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- The UK Department for Exiting the European Union and the European Commission have published a joint technical note that summarises and compares the UK and EU positions on citizens’ rights. This note identifies areas of convergence, areas of divergence and areas where further discussion or clarification is required.
- The House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union has published its fourth report of session 2017-19, entitled Brexit: devolution. The report, which highlights the complex overlapping and shared competences within the devolution settlements, considers the impact of Brexit on Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.
- The Law Commission has announced the Welsh government’s acceptance of the majority of the recommendations made in its June 2016 report on the Form and Accessibility of the Law Applicable in Wales.
- The Court of Appeal has upheld a decision that the local authority should not share parental responsibility under a care order, despite findings that the parents failed to protect the child from sexual abuse and the child required residential care (Re B (Children)).
- The Local Government Association has published guidance on the Children and Social Work Act 2017.
- The Lord Chief Justice has given a speech at the opening of the Business and Property Courts for Wales, in which he considered UK dispute resolution post-Brexit.
- The Childcare Act 2016 (Commencement No 2) Regulations 2017 have been made, bringing into force on 1 September 2017 the duty on the Secretary of State for Education to secure that 30 hours of free childcare is available for qualifying children of working parents.
Employment and pensions:
- The Court of Appeal has agreed with the EAT that a tribunal erred in its approach to determining whether a disabled employee was treated unfavourably for the purposes of a claim for discrimination arising from disability under section 15 of the Equality Act 2010 (Williams v The Trustees of Swansea University Pension & Assurance Scheme and another).
- The government has published a series of factsheets including one on workers rights, to accompany the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19.
- The Pensions Ombudsman has held that overpayments from the NHS Injury Benefit Scheme could not be recovered as the member had relied on incorrect reassurances by the scheme that her pension benefits would not be affected by her receipt of state benefits and had spent the excess funds, in good faith, in such a way that had irreversibly changed her position (Determination in a complaint by Mrs S).
- The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, the Department for Transport and the devolved administrations have published the final UK Air Quality Plan for tackling nitrogen dioxide.
FOI and data protection:
- The FTT(IR) has held that:
- a council could rely on the exception in regulation 12(4)(e) (internal communications), amongst others, of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and withhold information arising from a proposed development (Salford City Council v Information Commissioner and another); and
- technical product information submitted by manufacturers for approval by the Vehicle Certification Agency should be disclosed under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and the exceptions under regulations 12(5)(a), (c) and (e) were not engaged (Vehicle Certification Agency v Information Commissioner and another).
- The Information Commissioner’s Office has published its Annual Report and Financial Statements 2016/17.
- The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper discussing the New Homes Bonus scheme in England.
Local government law:
- The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has written to Rotherham Council proposing the return of further functions to the authority.
Property and planning:
- The Court of Appeal has quashed a planning permission on the basis that the planning inspector misdirected himself regarding the policy for the “presumption in favour of sustainable development” in the National Planning Policy Framework (Barwood Strategic Land II LLP v East Staffordshire Borough Council and another).
- The European Commission has adopted Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2017/1358 on the identification of ICT Technical Specifications for referencing in public procurement.
- The Technology and Construction Court has launched the TCC Guidance Note on Procedures for Public Procurement Cases. This protocol, which takes effect immediately, provides guidance on the management of public procurement claims and the singular procedural issues and difficulties which arise in the course of such proceedings.
Regulation and enforcement:
- The Supreme Court has held that Westminster City Council can recover the enforcement portion of its licence application fee for local sex shops (R (Hemming) v Westminster City Council).
Practical Law In brief