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- Updated versions of court forms N510 (Notice for service out of the jurisdiction where permission of the court is not required), N242A (Offer to settle), N161 (Appellant’s notice), N161A (Guidance notes on completing form N161 – Appellant’s notice), N260 (Statement of costs (summary assessment)) and the Precedent H Guidance Notes have been published by HM Courts & Tribunals Service.
- The Court of Appeal has:
- reminded practitioners that the Children Act 1989 and Adoption and Children Act 2002 welfare checklists are not identical and require an exploration of the effect of change on the child, and also clarified that the status quo argument to keep a child in a current placement must be considered in the context of an individual case (Re M’P-P (Children)); and
- considered the weight that the merits of an appeal have on an application for an extension of time to appeal, also advising that final orders should contain standard wording about appeal deadlines to assist litigants in person (Re H (Children)).
- The High Court has:
- made an interim secure accommodation order where no secure placement had been identified. The situation was exceptional and urgent enough to justify the order (Re A);
- decided whether, in intercountry Hague Convention adoptions, the prospective adopters’ home must be in the UK before an application is made and whether the court can dispense with a parent’s consent to adoption (Re S & T (Children)); and
- given leave to oppose an adoption application when wider family came forward late because of the father’s concealment and deception. The court gave guidance about local authority practice and the advice prospective adopters should receive (Re LG (A Child)).
- Two draft orders relating to enforcement under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 have been laid in Parliament.
- The High Court has decided that various limitations of liability in standard term contracts were, in principle, unreasonable under UCTA (Saint Gobain Building Distribution Ltd (t/a International Decorative Surfaces) v Hillmead Joinery (Swindon) Ltd).
- The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on the Education and Adoption Bill 2015-16. The briefing paper provides information on various matters including a summary of the education clauses and the adoption clauses, and a background to the schools measures and the adoption functions.
Employment and pensions:
- Advocate General Bot has given his opinion in a case before the European Court of Justice that for peripatetic workers, the time spent travelling from their home to their first assignment, and from their last assignment back to their home, constitutes “working time” for the purposes of the Working Time Directive (Federación de Servicios Privados del sindicato Comisiones Obreras v Tyco Integrated Security SL and another).
- The EAT has:
- held that a client’s instruction to a service provider to remove a particular employee from the group of employees carrying out the service did not, in itself, mean that the employee was no longer assigned to the “organised grouping of employees” for the purposes of a service provision change under TUPE (Jakowlew v Nestor Primecare Services Ltd (t/a Saga Care) and another); and
- held that two related allegations of discrimination arising from the same disciplinary process, necessitated two separate comparators (CP Regents Park Two Ltd v Ilyas).
- The Planning (Hazardous Substances) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 have been made and came into force on 10 June 2015.
- The DECC has confirmed that the Renewables Obligation will close to new onshore wind generation from 1 April 2016, a year earlier than it closes to most renewable technologies.
- The Environment Agency has announced that new UK waste classification guidance, Guidance on the classification and assessment of waste (1st edition 2015) Technical Guidance (WM3), will apply from 1 July 2015. WM3 replaces Hazardous waste: interpretation of the definition and classification of hazardous waste (WM2).
- Several bodies in the plastics industry have launched the Plastics Industry Recycling Action Plan.
- The Welsh Government has launched a consultation on a draft strategy for promoting energy efficiency in Wales. The consultation closes on 9 September 2015.
- Natural Resources Wales have launched a consultation on changes to standard rules under the Environmental Permitting regime, following changes made by the Industrial Emissions Directive 2010.
FOI and data protection:
- The Information Commissioner has published a decision ordering DEFRA to disclose the unredacted version of a report on the impacts of shale gas fracking.
- The EU’s Justice and Home Affairs Council has:
- agreed a general approach on the proposed Data Protection Regulation adopted by the European Commission in January 2012.
- adopted a general approach on the European Commission’s proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data.
- The High Court has:
- held that a council’s allocation scheme suspending certain applicants from bidding for social housing for 12 months was unlawful (R (Alemi) v Westminster City Council); and
- held that an agreement for an uncertain term did not automatically become a lease for 90 years by operation of law (Southward Housing Co-operative Ltd v Walker and others).
- A new section 215A has been inserted into the Housing Act 2004 by section 32 of the Deregulation Act 2015, extending the tenancy deposit scheme requirements to assured shorthold tenancies created before 6 April 2007 where certain criteria are satisfied.
- The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that in balancing the applicant’s Article 10 right to freedom of expression against the complainant’s conflicting Article 8 right to reputation a Finnish court had not paid sufficient attention to the “journalistic” hue of a case in which both parties were journalists (Niskasaari and Otavamedia OY v Finland).
Property and planning:
- The High Court has:
- made an order under section 181(1) of the Law of Property Act 1925 to vest a new freehold interest in land in a third party that had an option over freehold land which had been subject to escheat (Quadracolour Limited v Crown Estate Commissioners); and
- considered the limitation period for a claim for compulsory purchase compensation (Saunders v Caerphilly County Borough Council).
- The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has held that a landowner’s reference for compensation for the temporary possession of a London building in connection with the Crossrail project was not premature or lacking a reasonable prospect of success and should not be struck out (BPP (Farringdon Road) Ltd v Crossrail Ltd).
- The Land Registry is introducing a new form, Form ST5, that can be used as a statement of truth in support of an application to cancel a Form A restriction.
- The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has issued a written statement regarding changes to the consideration of planning applications for onshore wind turbines.
- The European Commission has announced that it has sent a reasoned opinion to Spain asking it to comply with Directive 2004/18 (the Public Sector Procurement Directive) in relation to contracts procured by the Ministry of Defence.
- The Crown Commercial Service has published:
- Procurement Policy Note 10/15 requesting annual statistical returns on public contracts awarded in calendar years 2013 and 2014; and
- Procurement Policy Note 11/15: Acceptance of unstructured electronic invoices by central government authorities, which applies to invoices submitted by suppliers on or after 30 June 2015.
- HM Treasury has published a policy note on early termination of PFI or PPP contracts to reduce the existing costs of such contracts.
- The Court of Appeal has considered two judgments dealing with the streamlining of deprivation of liberty authorisation applications (Re X (Court of Protection Practice)).
- The Court of Protection has ruled that there was no deprivation of liberty in the case of a 28 year old man suffering from autistic spectrum disorder and a mild learning disability (Bournemouth Borough Council v PS and another).
- The Department of Health has published a circular on the maximum chargeable interest rate for deferred payment agreements between 1 July to 31 December 2015.