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 Department of Health has published new guidance on adult social care market shaping.
- The Supreme Court has unanimously allowed Ingenious Media’s application for judicial review against HMRC for disclosing information to The Times newspaper. The decision overturns that of the Court of Appeal, and is significant as the Supreme Court ruled that HMRC’s entitlement to disclose taxpayer information in section 18(2)(a)(i) of the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005, which allowed disclosure for the purposes of a HMRC function, must be construed narrowly (R (Ingenious Media holdings plc and another) v HMRC).
- The House of Commons Library has published briefing papers:
- on Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union and the EU Court, examining whether the ECJ has a role in determining questions about the decision to trigger Article 50 under the UK’s constitutional arrangements; and
- highlighting some of the legal, constitutional and financial unknowns of Brexit.
- The High Court has found that a local authority had been procedurally unfair to make a decision based on an additional reason in a letter written after the conclusion of a child and family assessment. The concern raised had not been put to the claimants and was not part of the assessment (R (S and J) v The London Borough of Haringey).
- The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has announced new pre-employment protection for whistleblowers applying for jobs in the children’s social care sector, which will be included in the Children and Social Work Bill 2016-17.
- The Ministry of Justice has responded to the House of Commons Justice Committee’s review into fees charged by courts and tribunals.
- The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper summarising the process of applying to the European Court of Human Rights.
- The High Court has decided that a faith school’s segregation of girls and boys when they reach a certain age does not amount to less favourable treatment and therefore no direct discrimination occurred in this case (The Interim Executive Board of X School v HM Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills).
- The Sentencing Council has published its assessment of the impact of its environmental guideline on sentencing trends, under its statutory duty to monitor the operation and effect of its sentencing guidelines and to draw conclusions from this information.
FOI and data protection:
- The European Court of Human Rights has held that Hungarian investigation authorities’ refusal to provide a non-governmental human rights organisation with the names of criminal defence lawyers it had appointed breached the NGO’s rights under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (Magyar Helsinki Bizottság v Hungary).
- The FTT(IR) has held that a former councillor’s response to a formal complaint made against him of an alleged breach of a council’s code of conduct was exempt from disclosure under section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (Thompson v Information Commissioner and another).
- The Department for Culture Media & Sport has published its report of the Triennial Review of the Information Commissioner’s Office.
- The European Data Protection Supervisor has published guidelines on web-based services and mobile applications for the EU institutions, but which other organisations may also find useful.
- The Supreme Court has held that the “bedroom tax” imposed by regulation B13 of the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 unlawfully discriminated against particular classes of disabled housing benefit claimant but not those whose need for a spare room was unrelated to “transparent medical needs” (R (Carmichael and Rourke) (formerly known as MA and others) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions; R (Day and others) (formerly known as MA and others) v SSWP; R (A) v SSWP; R (Rutherford and another) v SSWP).
Property and planning:
- The Home Loss Payments (Prescribed Amounts) (Wales) Regulations 2016 have been made and will come into force on 5 December 2016.
- Natural England has published updated guidance on hedgerow protection.
- The ECJ has handed down a ruling on a preliminary reference from an Italian court regarding the compatibility of national law with the EU procurement rules regarding the exclusion of tenderers (Ciclat Soc. coop. v Consip SpA).
- The Welsh Government has announced that all electricity for public services will be purchased from renewable sources by 2017.