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.
- The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19 has received its second reading in the House of Commons and passed by a majority of 36.
- The House of Lords Constitution Committee has published an invitation to contribute to its inquiry on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19.
- The government has responded to the House of Lords European Union Committee’s report on Brexit and devolution.
- HM Treasury has announced that the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, will deliver his first Autumn Budget to Parliament on Wednesday 22 November 2017.
- The First Minister of Wales has announced that a new Commission on Justice in Wales, chaired by the outgoing Lord Chief Justice, will review the justice system and policing in Wales.
- The Children and Social Work Act 2017 (Commencement No 1) Regulations 2017 have been made, bringing certain sections of the Children and Social Work Act 2017 into force on 31 October 2017.
- The High Court has confirmed that granting a child asylum is an absolute bar to making a return order under the 1980 Hague Convention (FE v YE).
- HM Courts and Tribunals Service and the President of the Family Division have published ‘E-working in the family jurisdiction and our plans for reform’. The briefing provides an update on future plans for digital working in the family jurisdiction.
- The Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman has found a local authority at fault for not providing a grandmother with information about financial assistance when she, supported by the local authority, was granted a residence order thereby averting care proceedings (Investigation into a complaint against Royal Borough of Greenwich).
- The President of the Family Division has made a revised version of Practice Direction (PD) 12J of the Family Procedure Rules 2010 about child arrangements orders and domestic abuse and harm, after consultation with various bodies following the review of PD 12J by Cobb J in 2016. It will come into force on 2 October 2017.
- The High Court has held that a claim form had been validly served as it had been posted within the period of its validity, as extended by a court order, in accordance with CPR 7.5. The deemed date of service, which in this case fell outside the period of validity of the claim form, did not determine when service was actually effected (Jones v Chichester Harbour Conservancy and others).
- The Ministry of Justice has published statistics relating to privacy injunctions for the period January to June 2017, and has also published revised figures for 2016 following a data improvement exercise.
- The 91st CPR update, which introduces new PD 51S (The County Court Online Pilot) has been published. The new PD came into force on 12 September 2017.
- The High Court has set out its approach to the identification of third parties who can enforce contract terms under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 where they are not named in the contract (Chudley v Clydesdale Bank plc (t/a Yorkshire Bank)).
- The Commercial Court Guide, the Circuit Commercial Court Guide (formerly the Mercantile Court Guide) and the Financial List Guide have been republished.
- The Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman has upheld a complaint against the council on the basis that it failed to ensure that the complainants’ son (S) received the support required by his statement of special educational needs. The council’s failings had disadvantaged S who had missed out on 23 months of support (Investigation into a complaint against London Borough of Redbridge).
- The Department for Education has published the final National Funding Formula for schools for 2018-19 and 2019-20.
Employment and pensions:
- The Trade Union (Wales) Act 2017 came into force on 13 September 2017, disapplying certain provisions of TULRCA in relation to devolved Welsh authorities.
- The Advocate General has given an opinion on the interaction between the Pregnant Workers Directive and the Collective Redundancies Directive (Porras Guisado v Bankia SA and others).
- The Ministry of Justice has published the statistics for tribunals for the period April to June 2017.
- The High Court has given its decision on an application for judicial review of the February 2017 amendments to the Civil Procedure Rules relating to the variation of costs caps in Aarhus Convention claims (R (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Friends of the Earth Ltd and another) v Secretary of State for Justice and another).
- The Environment Agency has announced that a utilities company has pleaded guilty to polluting a river with untreated sewage effluent in breach of permitting conditions and been fined £666,000 in the Crown Court.
- The UK Environmental Law Association has published a report containing a detailed analysis of the international conventions to which the UK is a party and that will continue to be binding after withdrawing from the EU.
FOI and data protection:
- The Data Protection Bill 2017-19 has been given a first reading in the House of Lords. This formality signals the start of the Bill’s passage through the Lords. A second reading including general debate on all aspects of the Bill is scheduled for 10 October 2017.
- The Home Office has published guidance on law enforcement processing aspects of the Data Protection Bill 2017-19, which seeks to update the data protection laws governing the processing of personal data by the police, prosecutors and other criminal justice agencies.
- The European Commission has:
- proposed a Regulation designed to establish a framework for the free flow of non-personal data within the EU;
- issued a consultation on the review of the Re-use of Public Sector Information Directive; and
- issued a proposal for a Regulation on ENISA (the EU cybersecurity agency) and on cybersecurity certification for information and communication technology, together with a Joint Communication on building strong cybersecurity for the EU and a Recommendation to member states for a co-ordinated EU response to cross-border large-scale cyber-attacks.
- The National Audit Office has published cyber security and information risk guidance for audit committees.
- The draft Health and Safety Investigations Bill has been published and laid before Parliament. Eight factsheets, explaining how the new legal powers set out in the Bill will improve patient safety, have also been published alongside the Bill.
Local government law:
- The First-tier Tribunal (Charity) has dismissed an appeal against a Charity Commission scheme made in relation to land used to provide allotment gardens (Densham v Charity Commission for England and Wales).
- The Department for Communities and Local Government has published a consultation on the government’s proposals for updating the criteria disqualifying individuals from being elected, or holding office as a local authority member or directly elected mayor.
Property and planning:
- The High Court has held that a planning enforcement notice could not be rectified under section 176(1)(a) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as the amendments required to the notice were extensive and would have caused injustice to the subject of the enforcement notice (Sarodia v Redbridge LBC).
- The Land Registry has published a new standard form CNG (Change of Gender).
Public procurement and state aid:
- The ECJ has:
- held that a tenderer can be excluded when a member of its bidding consortium loses its accreditation (Casertana Costruzioni Srl v Ministerio delle Infrastrutture e dei Trasporti, Provveditorato Interregionale per le opera pubbliche della Campania e del Molise, Agenzia Regionale Campana per la Difesa del Suolo A.R.Ca.Di.S);
- handed down its judgment on a preliminary ruling request from the Polish Supreme Court in relation to whether an obligation to purchase electricity produced by co-generation constituted state aid (ENEA SA w Poznaniu v Prezes Urzędu Regulacji Energetyki); and
- handed down its judgment on the European Commission’s referral of Belgium to the ECJ for failure to recover aid granted to fund screening tests for BSE (Commission v Belgium).
- A European Commission notice on state aid recovery interest rates and reference/discount rates for all 28 EU member states applicable from 1 October 2017 has been published in the Official Journal.
Regulation and enforcement:
- The Criminal Procedure (Amendment No 4) Rules 2017 will come into force on 13 November 2017 and amend the Criminal Procedure Rules 2015 by adding rules to require magistrates’ courts and the Crown Court to collect the name, date of birth and nationality of the defendant.
Practical Law In brief