REUTERS | Dani Cardona

In brief for week ending 1 February 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:

Central government:

Children’s services:

  • The Family Court has made a placement order to authorise a child being placed for adoption with British relatives who lived in the USA and intended to gain permanent residence there. The judgment explains how adoption does not sidestep the UK’s obligations under the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption 1993 and how the child’s immigration status can be secured (Medway Council v JL and others).
  • The President of the Family Division, Munby P, has published his 16th View from the President’s Chambers. In this latest view, he details the historical inaction of the government in dealing with the needs of children and vulnerable parties in the family justice system, and provides an update of the current position.
  • Cobb J’s review of Practice Direction 12J of the Family Procedure Rules 2010 has been released and all but one recommendation has been accepted by the President of the Family Division in his 16th view from the President’s Chambers. The amendment to prohibit alleged abusers cross-examining alleged victims was rejected as it requires primary legislation, which has recently been promised by the government.

Civil litigation:

  • The High Court has held that a document setting out a witness’ evidence, which he has sworn to be his evidence is, in technical terms, an affidavit (Haederle v Thomas).
  • The Queen’s Bench Guide 2017 has been updated to include paragraphs 8.2.3 to 8.2.6 (relating to allocation and directions), which were omitted from the version published in December 2016.
  • Jackson LJ will be chairing five seminars to obtain the input of court users for his fixed recoverable costs review.


  • The Office of the Schools Adjudicator has published the annual report of the Chief Schools Adjudicator for England. The report covers the period 1 September 2015 to 31 August 2016.

Employment and pensions:

  • The Enterprise Act 2016 (Commencement No 2) Regulations 2017 brought section 41 of the Enterprise Act 2016, which introduces the power to make regulations capping public sector exit payments, into force on 1 February 2017.
  • HMRC has published, for technical consultation, the draft Social Security (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2017 as part of the reforms to the off-payroll working rules for public sector engagements that will take effect on 6 April 2017.
  • The House of Commons Petitions Committee and Women and Equalities Committee have published a report, with recommendations, on dress codes in the workplace.
  • The Women and Work All Party Parliamentary Group has published a report analysing the barriers faced by women who wish to return to work after a career break of more than 6 months, with recommendations for government and employers on how they could be better supported.
  • The government has published its response to the report of the Women and Equalities Committee on pregnancy and maternity discrimination.
  • The government has published its response to a consultation launched in January 2016 on public sector apprenticeship targets.


  • The European Commission has published a draft directive, which will amend the scope of the RoHS Directive 2011 to allow second-hand electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) that is newly in scope to continue to be resold and refurbished after 22 July 2019, when the transitional provisions in the RoHS Directive 2011 end. The directive will allow EEE that is newly in scope and placed on the market before 22 July 2019 to be repaired using original spare parts after that date.
  • The Environment Agency has announced that a company and its director have been fined a total of £7,800 after pleading guilty in the Magistrates’ Court to operating a regulated facility without an environmental permit.
  • The Department for Transport has published a consultation on the implementation of the EIA Directive 2014.

FOI and data protection:

  • The FTT(IR) has ruled that information relating to the risk assessment of schools carried out by a council was exempt from disclosure under section 36(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (Norfolk County Council v Information Commissioner).


  • The High Court has upheld a council’s appeal against an order of the County Court requiring the council to pay the costs of an appeal brought against it under section 204 of the Housing Act 1996, following a review of the council’s decision on a homelessness application (London Borough of Croydon v Lopes).

Local government law:

  • The Combined Authorities (Mayors) (Filling of Vacancies) Order 2017 has been made and came into force on 28 January 2017. The order makes provision for the filling of vacancies in the office of mayor of a combined authority.
  • The High Court has dismissed an appellant’s appeal by way of case stated to the validity of byelaws made under section 235 of the Local Government Act 1972. It did so on the basis that the District Judge had not erred in deciding that byelaws restricting the mooring of boats to specified land owned by a London Borough were valid (Akerman v London Borough of Richmond).

Property and planning:

Public procurement:

  • The General Court has dismissed an appeal against a decision of the European Commission to use the negotiated procedure to award a contract for technical assistance services (TV1 GmbH v European Commission).
  • The European Commission has published its report to the European Parliament and the Council on the effectiveness of Directives 89/665/EEC and 92/13/EEC as modified by Directive 2007/66/EC, concerning review procedures in the area of public procurement.
  • The Single Source Regulations Office has published a consultation on recommendations for review of Part 2 of the Defence Reform Act 2014 and the Single Source Contract Regulations 2014.
  • The government has published a green paper, Building our Industrial Strategy, launching a consultation on the UK’s industrial priorities.

Regulation and enforcement:

  • The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by a council against an order made by the Administrative Court quashing a penalty charge notice that the council had issued against the respondent (Camden London Borough Council v Humphreys and another).
  • The Environment Agency has announced that a waste operator has pleaded guilty to operating a regulated facility without an environmental permit.
Practical Law In brief

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