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- The High Court has held that the Royal prerogative did not empower the government to give notice pursuant to Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union that would begin the process of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU (R (Gina Miller and Deir Tozetti Dos Santos) v The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union).
- The Supreme Court has granted permission for the government’s application to appeal the High Court’s judgment in R (Gina Miller and Deir Tozetti Dos Santos) v The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union to proceed to a substantive hearing, and set dates for the hearing.
- The House of Commons Select Committee on the Constitution has published its report on the impact of the government’s English votes for English laws reforms.
- The Childcare Act 2016 (Commencement No 1) Regulations 2016 have been made, bringing several provisions of the Childcare Act 2016 into force on 3 November 2016.
- The High Court has held that Ofsted was wrong to find that the segregation of boys and girls at an Islamic Faith School amounted to unlawful discrimination warranting the school being placed in special measures. However, other findings made by Ofsted, particularly concerning the finding of books within the school library which gave tacit approval to domestic violence, were sufficient to justify the school being placed in special measures (X School v Ofsted).
Employment and pensions:
- The EAT has decided that an employment tribunal was entitled to order third party disclosure. This was in the context of equal pay litigation between employees who had TUPE transferred from a council to a new employer (Birmingham City Council v Bagshaw and others).
- The High Court has clarified that a judicial review claim involving intrusive and non-intrusive environmental surveys falls under the broad meaning of “environment” in the Aarhus Convention (R (Dowley) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government).
FOI and data protection:
- The Scottish Ministers have made the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (Time for Compliance) Regulations 2016, which will come into force on 1 December 2016.
- The ICO has announced that a former employee of Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust who unlawfully accessed personal medical records has been prosecuted and fined under section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998.
- The government has confirmed that the UK will be implementing the General Data Protection Regulation in May 2018.
- The Welsh Government has introduced the Public Health (Wales) Bill 2016-17, which is intended to improve the wellbeing of people in Wales, particularly focusing on promoting children and young people’s health.
- The Housing (Wales) Act 2014 (Commencement No 8) Order 2016 has been made. The order brings into force a range of provisions of Part 1 of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 on 23 November 2016 relating to the regulation of private rented housing, and fully brings into force provisions of Part 1 that have only partially been brought into force by previous commencement orders.
- The Court of Appeal has confirmed that members of a deceased secure tenant’s family are not permitted to a second succession to a secure tenancy under the Housing Act 1985 (Holley v Hillingdon London Borough Council).
- The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on the mechanism by which assured shorthold tenants can apply as homeless in England.
- The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee has published a report detailing the progress being made by the government in disposing of public land for the construction of new housing.
Local government law:
- The Immigration Act 2016 (Commencement No 2 and Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2016 have been made and will bring into force, on 21 November 2016, the requirement in sections 77 to 84 of the Immigration Act 2016 for public authorities to ensure that public sector employees in England in customer-facing roles speak fluent English (or Welsh in relation to public sector employees in Wales).
Property and planning:
- The High Court has:
- held that the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government had correctly applied the tests for “exceptional circumstances” and proportionality in accordance with Article 1 of the first Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights in its determination of a council’s application for consent to appropriate a local allotment site (R (Andrew Moore) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government); and
- considered the appropriate treatment of public rights of way over town and village greens and whether the inhabitants using the land needed to come from a geographical spread within the locality (R (Allaway) v Oxfordshire County Council).
- The National Infrastructure Commission has launched a call for evidence, as the next step in its National Infrastructure Assessment.
- The High Court has lifted the automatic suspension on the awarding of a contract under regulation 95(1) of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (Perinatal Institute v Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership).
- The Court of Session has held that a council was not required to allow the correction of an invalid tender after the tender deadline. The contractor had submitted its bid on the deadline day, which left little margin for error. On the other hand, the council’s tender requirements and attendant warnings were unequivocal and this carried decisive weight with the court (Dem-Master Demolition Limited v Renfrewshire Council).
- The Crown Commercial Service has published the Public Contracts Regulations 2015: Guidance on social and environmental aspects.