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 High Court has:
- imposed a sentence of six months imprisonment for contempt of court on a 71 year old woman who removed a mentally incapacitated man from the UK and failed to comply with court orders requiring her to facilitate his return (Re M); and
- reversed a decision of the Court of Protection to find that provisions in lasting powers of attorney which reappointed the survivor of two attorneys (originally appointed to act jointly) in the event that one of them died or could no longer act were valid (Miles and another v Public Guardian).
- The First Minister of Scotland has announced that a Scottish Independence Referendum Bill will be published in the week commencing 17 October 2016.
- In a High Court hearing to decide the process for triggering Article 50, the government has indicated that MPs will be able to vote on the Brexit deal.
- The Justice Committee has launched an inquiry into the implications of Brexit for the justice system. The Committee seeks written submissions from expert and affected parties to enable it to present recommendations concerning the questions which it will need to address in the eventual Brexit negotiation process.
- The UK’s Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner has launched his first annual report. The report focuses on progress made in the fight against modern slavery, providing examples of significant achievements.
- The Home Secretary has announced £8.5 million of funding to help law enforcement agencies tackle modern slavery.
- The Court of Appeal has allowed an appeal against a finding of abuse of process on the grounds of collateral attack (Shalabayev v JSC BTA Bank).
- The High Court has held that an appeal notice against a decision of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal was out of time when it was filed on the last day of the 28-day period allowed by the Medical Act 1983 and was not accompanied by the correct fee, or a fee exemption application establishing entitlement to exemption (El-Huseini v General Medical Council).
- The Commercial Court has ordered a claimant to provide the name and address of any party that has contributed to his costs (or agreed to do so) in return for a share in any fruits of the litigation, a decision that reminds funders that they cannot bank on anonymity (Wall v The Royal Bank of Scotland plc).
- Lord Justice Jackson has given a lecture on disclosure at the Law Society’s Commercial Litigation Conference, in which he considered the extent to which practitioners and the court were making proper use of the disclosure “menu” options in CPR 31.5.
Employment and pensions:
- The Public Interest Disclosure (Prescribed Persons) (Amendment) Order 2016, which amends the list of prescribed persons to whom disclosures can be made, will come into force on 1 November 2016.
- The EAT has held that an employment judge adopted the correct approach to identifying activities that had been carried out prior to a service provision change (SPC) and that the judge had been entitled to find that the activities carried out by a new contractor after the SPC had been fundamentally the same (Salvation Army Trustee Company v Bahi and others).
- The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on the potential employment law implications arising from Brexit.
- The draft Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016 have been published.
- The Environment Agency has published guidance on flood risk activities that are excluded from the Environmental Permitting regime.
- The waste industry and local authorities have published joint guidelines on household recycling.
- The Shadow Foreign Secretary and the Shadow Secretary for Exiting the European Union have posed 170 questions on Brexit, including several on environmental and energy issues.
FOI and data protection:
- The County Court has awarded a former police officer £9,000 in damages for privacy and data protection law breaches after her personal information was improperly accessed by police forces (Brown v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police).
- The Information Commissioner’s Office has published a new code of practice on privacy notices, which advises on compliance with both the Data Protection Act 1998 and the EU General Data Protection Regulation.
- The High Court has granted an NHS trust’s application for possession of a bedroom occupied by a patient in a hospital care unit (Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust v Price).
Property and planning:
- The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Regulations 2016 have been made and will come into force on 31 October 2016.
- The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on the implications of Brexit for the housing market and the construction industry.
- The Welsh Government has begun a consultation on its proposal for a National Infrastructure Commission for Wales.
- The government has announced that the National Infrastructure Commission will operate as an executive agency.
- The government has published a collection of all procurement policy notes including the most recent PPN 09/16 Procuring Growth Balanced Scorecard. PPN 09/16 refers to new guidance, which sets out how to adopt a balanced scorecard approach and serves as a tool to guide public procurers in balancing relatively straightforward matters such as cost against more complex issues such as social and wider economic considerations when designing their procurement approaches.
- The European Commission has published a speech by Margrethe Vestager, Competition Commissioner, in which she discussed the use of the state aid rules to support investment and protect competition.
Regulation and enforcement:
- The Criminal Finances Bill 2016-17 has been introduced to the House of Commons. It contains provisions concerning the proceeds of crime, proposing amendments to existing legislation to investigations, money laundering, civil recovery and enforcement powers, concerning terrorist property, and creates a new corporate offence of failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion.
- The Health and Safety Executive has announced that a council has pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and been fined £40,000.