REUTERS | Dani Cardona

In brief for week ending 17 August 2016

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.

Civil litigation:

  • The High Court has refused a time extension for filing a defence and, in doing so, considered the impact of a defendant filing a defence late on a claimant’s application for a default judgment (Billington v Davies and another).
  • The County Court has ordered a defendant NHS trust to pay the claimant’s costs on discontinuance, following its failure to comply with the Pre-Action Protocol for Personal Injury Claims (Chapman v Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust).


  • The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper addressing frequently asked questions about academies and free schools in England.
  • The Department for Education has published a consultation on proposals to change the way that it funds free childcare and early years education.

Employment and pensions:

  • The Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 (Commencement No 4 and Transitional Provisions) Order 2016 brought section 65 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 into force on 8 August 2016.
  • HMRC has published:
    • responses to its consultation on simplifying tax and NICs on termination payments together with draft legislation; and
    • a consultation document on restricting the use of salary sacrifice for the provision of benefits in kind.
  • The Women and Equalities House of Commons Select Committee has published a report on its findings that Muslims, and in particular, Muslim women, face considerable inequalities in employment.
  • The Supreme Court has ordered a reference to the ECJ in relation to the UK’s application of Council Directive 79/7/EEC, which provides for equal treatment between the sexes in matters of social security (MB v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions).


  • HMRC has published a consultation on whether to extend the exemptions to the aggregates levy to include aggregate extracted when laying utility pipes.

FOI and data protection:

  • The ECJ has held that a standard term under which a contract concluded with a consumer is to be governed by the law of the member state in which the supplier is established is unfair, insofar as it gives the consumer the impression that only the law of that member state applies, without informing him that he also enjoys the protection of the mandatory provisions of the law that would otherwise be applicable (Verein für Konsumenteninformation v Amazon EU Sàrl).
  • The ICO has:
    • published a blog post summarising the position on EU-US data transfers following the introduction of the EU-US Privacy Shield;
    • fined a council £100,000 after social care files containing personal details were found in a disused building in breach of the seventh data protection principle of the Data Protection Act 1998; and
    • issued a medical practice with a £40,000 fine for an unauthorised release of confidential information about a patient in breach of the Data Protection Act 1998.


  • The High Court has held that the Care Quality Commission had an obligation to carry out an independent review of a report it had prepared following an inspection of a GP practice operated by the claimant, in light of factual inaccuracies that had been identified in the report (SSP Health Limited v Care Quality Commission).


  • The High Court has dismissed a claim that a council’s decision not to allocate a two bedroom property in accordance with its social housing allocation policy was unlawful (Jones v Luton Borough Council).

Property and planning:

Regulation and enforcement:

  • The Senior Presiding Judge for England and Wales has published a tenth newsletter in which he sets out the measurable success of the introduction of Better Case Management since 5 January 2016.
Practical Law In brief

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