REUTERS | Dani Cardona

In brief for week ending 23 September 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 Local Government email.

Adult social services:

  • The Upper Tribunal has re-examined the extent that the First-tier Tribunal and the Mental Health Review Tribunal should consider any potential breach of Article 5 of the European Convention of Human Rights in applications to discharge a Community Treatment Order or Guardianship under the Mental Health Act 1983 (PJ v A Local Health Board and others).

Children’s services:

  • The Court of Appeal has declined to overturn an interim order requiring a child to be returned to his mother’s care, despite the child having alleged that his mother would hit him (Re B (A child)).

Civil litigation:

  • The High Court has:
    • considered issues including whether a personal assistant employed by a law firm had given an address for the purpose of service of proceedings within CPR 6.8(a), and whether she had authority to bind the firm in that regard (Dzekova v Thomas Eggar LLP);
    • held that a breach capable of being remedied under CPR 3.9 had occurred where a claim form had been issued, then amended, then served, without an amended version having been re-sealed before service (Cant v Hertz Corp and others); and
    • republished a judgment containing facts that included criminal proceedings reported by the media, where it accepted that it was possible to identify the family through “jigsaw identification” (H v A (No 2)).
  • The TCC has enforced an adjudicator’s decision, finding that the parties’ oral contract was a construction contract (Purton (t/a Richwood Interiors) v Kilker Projects Ltd).
  • The County Court has considered an appeal against a decision to refuse relief from sanction after an earlier judge had made a nil assessment at a provisional assessment hearing because the requirement to lodge the retainer had not been fulfilled (Mehmi v Pincher (unreported)).
  • The MoJ has launched a consultation on its proposals to adjust the costs protection for environmental claims under the Aarhus Convention in the civil courts in England and Wales.
  • The Law Society has published its response to the MoJ’s consultation on further fees proposals. The response includes comments from the Law Society on the MoJ’s decision to introduce enhanced fees for possession claims and general applications in civil proceedings.
  • The Judiciary has published a speech by the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales on judicial independence in a changing constitutional landscape.


  • The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper outlining the requirements for schools in England to teach personal, social, health and economic education.

Employment and pensions:

  • The Trade Union Bill 2015-16, which makes wholesale reforms to the law on industrial action, has received its second reading in the House of Commons. The key changes proposed include increasing ballot thresholds, extending the notice required for strike action and the introduction of an expiry date on a ballot approving industrial action.
  • The government has published the Immigration Bill 2015-2016, which contains proposals to curb illegal working and protect the exploitation of migrant workers.
  • The EAT has considered a claim for associative victimisation and the nature of the connection between the claimant and the individual who had performed the protected act (Thompson v London Central Bus Company Ltd).
  • The Enterprise Bill 2015-16 has had its first reading in the House of Lords.
  • The government has published a response to the consultation on its plans to introduce a cap of £95,000 on the total value of exit payments to public sector workers.


  • The Department of Health has published a consultation on the roles and functions of the National Data Guardian for Health and Care.


  • The High Court has confirmed that, on a proper construction of section 188 of the Housing Act 1996, the duty imposed by that section came to an end in circumstances where the local housing authority was satisfied that the claimant had refused an offer of suitable accommodation (Brooks v London Borough of Islington).

Local government law:

  • The Local Government Ombudsman has found that a council did not properly investigate allegations made by adopted children against their previous foster carer and recommended compensation payments.

Property and planning:

  • The Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) (Amendment) (No 2) Regulations 2015 have been laid before Parliament and will come into force on 9 October 2015.
  • The Upper Tribunal has considered a local housing authority’s powers to impose conditions on HMO licences granted for properties in a selective licensing area (Hyndburn Borough Council v Brown and another).
  • The Land Registry has revised Land Registry Practice Guide 2: First registration of title if deeds are lost or destroyed, in relation to certified copy documents, land charges searches and inspection fees.
  • The Minister for planning has announced a new expert panel, which will consider how to significantly simplify and streamline the making of local plans.
  • The Management Board of the Consumer Code for Home Builders has launched a review of the Code.

Public procurement:

  • The General Court has annulled a decision of the Council of the European Union not to award a contract for the purchase or hire of printers and associated maintenance services in the buildings occupied by the General Secretariat of the Council to Ricoh Belgium NV, but to another undertaking (Ricoh Belgium NV v Council of the European Union).
  • The Department for Work and Pensions has published an updated set of services contract model terms.

Regulation and enforcement:

Practical Law In brief

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