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In brief for week ending 23 August 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.

Central government:

  • The UK government has published two position papers on continuity in the availability of goods in UK and EU markets at the point of Brexit and on ongoing confidentiality obligations and access to documents.
  • The Cabinet Office has published its Functional Review of Bodies Providing Expert Advice to Government and accompanying Good Practice Indicators regarding the work and functions of advisory NDPBs and Expert Committees.
  • The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on the Royal Prerogative.

Children’s services:

  • The High Court has clarified that a care order can be made despite a young person or child being subject to detention under the Mental Health Act 1983 (Re X (A Child) (No 5)).
  • The Family Court has outlined the law and procedure for special guardianship orders to be recognised in Scotland (Medway Council v MI and others).

Civil litigation:

  • The UK government has published its position paper on cross-border judicial cooperation in civil and family matters following its withdrawal from the EU. The position paper also outlines the UK’s response to the European Commission’s position paper on judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters.
  • The High Court has:
    • considered defendants’ application for relief from sanction for having filed their costs budget ten days late (Mott and another v Long and another);
    • held that a civil proceedings order under section 42 of the Supreme Court Act 1981 should be extended to prohibit a vexatious litigant from acting as a representative or McKenzie Friend in proceedings (Attorney General v Vaidya); and
    • considered the appropriate route of appeal from a County Court decision made by a district judge exercising the power of a circuit judge with the permission of the designated civil judge (Topping v Ralph Trustees Ltd).
  • The Senior Costs Court has considered, as a preliminary issue in a detailed assessment, an application for the bill of costs to be re-drawn to deal with issues regarding common costs (Austin v East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service).


  • The House of Lords Library has published a briefing paper in support of the House of Lords’ consideration of the Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill.


  • The High Court has upheld a challenge to Ofsted’s complaints process as being unfair for not permitting a substantive challenge to the conclusion of one of its reports (R (Durand Academy Trust) v Ofsted).

Employment and pensions:

  • The High Court has held that the suspension of a teacher accused of having used unreasonable force against children, purportedly to allow for an investigation to be conducted fairly, constituted a repudiatory breach of contract, entitling the teacher to resign and treat herself as constructively dismissed (Agoreyo v London Borough of Lambeth).
  • The EAT has held that:
    • section 136(2) and (3) of the Equality Act 2010 does not place any initial burden of proof on a claimant in a discrimination claim (Efobi v Royal Mail Group Ltd); and
    • an employer’s breach of the implied sex equality clause, giving rise to a successful equal pay claim, could constitute a constructive dismissal under the Employment Rights Act 1996. However, that dismissal could not form the basis of a separate sex discrimination claim under the Equality Act 2010 (BMC Software Ltd v Shaikh).
  • The Equality and Human Rights Commission has published a strategy setting out what needs to change and who needs to take action to reduce gender, ethnicity and disability pay gaps.
  • An employment tribunal is reported to have allowed an out of time claim to proceed in light of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Unison.

FOI and data protection:

  • The ICO has:
    • announced that it has fined a council £70,000 under section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998 for failing to comply with the seventh data protection principle and put in place appropriate technical measures to keep personal data safe and secure on an online system for appealing traffic offences; and
    • published a blog demystifying the use of consent under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.

Property and planning:

  • The government has published the terms of reference for the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

Public procurement:

  • The High Court has lifted an automatic suspension in a procurement challenge (Sysmex (UK) Ltd v Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust).
  • The Crown Commercial Service has:
    • launched a new Estates Professional Services framework; and
    • published guidance on its free aggregation services for public and third sector organisations.
  • The Local Government Association Brexit Group has issued a statement calling for simplification of the EU procurement rules post Brexit.
Practical Law In brief

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