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In brief for week ending 20 May 2015

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 Office of the Parliamentary Counsel has published the response of its consultation on a review of the format and content of Explanatory Notes for Bills and Acts of the UK Parliament. The review was piloted in two government bills of the 2014-15 Parliamentary Session: the Armed Forces (Service Complaints and Financial Assistance) Bill and the Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill.
  • The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced that there will be a second 2015 Budget on Wednesday 8 July 2015.

Civil litigation:

  • The Court of Appeal has considered issues including whether damages could be awarded to a claimant despite the grant of a permanent injunction restraining the defendants from further acts of nuisance and whether, in addition to damages for capital loss, the claimants were entitled to damages for distress and loss of amenity (Raymond and another v Young and another).
  • The High Court has:
    • held that a bankrupt need only show a substantial dispute of a petition debt (rather than proving the debt was not due at all) to obtain an annulment of a bankruptcy order (Woolsey v Payne);
    • allowed an appeal against a decision refusing to set aside default judgment (Singh v Thoree); and
    • considered an appeal from a decision by a senior costs judge, in which he had refused to award an additional amount under CPR 36.14(3)(d) (as it was before 6 April 2015) on a detailed assessment of costs (Cashman v Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust).
  • Giving the third annual Harbour Funding Lecture, Lord Justice Jackson has outlined some suggestions for improving costs management. This followed a period of research and discussions with key judges.

Education and children’s services:

  • The Court of Appeal has:
    • rejected a mother’s appeal against a judge’s decision not to publish his final judgment in lengthy private law children proceedings (Re C (A Child)); and
    • held that a first instance judge was entitled not to direct a fact finding hearing in proceedings to regulate contact arrangements, despite the mother making allegations of rape against the father (Re P (Children)).
  • The High Court has:
    • highlighted three significant points arising from a fact finding hearing concerning a baby with multiple fractures: proof of facts, evidence of pain response, and risk and protective factors (Re BR (Proof of Facts)); and
    • provided guidance on how the court should make a request to transfer proceedings under Article 15 of Brussels II Revised and the specific considerations when the request involves care proceedings (Re HA (a child) (No 2)).

Employment and pensions:

  • Following its decision in the Woolworths case, the European Court of Justice has handed down two further decisions relating to collective consultation (Lyttle and others v Bluebird UK Bidco 2 Ltd, and Cañas v Nexea Gestión Documental and another).
  • The EAT has set aside a permanent anonymity order granted by an employment tribunal that protected the identity of a producer whose contract was not renewed by the BBC, after it learned about allegations of serious sexual assault made against him, and was informed by the police that he posed a risk to young men (British Broadcasting Corporation v Roden).
  • An employment tribunal has considered how the time limit for a claim should be extended when the Acas early conciliation period began before the effective date of termination (Chandler v Thanet District Council).
  • Following the general election on 7 May 2015, the Cabinet Office has announced a number of ministerial appointments relevant to employment practitioners.


  • The Environment (Wales) Bill 2015 has been laid before the National Assembly for Wales. The Bill provides a framework for managing Wales’ natural resources sustainably using the ecosystem approach.

FOI and data protection:


Local government:

  • The High Court has dismissed a challenge to the council’s decision to stop providing free full time nursery education for three-year olds on the basis that the consultation was inadequate and flawed (R (Morris) v Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council).
  • The House of Commons has published a briefing paper on the use that local authorities in England have made of schemes to share services.

Property and planning:

  • Water UK has published new levels of service for water companies relating to the provision of water and sewerage connections to new homes and other construction projects.

Public procurement and state aid:

  • The House of Commons library has published a briefing paper, PFI: costs and benefits. The paper sets out the advantages and limitations of PFI and whether PFI provides value for money.
  • The General Court has dismissed an appeal against a European Commission decision finding that that there was unlawful state aid involved in two agreements between a public entity and a private company, relating to the establishment of a factory to construct modular housing (Diputación Foral de Bizkaia v European Commission).
Practical Law In brief

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