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:
- Four sets of regulations have been made dealing with care and support in Wales under the Social Services and Well-being Wales Act 2014, covering financial assessment, review of charging decisions and direct payments.
- The High Court has held that a mentally incapacitated patient who died while being treated in an intensive care unit in hospital had not been deprived of her liberty and therefore was not in state detention when she died (LF v HM Senior Coroner for Inner South London and another).
- The Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) has published a report reviewing the number of adult social care complaints the LGO has considered during 2014-2015.
- The Welsh Government has announced that, from 2020, all domiciliary care workers must be registered to work in the social care sector.
- The UK Prime Minister David Cameron has written a letter to the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, setting out his four goals for EU reform talks.
- The Court of Appeal has:
- held that a local authority cannot be vicariously liable and does not owe a child a non-delegable duty for a foster carer’s abuse of a looked after child (NA v Nottinghamshire County Council); and
- confirmed the basis for English courts to make adoption orders in respect of children with foreign citizenship, the types of public children law cases that can be transferred to a court in another EU member state under Article 15 of Brussels II Revised, and reiterated the need to involve central authorities and consular services in such cases (Re N (Children) (Adoption: Jurisdiction)).
- The High Court has held that when dealing with an application under Article 15 of Brussels II Revised to transfer proceedings to a court of another member state, the wishes and feelings of the children are relevant considerations (Medway Council v JB and others).
- The Civil Procedure (Amendment No 5) Rules 2015 have been published and will come into force on 3 December 2015. The practice direction making document relating to the 82nd update to the CPR has also been published, introducing changes to the procedure for electronic communication and filing.
- The High Court has considered an application for a payment on account of costs under CPR 44.2(8) (Rallison v North West London Hospitals NHS).
- The County Court has considered the adjournment or strike out of a claim where the claimant had not attended the trial, and whether to make a costs order in the defendant’s favour that would not be subject to qualified one-way cost shifting (Brahilika v Allianz Insurance Plc).
- In a speech given at the 13th Annual Isaiah Berlin Lecture, entitled Security and Justice, the President of the Queen’s Bench Division, Leveson LJ, has recommended the introduction of online screening of cases in the civil and family courts.
- The Lord Chief Justice has delivered a speech entitled The Centrality of Justice: Its Contribution to Society, and its Delivery, discussing the current court reform programme.
- The Office of the Schools Adjudicator has published its determination in a case concerning whether an academy trust complied with the School Admissions Code when determining its admission arrangements for September 2016.
Employment and pensions:
- The ECJ has:
- ruled that when a worker increases their hours, any statutory annual leave that has already accrued does not need to be recalculated retrospectively to take account of the increased working hours (Greenfield v The Care Bureau Ltd); and
- held that the definition of “redundancy” in the European Collective Redundancies Directive is wide enough to include resignations where an employer has unilaterally made a significant change to essential elements of an employee’s employment contract for reasons not related to the individual and which cause them substantial detriment (Pujante Rivera v Gestora Clubs Dir SL and another).
- The EAT has considered whether a transfer had occurred under TUPE when an employee’s employment was transferred from a sole employer to a group of companies which included the original employer (Hyde Housing Association Ltd and other v Layton).
- Defra has published its six year report on the progress of marine planning in England for the period 2009-15.
- The Law Commission has published a report recommending that a single statute replaces the current legislation regulating wildlife.
FOI and data protection:
- The General Court has dismissed an application for an order to annul decisions by the European Commission in 2014 refusing access to environmental information (ClientEarth v Commission).
- The High Court has held that the section 42 legal professional privilege exemption under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 will only apply where a public authority is made aware that the information sought is for the purpose of litigation (Hallows v Wilson Barca).
- The European Commission has published a Communication on the transfer of personal data from the EU to the US following the ECJ judgment in the case of Maximillian Schrems v Data Protection Commissioner.
- The National Assembly for Wales has passed the Renting Homes (Wales) Bill 2015-16.
- The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on extending the right to buy in England.
Local government law:
- The Court of Appeal has held that a public law defence based on legitimate expectation was not available in relation to a council’s claim to enforce a contract for the transfer of land (Dudley Muslim Association v Dudley Metropolitan Council).
Property and planning:
- The Court of Appeal has held that a fine imposed by the Crown Court for a breach of an enforcement notice was unlawful and manifestly excessive (R v Kohali).
- The Rural Practice Branch of the Association of Chief Estates Surveyors and Property Managers in the Public Sector has worked with the Tenancy Reform Industry Group to produce a good practice guide for local authorities with rural estates.
- The Planning Inspectorate has published a guidance note on the service of purchase notices, and a model form of purchase notice, under section 137 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
- Commission Implementing Regulation 2015/1986 establishing standard forms for the publication of public procurement notices has been published in the Official Journal.
- The ECJ has handed down its ruling on a preliminary reference from a German court on whether contracting authorities can require tenderers to provide minimum hourly wage declarations as part of their bid (RegioPost GmbH & Co KG v Stadt Landau).
- Advocate General Sharpston has given an opinion on questions referred from a Polish court on whether it is permissible to restrict a tenderer’s use of sub-contractors and the implications of errors in the procurement process for EU funded projects (Wrocław – Miasto na prawach powiatu v Minister Infrastruktury i Rozwoju).
Regulation and enforcement:
- The Home Office has announced that taxi and private hire drivers seeking licences will be required to prove they are in the UK legally under proposals set out in the Immigration Bill 2015-16.
- Defra has published the Animal Health and Welfare framework 2015 to 2017. This sets out what local authorities should consider when planning how they will meet their obligations under animal health and welfare legislation.