REUTERS | Navesh Chitrakar

In brief for week ending 17 September 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 e-mail.

Civil litigation:

  • The High Court has:
  • The Law Society has launched a new Access to Justice campaign. The campaign aims, among other goals, to persuade policy makers to consider changes to part 2 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, which deals with litigation funding and costs.
  • The Chancery Division has issued two practice notes governing the use of the electronic court file and the production and service of orders, which it will start using internally from 1 October 2014.


  • The ECJ has given a ruling on a reference from a Dutch court on questions about the imputability to the State of a guarantee provided by a public undertaking, for the purposes of Article 107(1) of the TFEU (Commerz Nederland NV v Havenbedrijf Rotterdam NV).
  • BIS has updated its guidance on electronic signatures and the UK framework for electronic certification service providers.

Education and social services:

  • The High Court has reminded practitioners of the importance of circulating a note of a without notice hearing to respondents immediately, and the importance of complying with Practice Direction 27A to the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (Local Authority 1 and another v AF (Mother) and others).
  • The Family Court has permitted the daughter of a now deceased man to access his original adoption file (X (Adopted Child: Access to Court File)).
  • The Court of Protection has held that a party to proceedings had litigation capacity despite not having capacity to make decisions on the subject matter of the litigation (London Borough of Islington v QR).
  • The MoJ has published a consultation on whether to create a system of guardianship for the property and affairs of missing people and, if so, what form that system should take.
  • The DfE and NCTL have published a revised governors’ handbook. The handbook is for governors, headteachers and governing body clerks in maintained schools and academies (including free schools, university technical colleges and studio schools) in England.

Employment and pensions:

  • The Public Interest Disclosure (Prescribed Persons) Order 2014, which revokes and replaces the Public Interest Disclosure (Prescribed Persons) Order 1999, comes into force on 1 October 2014 and applies to protected disclosures made on or after that date.
  • The Defence Reform Act 2014 (Commencement No 2) Order 2014, which brings into force provisions of the Defence Reform Act 2014 relating to reservists with effect from 1 October 2014. In addition, the Reserve Forces (Payments to Employers and Partners) Regulations 2014 come into force on 1 October 2014.
  • The EAT has:
  • An ET has considered whether an employer’s payment of statutory paternity pay during additional paternity leave, when it paid enhanced maternity pay, was direct or indirect sex discrimination (Shuter v Ford Motor Company Ltd).
  • BIS has published a guide for employers on the new right to time off to accompany a pregnant woman to antenatal appointments.
  • The MoJ statistics for tribunals for the period April to June 2014 have been published.


  • The WG has launched a consultation on its proposed Nature Recovery Plan for Wales.

FOI and data protection:

  • The ICO has announced in its blog that its action plan to update its model publication scheme documents is complete.


  • Monitor has published the final versions of its guidance on the application of the Competition Act 1998 in the health care sector; Monitor’s approach to market investigation references; and the choice and competition licence conditions.


  • The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (Commencement No 6) Order 2014 has been made. The Order brings into force certain provisions of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
  • DCLG has:
    • published a consultation on giving social housing tenants in England the “right to move”; and
    • continued its consultation process on its housing standards review covering, among other things, amending the Building Regulations and providing a national internal space standard.

Local government:

  • The WG has published the Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity in Wales.

Property and planning:

  • The government is consulting on an alternative approach for implementing sustainable drainage systems and on mechanisms for their long-term maintenance.

Public procurement:

  •  The ECJ has given its judgment on a reference for a preliminary ruling from the Italian Council of State on the interpretation of Article 2d(4) of Directive 89/665, as amended by Directive 2007/66 (Italian Interior Ministry v Fastweb SpA).

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