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In brief for week ending 10 May 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 High Court has dismissed a claim brought by four English local authorities, challenging the government’s alleged failure to provide local authorities with additional funding to implement the deprivation of liberty regime under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (Liverpool City Council and others v Secretary of State for Health).
  • The CMA has announced on its website that it has updated the timetable for the conduct of its market study into the supply of care home services for the elderly in the UK.

Central Government:

  • The European Commission has adopted a Recommendation for a Council Decision authorising the Commission to open negotiations on an Agreement with the UK setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal from the EU.

Children’s services:

  • The High Court has:
    • clarified that the Security Service, police and other agencies with statutory powers to interview juveniles can interview wards of court without first seeking the wardship court’s permission (Re A Ward of Court); and
    • looked at the options available for creating a protective transition plan into adulthood for young people who have been radicalised (A Local Authority v Y).
  • The President of the Family Division has issued guidance on the extent that the judiciary (including magistrates) can assist with Serious Case Reviews.

Civil litigation:

  • The High Court has considered an appeal of a decision that a defendant solicitor was not entitled to withhold disclosure of documents from a claimant firm of solicitors on the basis of the without prejudice rule or legal professional privilege (EMW Law LLP v Halborg).

Employment and pensions:

  • The European Court of Human Rights has rejected an application brought by a blacklisted trade unionist for breach of Article 8 (right to private life) of the European Convention on Human Rights, and has held that his application for breach of Article 11 (freedom of association) was inadmissible (Smith v UK).
  • The Court of Appeal has:
    • upheld the Central Arbitration Committee’s decision that a group of warehouse operatives constituting 1.2% of Lidl’s total UK workforce was an appropriate bargaining unit (Lidl v CAC and GMB); and
    • allowed an appeal against an employment tribunal’s decision (subsequently upheld by the EAT) that whistleblower protection under the ERA 1996 did not protect a junior doctor from detriment by Health Education England, the body responsible for education, training and workforce planning for all NHS staff in England (Day v Health Education England and others).
  • The EAT has upheld the decision of an employment tribunal that a job applicant with Asperger’s suffered indirect disability discrimination when her prospective employer required her to undergo a multiple choice test and refused to adjust the format of the test (The Government Legal Service v Brookes).
  • The Pensions Ombudsman has partly upheld a complaint by a member who was refused ill-health early retirement in December 2013, under regulation 20 of the Local Government Pension Scheme (Benefits, Membership and Contributions) Regulations 2007 (Determination in a complaint by Mr R).


  • The ECJ has declared that the UK was in breach of certain obligations under the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive 1991, which seeks to protect the environment from any adverse impacts from urban waste water (Commission v United Kingdom).
  • The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, the Department for Transport, the Welsh Government, the Scottish Government and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland have published a consultation on a draft revised UK Air Quality Plan for tackling nitrogen dioxide.
  • The government has published its response to the Environmental Audit Committee’s January 2017 report on the future of the natural environment following Brexit.

FOI and data protection:

  • The Information Commissioner’s Office has published updated guidance on political campaigning.
  • The European Data Protection Supervisor has presented his 2016 Annual Report to the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs.


  • The House of Commons Health Committee has published the report Brexit and health and social care – people and process.

Local government law:

  • The Court of Appeal has refused to stay a fraud case improperly prosecuted by a council on the basis that the CPS had taken the case over, but provided critical commentary on the decision by the Council to act as prosecutor (R v AB and others).

Property and Planning:

Public procurement:

  • The ECJ has handed down its judgment in a reference from a Polish court for a preliminary ruling concerning a challenge to the award of a public contract to supply hospital IT systems in Poland (Esaprojekt Sp.z o.o. v Wojewodztwo Lodzkie).
  • The government has published updated European Structural and Investment Funds programme guidance.

Regulation and enforcement:

  • The Court of Appeal has held that the revised scheme for disclosure of criminal records requires further refinement in order for it to be in accordance with the law and therefore not in violation of an individual’s right to a private life under Article 8 ECHR (R (P) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department).
  • The High Court has held that a taxi driver operating outside of his licence did not commit the criminal offence of driving without insurance (Oldham Borough Council v Sajjad).
Practical Law In brief

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