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- The High Court has held that an Order limiting legal aid to UK residents was ultra vires and discriminatory (R (Public Law Project) v Secretary of State for Justice).
- The High Court has:
- held that where a matter is settled it is a matter of discretion for the relevant judge as to whether a judgment is handed down (Greenwich Inc Limited v Dowling and others); and
- refused to hand down a costs order after the parties had settled all issues in their claim without agreeing on costs and had subsequently asked the court to determine costs only (RG Spiller Ltd v Derhalli and another).
- The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill 2014-15 has received its second reading in the House of Commons.
- The Insurance Bill 2014-15 has received its first reading in the House of Lords.
Education and children’s services:
- The High Court has:
- given guidance on when safeguarding enquiries for third parties in private children proceedings should be undertaken (Re D (Child)); and
- made an interim care order following the removal of a newborn baby from its mother as a result of an emergency protection order (X County Council v M and Others).
- The DfE has published:
Employment and pensions:
- The Court of Appeal has held that:
- an employer could not increase the disciplinary sanction it imposed following an appeal by the employee that would have resulted in the employee’s dismissal (McMillan v Airedale NHS Foundation Trust); and
- a Crown guarantee given on BT’s privatisation in 1984 covered the liabilities for a majority of members who joined the pension scheme post-privatisation (Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport v BT Pension Scheme Trustees Ltd and another).
- The Advocate General has given his opinion on the extent to which EU law protects obese workers from discrimination, stating that severe or morbid obesity could be considered to be disability under the Equal Treatment Framework Directive (FOA, acting on behalf of Karsten Kaltoft v Kommunernes Landsforening, acting on behalf of the Muncipality of Billund).
- The High Court had stated that a prohibition in the Police Pensions Regulations 1987, preventing the payment of a child’s pension to an illegitimate daughter of a police office who died before she was born, was unlawful (Oxer-Patey v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis).
- The EAT has held that an employer was bound by rates of pay set out in a letter from a HR consultant investigating a grievance about employees’ pay (Hershaw and others v Sheffield City Council).
- The Pensions Ombudsman has held that a member who claimed that she was not informed about the rules governing the Teachers’ Pension Scheme which prevented her from receiving a tax-free lump sum after the age of 75 had not suffered an injustice (Chapman (PO-597)).
- The Court of Appeal has held that the tort of conversion does not apply to copies of documents or intangible property as part of environmental investigations (Environment Agency v Churngold Recycling Ltd).
- The High Court has:
- held that the claimants were entitled to damages after DECC proposed to cut its feed-in tariff scheme for solar photovoltaic on short notice and retrospectively, resulting in a breach of Article 1 of the First Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights (Breyer Group plc and others v Department of Energy and Climate Change); and
- quashed a decision by DECC, holding instead that Drax Power Ltd had demonstrated that without the grant of a investment contract there was a significant risk that the electricity generation to which the contract related would not occur or be significantly delayed (R(Drax Power Ltd) v Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change).
- The government has:
- The Housing (Right to Buy) (Maximum Percentage Discount) (England) Order 2014 has been made and came into force on 21 July 2014.
- The High Court has held that a local housing authority was entitled to consider charging a nil or peppercorn rent when providing accommodation under section 206 of the Housing Act 1996 (R (Yekini) v London Borough of Southwark).
Information and data protection:
- The Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill 2014-15 has been given Royal Assent.
- The Upper Tribunal has held that FOIA cannot be used to obtain details of respondents to employment tribunal claims (Peninsula Business Services Ltd v Information Commissioner and others).
- Draft guidance has been published on covert surveillance and property interference and covert human intelligence sources under RIPA.
- The European Commission has published guidelines on the re-use of public sector data.
- The ICO has published its annual report for 2013/14.
- The Registration of Civil Partnerships (Fees) Order 2014 has been made.
- The Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Fees) (Amendment) Order 2014 and Marriage of Same Sex Couples (Registration of Buildings and Appointment of Authorised Persons (Amendment) Regulations 2014 have been made.
- The High Court has held that:
- a local authority had conducted a flawed consultation exercise and failed to consider alternative proposals when looking at reducing its existing library provision (Draper v Lincolnshire County Council); and
- a local authority was in breach of its contract by freezing care home rates (Abbeyfield Newcastle Upon Tyne Society Limited v Newcastle City Council).
- The government has announced that it intended to introduce legislation to exempt travel expenses payments to local councillors from income tax and national insurance contributions.
- A White Paper has been published on reforming local government in Wales.
Property and planning:
- The Planning Act 2008 (Commencement No 2) (Wales) Order 2014 has been made and will come into force on 8 August 2014.
- English Heritage has published a consultation on historic environment good practice advice notes in planning.
- The General Court has annulled a European Parliament tender decision (Polska Sp zoo v European Parliament).
- The government has issued several publications on infrastructure and infrastructure cost.
Regulation and enforcement: