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In brief for week ending 15 March 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:

  • The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill 2017 received Royal Assent on 16 March 2017, to become the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017.
  • The Wales Act 2017 (Commencement No 1) Regulations 2017 have been made. The regulations relate to provisions of the Wales Act 2017 concerning Welsh tribunals.
  • The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee has published a report on the potential implications for the UK if the government does not reach agreement with the EU by the end of the two-year negotiating period set by Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.

Children’s services:

  • The High Court has:
    • confirmed that a Gillick competent child can consent to being deprived of their liberty and that an authorisation made under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court is compliant with Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights (Re C (A Child)); and
    • set out essential procedural points for making claims under the Human Rights Act 1998 (Re SW and TW (Human Rights Claim: Procedure) (No 1)).
  • HMCTS has published an updated Form EX50 Civil and Family Court Fees guide, which took effect from 6 March 2017.

Civil litigation:

  • The High Court has court considered an application for pre-action disclosure under CPR 31.16(3) and given guidance on the jurisdictional and discretionary elements in CPR 31.16(3)(d) (Attheraces Ltd and another v Ladbrokes Betting and Gaming Ltd and others).
  • The judiciary has announced that from June 2017, the specialist civil courts, including the Commercial Court and Technology and Construction Court, are to be known as the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales.
  • The County Court Money Claims Centre is now providing two additional dedicated email addresses for filing defences and directions questionnaires, alongside existing addresses for attachment of earnings applications, charging order applications and requests for certificates of judgment.
  • Jackson LJ has delivered the keynote address at the White Paper Costs Conference, Costs, Jackson, LASPO: Shaping the Rules into Solution-Focused Advice for Costs Lawyers and Litigators, in a speech on the review of fixed recoverable costs.

Employment and pensions:

  • The Court of Session (Outer House) has held that the statutory scheme for disclosing criminal records infringed an individual’s Article 8 right to privacy (P (AP) v The Scottish Ministers).
  • The EAT has:
  • The House of Commons has discussed e-petition 129823 relating to dress codes and high heels in the workplace.
  • The Ministry of Justice has published statistics for tribunals for the period October to December 2016.


  • The Civil Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2017 have been made, implementing the government’s reforms to costs protection for Aarhus Convention claims under the Civil Procedure Rules, which are intended to ensure that access to justice in environmental matters is not prohibitively expensive. The CPR amendments apply to Aarhus Convention claims commenced on or after 28 February 2017.
  • The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has published fly-tipping statistics for England covering the period from April 2015 to March 2016.

FOI and data protection:

  • The Court of Appeal has dismissed two appeals and refused to exercise its discretion to order the data controllers to take further steps to comply with subject access requests (Ittihadieh v 5-11 Cheyne Gardens RTM Company Ltd and Others).
  • The Information Commissioner’s Office has announced that it has fined a Hampshire company £270,000 after it made 22 million nuisance phone calls.
  • The deadline for responding to the Protection of Official Data open public consultation, published by the Law Commission, has been extended to 3 May 2017.


  • The Care Quality Commission has informed an NHS foundation trust that it will be prosecuted over an alleged failure to provide safe care and treatment to a patient and other patients being exposed to a significant risk of avoidable harm.

Local government law:

  • The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017 have been made and will come into force on 31 March 2017. Amongst other requirements, the regulations impose a duty on specified public authorities with at least 250 employees to publish gender pay gap information relating to employees, in order to demonstrate compliance with the public sector equality duty imposed by section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.

Property and planning:

Public procurement and state aid:

  • The High Court has held in a substantive judicial review hearing that claimants who had already been granted permission to apply for judicial review challenging a council’s contract with a developer on the grounds that it was in breach of public procurement law, did not have standing to bring the claim (Wylde and others v Waverley Borough Council).
  • The ECJ has handed down its judgments on appeals by Dutch housing corporations against a December 2009 decision of the European Commission in relation to two state aid schemes (Stichting Woonpunt, Woningstichting Haag Wonen and Stichting Woonbedrijf SWS.Hhvl v Commission).
  • A European Commission notice on state aid recovery interest rates and reference/discount rates for all 28 EU member states applicable from 1 April 2017 has been published in the Official Journal.

Regulation and enforcement:

  • The Health and Safety Executive has announced that a care home company has been fined £80,000 for a health and safety breach under section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
  • The Care Quality Commission has announced that the owners of a care home have pleased guilty in the Magistrates’ Court to offences under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and have been fined a total of £80,800.
  • The Environment Agency has announced that the operator and landowner of an illegal waste site have pleaded guilty to running the site and failing to comply with an enforcement notice to clear it, and were fined a total of £48,500 in the Magistrates’ court.
Practical Law In brief

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