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In brief for week ending 17 May 2017

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 Court of Appeal has upheld two appeals, heard jointly, of decisions of the Upper Tribunal (UT) concerning the application and discharge of restriction orders and community treatment orders under the Mental Health Act 1983. The UT’s judgments related, respectively, to earlier decisions of the First-tier Tribunal and the Mental Health Review Tribunal for Wales (Secretary of State for Justice v MM, Welsh Ministers v PJ).
  • The First-tier Tribunal has confirmed the decision of the Care Quality Commission to cancel a care home’s registration due to lack of employees, lack of training and inadequate recruitment procedures, amongst other failures (Oakendale Residential Care Home v Care Quality Commission).
  • The Local Government Association has published a paper for local authorities on how to make the best use of scarce resources in adult social care.

Central government:

  • The Law Commission has published an update on its consultation regarding its 13th programme of law reform.

Children’s services:

  • The Court of Appeal has clarified that the National Probation Service has the power to impose licence conditions that restrict contact between a parent and their children (R (ZX) v Secretary of State for Justice).
  • The High Court has:
    • exercised its inherent jurisdiction to order the local authority to arrange a deceased child’s burial arrangements when the parents had taken no action to do so despite the court’s encouragement (Re K (A Child: deceased));
    • dispensed with the service of care proceedings on the mother of the child who was the subject of those proceedings. The “very high degree of exceptionality” test was met due to the grave danger of physical harm to the mother if the court tried to trace her (Hillingdon Council v SM and others); and
    • quashed and declared unlawful a decision to place a child for adoption because the local authority expedited the process when it became aware that the mother intended to apply for leave to revoke the placement order (R (EL) v Essex County Council and another).
  • The Family Court has concluded that the prohibition under section 28 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 to not cause a child placed for adoption to be known by a new surname included both a formal and informal change of surname (Re R and E (children)).

Civil litigation:

  • The Scottish Civil Justice Council is undertaking a comprehensive review of Scotland’s civil procedure rules to reshape the form and structure of the rules.


  • The Joint Contracts Tribunal has announced that it is publishing the final tranche of its 2016 Edition standard form contracts “for despatch on 30 June 2017”.

Employment and pensions:

  • The EAT has refused to exercise its discretion to extend the 42-day time limit for lodging an appeal to the EAT where an appeal was lodged one hour late, at 5.00 pm on the relevant day. Following guidance contained in existing authorities, the EAT held that no good excuse for delay had been shown (J v K and another).
  • The Pensions Ombudsman held that a local authority was not entitled to withhold a member’s LGPS pension benefits to recover debts owed where that member had fraudulently transferred £448,207 from one of the authority’s bank accounts to his own (Determination in a complaint by Mr A).

FOI and data protection:


  • The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal against a decision by a reviewing officer that a final offer of property was suitable for the applicant and it was not unreasonable for her to accept that offer (Poshteh v Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea).

Property and planning:

Public procurement:

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