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In brief for week ending 17 December 2014

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 Public Sector email.

Central government:

  • The Leader of the House of Commons has presented a command paper to Parliament on the implications of devolution for England.
  • EUR-Lex has announced that from 1 January 2015, the numbering of EU legal acts will change.

Children’s services:

Civil litigation:

  • The High Court (Distribution of Business) Order 2014, which distributes applications for writs of habeas corpus between the Queen’s Bench and Family Divisions of the High Court, will come into force on 6 April 2015.
  • The Commercial Court has considered whether it was unjust to displace the general rule in CPR 36.14 where the overall result, following a split trial on liability and quantum, was that the claimants had failed to beat the defendants’ Part 36 offers (Ted Baker plc and another v AXA Insurance UK plc and others).
  • The Court of Protection has described the case management provisions in the Court of Protection Rules 2007 as inadequate in tackling delay and costs in the Court of Protection (A & B (Court of Protection: Delay and Costs)).


  • The Consumer Rights Bill has had its third reading in the House of Lords and has been returned to the House of Commons. Some further minor amendments have been added since the Bill was reprinted at the end of the Lords’ Report stage.

Employment and pensions:

  • The EAT has upheld an employment tribunal’s decision to strike out a whistleblowing claim for being out of time (McKinney v London Borough of Newham).
  • The Presidents of the Employment Tribunals in England, Wales and Scotland have issued new practice directions in the light of recent decisions on holiday pay.
  • The Ministry of Justice has published tribunal statistics for July to September 2014. The statistics show a continuing trend of declining numbers of employment tribunal claims being presented.


  • The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (Allocation of Allowances for Payment) (Amendment) (No 2) Regulations 2014 will come into force on 15 April 2015.
  • The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal against the High Court’s decision that a Strategic Environmental Assessment was not needed in respect of safeguarding directions made by the Secretary of State for Transport under the planning regime for the proposed new High Speed 2 rail network (R (HS2 Action Alliance Ltd and others) v Secretary of State for Transport).
  • Natural England has published a summary of the changes it is making to general and class licences, which authorise activities that are otherwise prohibited under wildlife legislation. The changes come into force on 1 January 2015.
  • Defra has issued a consultation on making flood defence consents part of the Environmental Permitting regime.
  • HMRC has published its response to its May 2014 consultation on the landfill tax treatment of waste “fines” (fine material left after the mechanical treatment of waste).

Equality Act 2010:

  • The Court of Appeal has considered whether a service provider had made reasonable adjustments to avoid disadvantaging passengers who are wheelchair users (FirstGroup PLC v Doug Paulley).

FOI and data protection:

Local government:

  • The High Court has held that the London Borough of Enfield’s decision under the Housing Act 2004 to designate the whole borough for both additional licensing of houses in multiple occupation and selective licensing of private rented sector properties was unlawful for a failure to consult as a result of a failure to consult those likely to be affected (R (Regas) v London Borough of Enfield).

Property and planning:

  • The Stamp Duty Land Tax Bill 2014-15 has been introduced into the House of Commons and received its first reading.
  • HMRC and HM Treasury have published draft legislation for the Finance Bill 2015, together with consultation responses and technical notes, containing measures of interest to property practitioners.
  • The Flood and Water Management Act 2010 (Commencement No 9) Order 2014 will bring into force, on 1 January 2015, section 45 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 in relation to undertakers whose areas are wholly or mainly in Wales.
  • The government has:
    •  published Business Rates Avoidance: Discussion paper and is seeking comments; and
    • launched a consultation on a new scheme that will offer a 20% discount to an estimated 100,000 first time buyers of newly built homes.

Public procurement:

Regulation and enforcement:

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