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- The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on the future framework for human rights in Scotland.
- The Court of Appeal has reviewed the terms of the reporting restrictions order in place for the rehearing of care proceedings concerning a child’s injuries and death (Re W (Children)).
- The Association of Directors of Children’s Services and CAFCASS have jointly produced new social work statement templates for use in new care proceedings issued from 29 February 2016.
- In an address at the annual dinner of the Family Law Bar Association, the President of the Family Division provided an update on the timetable for implementation of family law reforms.
- The Civil Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2016 have been made and will mainly enter into force on 6 April 2016. A related practice direction making document has also been made, introducing a substantial number of amended court forms and new court forms for use in the Chancery Division.
- The Court of Appeal has set out the correct approach to be taken by judges when considering whether to certify an application for permission to apply for judicial review as “totally without merit” (R (Wasif ) v Secretary of State for the Home Department).
- The High Court has adjourned a trial to allow various applications for disclosure and encouraged the parties to co-operate in resolving some remaining issues on the scope of the disclosure exercise (Vilca and others v Xstrata Ltd and another).
- The Judicial Executive Board has issued a consultation paper proposing reforms to the existing guidance for McKenzie Friends.
- The Law Society has issued a response to Lord Justice Briggs’ civil courts structure review interim report.
- The Equality and Human Rights Commission has issued guidance on avoiding unlawful discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 in advertisements for jobs, goods, services, facilities, and accommodation.
- The Competition and Markets Authority, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute and UK Interactive Entertainment have responded to BIS’s call for evidence on the European Commission’s draft digital content and online sale of goods directives.
- The School Governance (Constitution and Federations) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2016 have been made and will partially come into force on 18 March 2016, with the remainder coming into force on 1 September 2016.
Employment and pensions:
- The Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, part of the European Parliament, has called for a review of the Parental Leave Directive with the aim of promoting, among other things, greater take-up of leave by fathers.
- BIS has published the government’s response to a consultation on reforming the regulatory framework for the recruitment sector, affecting employment agencies and employment businesses.
- Several statutory instruments have been finalised relating to the introduction of the new state pension and abolition of defined benefit contracting-out in April 2016.
- The Pensions Ombudsman has held that the date when a six-year limitation period relating to an action for recovery of pension overpayments should be regarded as having stopped is the date when the scheme administrator first sought recovery of the overpayments (Determination in a complaint by Mr N Webber).
- The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2016 have been made and came into force on 24 February 2016. The Regulations aim to simplify the packaging regime in Great Britain.
- Defra and the Welsh Government have published guidance for local or other competent authorities on wild bird habitats.
- Natural England has launched a consultation on proposed new policies for European protected species licensing in England.
- The Independent Commission on Freedom of Information has published its report reviewing the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The government has also published its response to the report.
- The government has published a consultation on data sharing in the public sector, focusing on data held by public sector organisations and how data is accessed and used, including how data sharing can be enabled.
- The Information Commissioner’s Office has published:
Local government law:
- The Local Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) (Wales) (Amendment) Order 2016 has been made and will come into force on 1 April 2016. The Order amends Schedule 1 to the Local Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) (Wales) Order 2008 which sets out a model code of conduct for members and co-opted members of relevant authorities in Wales under section 50(2) of the Local Government Act 2000.
Property and planning:
- The Planning (Wales) Act 2015 (Commencement No 3 and Transitional Provisions) Order 2016 has been made, bringing provisions of the Planning (Wales) Act 2015 into force on 1 and 16 March 2016.
- The Historic Environment (Wales) Bill 2016 has been agreed by the National Assembly for Wales.
- The Developments of National Significance (Specified Criteria and Prescribed Secondary Consents) (Wales) Regulations 2016 have been made and came into force on 1 March 2016.
- The Department for Communities and Local Government and the Mayor of London have published a consultation on upward extensions in London, considering how to enable developers to build “up” to increase housing supply.
- The Law Society has published a practice note which sets out new guidance on the implications for conveyancing practice of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (as amended by the Consumer Protection (Amendment) Regulations 2014).
- The Concession Contracts (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2016 have been made and will come into force on 18 April 2016. The regulations correct drafting errors in the Concession Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2016.
Regulation and enforcement:
- The Home Office has published four separate codes of practice that will cover the operation of the various powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. The codes of practice came into force on 1 March 2016.
- The government has published an independent review of how the UK consumer product recall regime is working, together with its response to recommendations made in the review.