used by employment tribunals (Griffin v Plymouth Hospital NHS Trust).
  • The Deputy Pensions Ombudsman has directed a LGPS employing authority to pay a member compensation for the distress and inconvenience caused by its maladministration in an application for an ill-health early retirement pension (Determination in a complaint by Mrs Ruth Hudspith).
  • The DCLG has published a consultation on an expanded version of draft governance-related LGPS regulations due to be made under the Public Service Pensions Act 2013.


  • The EA has published a consultation on draft updates to the river basin management plans for England.
  • Defra has published the government response to its April 2014 consultation on reform of the regulatory system to control small sewage discharges from septic tanks and small sewage treatment plants in England.

FOI and data protection:

  • The High Court has held that a bank breached an equitable duty of confidence by misusing confidential information supplied by a corporate customer (CF Partners (UK) LLP v Barclays Bank Plc and another).
  • The government has issued a collection of guidance notes on risk management in relation to the concept of “bring your own device”, the practice of allowing employees to work using personally-owned devices such as mobile phones and tablets.

Local government:

Property and planning:

  • The Planning (Wales) Bill 2014 has been introduced in the National Assembly for Wales. Alongside the Bill, the Welsh Government has also issued several planning-related consultations.
  • The High Court has held that it is possible to acquire a prescriptive easement to hang a gate over a driveway (Bradley and another v Heslin and another).
  • The DECC has published guidance for onshore wind developments, which sets out best practice for community engagement and community benefits.

Public procurement and state aid:

Regulation and enforcement:

  • BIS has published a paper setting out its plans for providing guidance to businesses and consumers on the Consumer Rights Bill changes.
  • The Home Office has published revised guidance on licensing, which it issued under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003.

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