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- The House of Lords has considered and agreed the amendments put forward by the House of Commons on the outstanding issues regarding judicial review in Part 4 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill 2013-14 to 2014-15.
- The High Court has:
- refused to deprive a successful claimant in a preliminary issue trial of its costs for failing to submit a revised costs budget to cover that issue (Simpson v MGN Ltd and another); and
- ruled on the effect on costs of several Part 36 offers made by a claimant and a defendant (Uwug Ltd and another v Ball).
Education and social services:
- The Court of Protection has held that an elderly man had been unlawfully deprived of his liberty by a local authority (Essex County Council v RF).
- The Family Court has:
- departed from the recommendations of an independent social worker and permitted a mother to permanently relocate a child from the UK to Russia (S v G); and
- confirmed that female genital mutilation in whatever form will satisfy the threshold criteria under section 31 of the Children Act 1989 (Re B and G (Children) (No 2)).
- The DfE has revised the Children Act 1989 guidance and regulations Volume 3: planning transition to adulthood for care leavers, providing clarification about the provision of bed and breakfast accommodation to care leavers.
Employment and pensions:
- The European Court of Human Rights has held that the dismissal of a Latvian university professor was an unjustified interference with his right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (Rubins v Latvia).
- The EAT has:
- upheld an employment judge’s decision in a claim brought by part-time workers, ruling that the work done by their comparators was not the same or broadly similar (Moultrie and others v Ministry of Justice); and
- held that a tribunal erred when it found that an appeal hearing could not be effective unless there had been a decision to reinstate the employee and that this decision had been communicated to them (Salmon v (1) Castlebeck Care (Teesdale) Ltd (In Administration) (2) Danshell Healthcare Ltd and others); and
- considered the fairness of a dismissal where the reason is a “composite” one resulting from the cumulative effect of a number of incidents, and restated the importance of evaluating employer’s reasons for dismissal “as a whole” (Robinson v Combat Stress).
- Acas has published a draft revised Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures in relation to the right to be accompanied at disciplinary and grievance hearings.
- The government has published its response following the consultation on the draft National Minimum Wage (Consolidation) Regulations.
- The Feed-in Tariffs (Amendment) Order 2015 will come into force on 1 April 2015.
- The DCLG has published a discussion paper on preventing “backdoor” charging at household waste recycling centres in England.
- The High Court has held that the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government indirectly discriminated against gypsies and travellers under section 19 of the Equality Act 2010 and breached the public sector equality duty under the section 149 by “recovering” all planning appeals by gypsies and travellers concerning applications on green belt land (Moore and another v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government).
FOI and data protection:
- The CMA has issued a call for information in relation to the commercial use of consumer data.
- The High Court has dismissed a judicial review application challenging a local housing authority’s decision that an applicant was not eligible for admission to its housing register because she did not fulfil the relevant allocation scheme residency criteria (R (Hillsden) v Epping Forest District Council).
- The DCLG has published a review into the role of local authorities in housing supply.
- The Welsh Government has published consultations on:
- an amended version of the code of guidance for local authorities on the allocation of accommodation and homelessness; and
- proposals to end the right to buy and right to acquire regimes in Wales.
- The DCLG has published a summary of responses and its response to its consultation on retaining business rates for shale oil and gas sites.
Property and planning:
- The Court of Appeal has upheld a High Court decision, holding that criminal trespass should not have an adverse effect on a claim for adverse possession of registered land (Best v Chief Land Registrar).
- The TCC has:
- awarded an adjoining owner the costs of obtaining an injuction preventing a building owner from breaching a party wall award (Chliaifchtein v Wainbridge Estates Belgravia Ltd); and
- has granted a declaration that a final certificate is conclusive evidence in relation to matters raised in proceedings commenced outside the contractual 28-day period for challenging it (The Trustees of the Marc Gilbard 2009 Settlement Trust v OD Developments and Projects Ltd).
- The government has withdrawn the proposed amendments to the Infrastructure Bill that would have introduced a reformed Electronic Communications Code.
- The DCLG has published its response to a consultation for planning application process improvements.
- The High Court has:
- dismissed a claim challenging HM Treasury’s decision that the government’s new tax free childcare scheme will be administered by National Savings and Investments via a private company (R (Edenred (UK Group) Limited) v HM Treasury and others); and
- held that there is no discretion in relation to the grant of damages for losses suffered as a result of the public procurement rules (Energy Solutions EU Ltd v Nuclear Decommissioning Authority).
Practical Law In brief