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In brief for week ending 5 July 2017

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 Local Government email.

Adult social services:

  • The Department of Health has updated its Care and Support statutory guidance.

Central government:

  • The High Court has refused permission to apply for judicial review of a decision to impose diverted profits tax as the statutory review and appeals process provided an effective and appropriate alternative (Glencore Energy UK Ltd v HMRC).
  • The European Commission has published six position papers that it has sent to the EU27 for discussion by the Council Working Party (Article 50). The position papers were prepared by the Commission’s Taskforce on Article 50 negotiations with the UK. The Article 50 Taskforce is responsible for co-ordinating the Commission’s work on all strategic, operational, legal and financial issues related to the Brexit negotiations.
  • The House of Lords European Union Committee has published a report reviewing its work over the 2016-17 parliamentary session. The report includes a summary of its 17 Brexit-related reports and identifies common themes.
  • Linklaters LLP and the International Regulatory Strategy Group have published a report on the Great Repeal Bill which is primarily intended to assist government in its preparations for Brexit. This report looks at the issues surrounding the adoption of EU law as UK law and the adaptation of the EU and EU-derived law that will apply in the UK following its exit from the EU.
  • The Welsh Government has set out its legislative priorities for the coming year, planning five bills addressing various issues.

Children’s services:

  • The Court of Appeal has determined that when the English court is enforcing a private law contact order made by a court in another EU member state, the English court can only give effect to the order if the domestic law allows the order to be made. In particular, a local authority or CAFCASS cannot be compelled to supervise contact in a private law children case (Re M (Children)).

Civil litigation:

  • The High Court has:
    • considered during a costs management conference whether it should make any comment about the incurred costs in the claimant’s costs budget under CPR 3.15. The court also considered whether to rule that the claimant’s costs in relation to the preparation of its budget and dealing with costs management were exceptional so that the cap in paragraph 7.2 of PD 3E could be ignored (Richard v The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and another); and
    • dismissed an application to strike out a claim for abuse of process, on the basis that it was “wholly fraudulent”, after default judgment had been entered and an application to set that aside had not been successful (BCS Corporate Acceptances v Terry).
  • The Civil Procedure Rule Committee has launched a consultation on the enforcement of suspended orders in the County Court and the High Court, in light of the decision in Cardiff v Lee (Flowers).
  • HM Courts & Tribunals Service has:
    • introduced a number of changes to the provision of transcription services across the court system in England and Wales, appointing new suppliers for transcription services; and
    • published an updated version of the Chancery Guide.
  • The new Business and Property Courts of England and Wales will be in operation from October 2017.


  • The Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill 2017-19 has had its first reading in the House of Lords. The date of the second has not yet been announced.
  • The NEC4 suite of contracts and the final tranche of JCT 2016 contracts have been published.
  • The Joint Contracts Tribunal has published the final tranche of its 2016 Edition standard form contracts and guidance.


  • The Welsh Government has published a consultation on revisions to the School Organisation Code. The Code, which underpins the provisions introduced by the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013, has applied to all Welsh statutory school organisation proposals since 1 October 2013.
  • The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper providing  information on the safeguarding responsibilities of schools in England.

Employment and pensions:

  • The Equality Act 2010 (Amendment) (Disabled Access) Bill 2017-19 has had its first reading in the House of Lords. The Bill is a private members’ bill.
  • The Advocate General has given an opinion that the 24-hour weekly rest period provided by the Working Time Directive may be granted on any day in the seven-day reference period. In the view of the Advocate General, Article 5 of the Working Time Directive should not be interpreted as requiring the weekly rest period to be granted on the seventh day following six consecutive working days (Maio Marques da Rosa v Varzim Sol – Turismo, Jogo e Animação).
  • The EAT has held that equal pay claims involving claimants doing different jobs cannot be included on the same claim form under rule 9 of the Employment Tribunals Rules of Procedure 2013, which allows multiple claims to be combined if they are based on the same set of facts (Farmah and others v Birmingham City Council).


  • The Welsh Government has announced that the Landfill Disposals Tax (Wales) Bill 2017 (LDT Wales Bill) has been passed by the National Assembly for Wales (NAW). The LDT Wales Bill is expected to receive Royal Assent in Summer 2017.
  • The Environment (Wales) Act 2016 (Commencement No 3) Order 2017 will bring section 81 of the Environment Wales Act 2016 into force on 14 July 2017. Section 81 establishes a flood and coastal erosion committee.
  • The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has published a Litter Strategy for England and a consultation on increasing penalties for litter offences.
  • The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has quashed a remediation notice served by Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council on a developer in respect of contamination of land under the contaminated land regime in Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
  • The Environment Agency has published a new regulatory position statement 79 on contingency planning for waste collection authorities.
  • The UK Environmental Law Association has announced that it is publishing a series of reports on the impact of Brexit on environmental law.

FOI and data protection:

  • The Court of Appeal has held that a communications and data focused component of a wider environmental measure was “environmental information” and that a request for it should be determined in accordance with the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy v Information Commissioner and another).
  • The Information Commissioner’s Office has issued a £60,000 monetary penalty to a video game rental company under section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998 for a serious contravention of the seventh data protection principle.
  • The Article 29 Working Party has adopted an opinion on employee monitoring which complements earlier publications on the subject.
  • The European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice & Home Affairs Committee has published a draft report on the draft E-Privacy Regulation.


  • The Public Health (Wales) Bill has received Royal Assent to become the Public Health (Wales) Act 2017.
  • The Care Quality Commission has announced that an NHS Foundation Trust has pleaded guilty to the charge of failing to provide safe care and treatment resulting in avoidable harm to a service user contrary to regulation 12 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 in the Magistrates’ Court.
  • The Welsh Government has published a White Paper consultation document presenting new proposals to improve the quality and governance of health and social care services in Wales.


  • The Department for Communities and Local Government has published an explanatory note on its fire safety checking programme for high rise buildings.

Local government law:

  • The High Court has rejected a judicial review claim brought by an elected member of a council, who argued that the council did not have power to conduct an initial “pre-formal” investigation into his alleged misconduct, or to investigate under the Localism Act 2011 (LA 2011), any misconduct that had occurred prior to the coming into force of the LA 2011 in July 2012 (Hussain v Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council).
  • The Local Government Ombudsman has announced that it has changed its name to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.

Property and planning:

Public procurement and state aid:

  • The High Court has set aside an automatic suspension on contract making imposed by Regulation 45G of the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2006 in a procurement dispute (Alstom Transport UK Ltd v London Underground Ltd).
  • The Crown Commercial Service has published its customer update for July 2017.
  • The House of Commons has published a briefing paper on EU state aid rules and the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures. The paper briefly describes EU and WTO state aid/subsidy rules, and explains the difference between the two. It also considers the implications of Brexit in this area.
  • The European Commission has published a speech given by Johannes Laitenberger, Director-General of Competition, on state aid modernisation and the benefits of the Commission and member states working together more closely.

Regulation and enforcement:

  • The Head of the CPS Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division has announced the charging decisions in relation to the Hillsborough disaster and its aftermath.
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