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 considered the approach to take in cross-border capacity cases in its decision to set aside an order of the Court of Protection after the appellant refused to give effect to the court order (Re MM (A Patient)).
- A legal opinion written by five leading EU lawyers on the constitutional requirements for the UK leaving the EU has been published by solicitors instructed to act on behalf of the “People’s Challenge”, a group that took part in the Supreme Court case R (Miller and Santos v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union).
- The House of Lords Library has published a briefing paper on the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill 2017, which had its second reading in the House of Lords on 20 and 21 February 2017.
- The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on Parliament’s role in ratifying treaties.
- The Family Court has confirmed that an amount awarded for damages for a Human Rights Act 1998 claim against a local authority should not be significantly increased to avoid the effect of the legal aid statutory charge (Re CZ (Human Rights Claim: Costs)).
- The Court of Appeal has:
- dismissed an appeal against a Technology and Construction Court decision that an extension of time should run contiguously from the existing date for completion (Carillion Construction Ltd v Emcor Engineering Services Ltd and another); and
- delivered a “short form judgment” in an appeal against the revocation of a deportation order. With the encouragement of the Master of the Rolls, the court may in future use this format for appellate decisions in appropriate cases (BS (Congo) v Secretary of State for the Home Department).
- The TCC has dismissed a challenge to an arbitrator’s award brought pursuant to sections 68 and 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (Halcrow Group Ltd v Blackpool Borough Council and another).
- There have been some changes to Jackson LJ’s forthcoming fixed recoverable costs seminars in London and Cardiff.
Employment and pensions:
- The Trade Union Act 2016 (Commencement No 3 and Transitional) Regulations 2017 will bring the main provisions of the Trade Union Act 2016 into force on 1 March 2017.
- The Wales Act 2017 confirms that employment is a reserved matter, including trade union law.
- The Court of Appeal has:
- upheld the judgments of an employment tribunal and the EAT that a plumber was a worker for the purposes of the Employment Rights Act 1996 and the Working Time Regulations 1998 as well as an employee within the extended meaning of that term in the Equality Act 2010. This finding was despite the plumber’s contract labelling him as an independent contractor (Pimlico Plumbers Ltd and Mullins v Smith); and
- considered whether a pre-existing collective agreement with a “sweetheart union” could prevent an application from an independent trade union for statutory recognition (The Pharmacists’ Defence Association Union v Boots Management Services Ltd and Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills).
- An employment tribunal has held that an employer’s attempt to bypass a recognised trade union by negotiating directly with individual employees amounted to unlawful inducement contrary to section 145B of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (Dunkley and others v Kostal UK Ltd).
- The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has published guidance on applying for hydraulic fracturing (fracking) consent under section 4A of the Petroleum Act 1998.
- The Environment Agency has updated its guidance on the exemption for waste storage under the environmental permitting regime.
- The Mayor of London has announced that a new vehicle pollution tax, the T-charge, would apply from 23 October 2017 in the London congestion charge area.
FOI and data protection:
- The Court of Appeal has overturned a High Court decision and ordered compliance with a valid subject access request as efforts made so far to comply had been inadequate (Dawson-Damer and others v Taylor Wessing LLP).
Local government law:
- The High Court has held that a council, in its disposal of open space land, had breached its statutory duty under section 123 of the Local Government Act 1972 to obtain the best consideration reasonably obtainable (Whitstable Society v Canterbury City Council).
Property and planning:
- The government has published an independent report on the effectiveness of the Community Infrastructure Levy.
- The Department for Communities and Local Government has published a consultation seeking views on planning and affordable housing policies intended to speed up the development of large scale, purpose-built privately rented housing (Build to Rent).
- The General Court has dismissed an appeal in relation to the rejection by the European Medicines Agency of candidates put forward in a request for services under a framework contract (European Dynamics Luxembourg SA, Evropaïki Dynamiki – Proigmena Systimata Tilepikoinonion Pliroforikis kai Tilematikis AE, établie à Athènes and European Dynamics Belgium SA v European Medicines Agency).
- The Government and the European Union have published state aid and technical assistance guidance documents in relation to the European Structural and Investment Funds.
- The Crown Commercial Service has published Procurement Policy Note 01/17-The Transparency of Suppliers and Government to the Public.
Regulation and enforcement:
- The Department for Transport has published a consultation on the introduction of a public service obligation levy for open access rail passenger operators to contribute towards the provision of public service obligations.