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 Public Sector email.
- The Court of Appeal has:
- overturned a costs order made on the basis of the claimant’s failure correctly to characterise her legal cause of action (Begum v Birmingham City Council);
- held that the ex turpi causa or illegality defence did not apply to a personal injury claim brought by an individual against a negligent driver (McCracken v Smith and others); and
- dismissed an appeal against a decision that a firm of solicitors had failed properly to advise its client, and confirmed the need for standard form letters of advice to be sufficiently clear to ensure that clients properly understand the nature of the advice (Procter v Raleys Solicitors (A Firm)).
- The High Court has considered an application for judicial review of a decision by a circuit judge that was unappealable under the Civil Procedure Rules (R (Ogunbiyi) v Southend County Court).
- The Court of Appeal has rejected a motorist’s appeal against a charge of £85 levied on him for overstaying the two hour period of free parking in a car park, considering whether the charge was unenforceable at common law as a penalty, or whether it was unfair and therefore unenforceable under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 (ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis).
- The International Chamber of Commerce has launched a new, free-to-download cyber security guide for business. The new guide outlines how businesses can optimise their ability to identify and manage evolving cyber security risks.
Education and children’s services:
- The Court of Appeal has confirmed that there is no presumption in favour of a natural parent being a child’s primary carer. Whether this factor is determinative depends on the facts of the particular case (E-R (A Child)).
Employment and pensions:
- The EAT has:
- held that an employment judge erred when he sat alone to hear claims for unfair dismissal and detriment for trade union membership or activity (Birring v Rogers and Moore t/a Charity Link);
- upheld an employment tribunal decision to make a costs award against a claimant, despite the claimant’s current inability to pay (Chadburn v Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and another); and
- overturned a finding of “harassment by hearsay” because the tribunal ignored relevant evidence, took irrelevant considerations into account, and wrongly allowed the claim to be presented out of time (Habinteg Housing Association Ltd v Holleron).
- The DECC has published revised guidance for appeals under the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC). The guidance explains how the appeals process has changed, following simplification of the CRC by the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme Order 2013.
FOI and data protection:
- The Court of Appeal has ruled that the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority must disclose copies of original receipts and invoices under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority v Information Commissioner and another).
- The Local Government (Democracy) (Wales) Act 2013 (Commencement No 2) Order 2015 has been made, and brings into force from 1 May 2015 several provisions of the Local Government (Democracy) (Wales) Act 2013.
- The DCLG has issued directions to the London Borough of Tower Hamlets under section 15(5) of the Local Government Act 1999.
Public procurement and state aid:
- The General Court has upheld an appeal by a Greek company in relation to two different procurement processes organised by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Co-operation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Evropaïki Dynamiki – Proigmena Systimata Tilepikoinonion Pliroforikis kai Tilematikis AE v European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders (FRONTEX)).
- The Advocate General has handed down his opinion on a reference from the Sicilian Council of Administrative Justice regarding the application of Directive 89/665 and on the conformity of Italian legislation with Article 267 of the TFEU regarding whether a court or tribunal is able to make a reference to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling (Puligienica Facility Esco SpA (PFE) v Airgest Spa, Advocate General’s opinion of 23 April 2015).
- The European Commission has:
- launched a consultation to evaluate the effectiveness of Directive 2007/66 on public procurement remedies; and
- announced its decisions that seven measures proposed by the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK for the grant of public support to purely local operations do not involve state aid within the meaning of EU rules, because they are unlikely to have a significant effect on trade between member states.
Regulation and enforcement:
- The High Court has held that individuals such as newspaper editors may be convicted under section 39(2) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 of the offence of breaching reporting restrictions, which are applicable to “any person who publishes” certain matter relating to a child in breach of a court order or injunction (Aitken v DPP).