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 Care Act 2014 (Commencement No 5) Order 2016 has been made and brought into force certain provisions of the Care Act 2014 relating to Wales on 6 April 2016.
- The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 (Commencement No 3, Savings and Transitional Provisions) Order 2016 has been made and brought into force the majority of the adult care and support provisions in the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 on 6 April 2016.
- The Court of Appeal and Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) Fees (Amendment) Order 2016 has been made and will come into force on 18 April 2016. The order increases the fees for bringing appeals in civil proceedings before the Court of Appeal.
- The latest Civil Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2016 mainly entered into force on 6 April 2016. The related practice direction making document introduces a substantial number of amended court forms and new court forms for use in the Chancery Division.
- The High Court has:
- interpreted the form of costs order commonly made in the Supreme Court and considered, in particular, whether it entitled the receiving party to proceed to immediate assessment following the conclusion of the appeal, although the underlying proceedings were continuing (Khaira and others v Shergill and others); and
- considered whether to retrospectively authorise alternative service under CPR 6.15(2) following a misunderstanding between the parties’ solicitors regarding an agreed extended time period for service of the claim form (Abbott and another v Econowall Ltd and others).
- The Civil Justice Council has issued a response to Briggs LJ’s civil courts structure review interim report.
- The Education and Adoption Act 2016 (Commencement, Transitional Provisions and Savings) Regulations 2016 have been made. The regulations will bring into force on 18 April 2016 all of the provisions in the Education and Adoption Act 2016, except for section 1 (which provides for coasting maintained schools to be eligible for intervention) and section 16 (which deals with local authority functions).
- The DfE has launched a consultation on the 30-hour free childcare entitlement in the Childcare Act 2016.
Employment and pensions:
- The Court of Appeal has considered the circumstances in which employment tribunals have jurisdiction to hear discrimination claims brought against qualifications bodies by their members (Michalak v General Medical Council and others).
- The EAT has upheld an employment tribunal’s decision that an employer’s genuine and reasonable belief that an employee was no longer permitted to work in the UK was sufficient to show that a subsequent dismissal was for some other substantial reason and was both substantively and procedurally fair (Nayak v Royal Mail Ltd).
- A number of amendments to pensions and tax legislation are coming into effect on or around 6 April 2016.
- The President of the Employment Tribunals has issued a consultation paper on the approach that employment tribunals should adopt when assessing pensions loss.
- The Scotland Bill 2015-16 has received Royal Assent to become the Scotland Act 2016. The Act provides for the devolution of powers to Scotland, including powers relating to energy market regulation, renewable energy incentives, and supplier obligations for energy efficiency and fuel poverty.
- The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) (No 2) Regulations 2016 have been made and came into force on 6 April 2016. The Regulations amend the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 to replace the current flood defence consents with environmental permits for flood risk activities, in order to regulate activities on or near watercourses in England and Wales.
- The Infrastructure Act 2015 (Commencement No 5) Regulations 2016 have been made and came into force on 6 April 2016. The Regulations bring section 50 of the Infrastructure Act 2015 fully into force. Section 50 inserts sections 4A and 4B into the Petroleum Act 1998 to provide for safeguards for licensing onshore fracking in England and Wales.
- The Environment Agency has:
- announced that a Magistrates’ Court has ordered a company and director to pay fines, compensation and prosecution costs of £30,000 following a conviction for waste offences; and
- published a report on the implementation of the contaminated land regime under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 in England.
- Defra has published a plan setting out priorities for improving National Parks in England over the period from 2016 to 2020.
FOI and data protection:
- The Upper Tribunal has held that the Duchy of Cornwall does not have legal personality and is not a public authority for the purposes of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (Attorney General for the Prince of Wales v Information Commissioner and another).
- The FTT(IR) has ordered the disclosure of parts of a framework contract between a council and BT for the provision of broadband services. The contract was part of an approved state aid scheme, subsidising rural broadband (Wiltshire Council v Information Commissioner).
- The Department of Health has published an updated version of its standard NHS terms and conditions for the supply of goods and for the provision of services.
- The Social Housing Rents (Exceptions and Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2016 have been made and came into force on 1 April 2016.
- The Houses in Multiple Occupation (Specified Educational Establishments) (England) Regulations 2016 have been made and will come into force on 13 April 2016.
- The High Court has held that a judge had been entitled to make no order for costs, where no link had been established between the basis of a housing appeal and the local authority’s subsequent offer of suitable accommodation (Ersus v London Borough of Redbridge).
- The Court of Appeal has granted an interim injunction to prevent a newspaper from disclosing details of extramarital sexual activities of the appellant, a well-known person in the entertainment business, on the grounds that publication of the article would infringe the appellant’s right to privacy (PJS v News Group Newspapers Ltd).
Property and planning:
- The Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Forms) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2016 have been made and came into force on 6 April 2016.
- The Onshore Wind Generating Stations (Exemption) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Order 2016 has been made and will come into force on 20 April 2016.
- The Law Commission has published a consultation, the purpose of which is to review the Land Registration Act 2002 (LRA 2002). The consultation paper, Updating the Land Registration Act 2002, is not designed to provide a comprehensive reformulation of the LRA 2002. The intention is to improve the operation of specific aspects of the legislation within the existing legal framework.
- The management board for the Consumer Code for Home Builders has announced the next stage of its consultation on the Code and guidance.
- The government has announced that it is extending existing guidance on procuring steel for major construction projects so that it applies to the whole public sector, beyond central government.
- The government has unveiled an official building information modelling (BIM) level 2 website to coincide with the government’s mandate requiring BIM level 2 for all centrally procured government projects from 4 April 2016.
Regulation and enforcement:
- The Riot Compensation Act 2016 has received Royal Assent. The operative provisions will come into effect on a date appointed by the Secretary of State by regulations.
- Two new sets of regulations in England and Wales impose a duty from 6 April 2016 on every keeper of a dog to have their dog microchipped and to record information on a database.
- The Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2016 came into force on 4 April 2016 and amend the Criminal Procedure Rules 2015.
- The Court of Appeal has:
- dismissed an appeal against a conviction and found that the judge had not erred in admitting evidence of the appellant’s bad character pursuant for section 101(1)(d) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. The judge reached a decision which was open to him within the band of evaluation which he was carrying out (R v Larkin); and
- issued a Practice Direction amending Practice Direction (CA (Crim Div): Criminal Proceedings: General Matters)  (Practice Direction (CA (Crim Div): Criminal Proceedings: General Matters) (Amendment No 1) ).
- The Health and Safety Executive has announced that three companies and a company director have been fined following a conviction for a health and safety breach.