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In brief for week ending 26 November 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:

  • HM Treasury has published a letter from the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the Financial Stability Board Chair, relating to the government’s ECJ action against certain remuneration provisions in the CRD IV legislative package.

Civil litigation:

  • The Court of Appeal has:
    • considered the extent to which extraneous considerations should be taken into account when deciding whether clinical negligence has occurred (Laughton v Shalaby); and
    • granted permission for a second appeal on the basis that the judge who heard the first appeal failed to take into account all of the relevant disciplinary body’s findings in deciding to sanction an appellant doctor (Schodlok v General Medical Council).
  • A Practice Direction making document implementing changes to practice directions in connection with the 76th CPR Update has been published.
  • The government has published its response to the consultation on implementing the Alternative Dispute Resolution Directive and the Online Dispute Resolution Regulation.


  • The High Court has dismissed an application by a claimant seeking summary judgment for specific performance of an audit provision in a data licence with a competitor who it was suing for breach of contract (118 Data Resource Ltd v IDS Data Services Ltd and others).
  • The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has published a speech by Stuart Alford QC, SFO Joint Head of Fraud, on enforcing the Bribery Act 2010.

Education and social services:

  • The DfE has published updated advice on the protection of school playing fields and public land.
  • The National College for Teaching and Leadership has published an updated guide for teachers subject to teacher regulation disciplinary procedures and an updated quick guide for witnesses who may be called to give evidence in a teacher misconduct case.
  • The Court of Appeal has:
  • The High Court has:
  • The Law Society has published its response to the:
    • President of the Family Division’s consultation, Transparency – The next steps dated; and
    • interim report of the Children and Vulnerable Witnesses Working Group.

Employment and pensions:

  • The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill 2014-2015 has completed the House of Commons report stage and had its third reading. It will now be considered by the House of Lords.
  • The EAT has:
    • held that a tribunal’s decision that an employee suffering from a paranoid schizophrenic illness was fairly dismissed for gross misconduct when he sexually assaulted female colleagues after discontinuing his medication without medical advice was unsafe (Burdett v Aviva Employment Services Ltd);
    • held that a tribunal erred when it conducted its own independent research on a claimant’s medical condition, placed improper weight on that information, and then showed bias against one of the parties (East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust v Sanders);
    • held that the duty to offer a woman on maternity leave a suitable alternative vacancy under regulation 10 of the Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations 1999 arises when the employer becomes aware that her role is redundant or potentially redundant (Sefton Borough Council v Wainwright); and
    • upheld an ET decision that no adjustments could reasonably be made to the workplace for an employee who sometimes had a potentially life-threatening reaction to aerosols and perfume (Dyer v London Ambulance NHS Trust).
  • The leader of the Labour Party has announced that the party will make various changes to the law on employment agencies, if it is elected.
  • The DWP and HMRC have published a series of leaflets for employers, employees and trustees concerning the end of defined benefit contracting-out from 6 April 2016.


  • The ECJ has held that, where a member state had failed to meet air emission limits under Article 13 of the Air Quality Directive 2008 by the relevant deadline, it was mandatory to apply for the deadline to be postponed by five years, under Article 22. Merely submitting an air quality plan under Article 23 was not sufficient to ensure compliance (R (ClientEarth) v Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).


  • The government has issued a consultation on its proposals to exempt developments of fewer than ten units in England from its zero carbon homes policy, due to take effect from 2016.


  • Two new codes of practice relating to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 are being brought into force by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Covert Human Intelligence Sources: Code of Practice) Order 2014 and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Covert Surveillance and Property Interference: Code of Practice) Order 2014.
  • The MoJ is conducting its triennial review of the role and functions of the Information Commissioner’s Office and is inviting contributions from people and organisations.

Local government:

  • The NAO has published a report on the impact of funding reductions on local authorities, including on their longer-term financial sustainability.
  • The House of Commons Library has published a Standard Note on devolution to local government in England.

Property and planning:

  • The High Court has considered a claim for judicial review of a planning permission for a wind turbine (R (Joicey) v Northumberland County Council).
  • The DfT has launched a consultation on protecting land for potential Crossrail 2 development.
  • The Welsh Government:
    • is consulting on proposals for planning permission to be required for an increase in the internal retail floor space to an existing building of more than 200 square metres; and
    • has launched a consultation on proposals to make changes to the way decisions on planning appeals, call-ins, and other related applications and appeals are dealt with.

Public procurement and state aid:

  • The General Court has dismissed an appeal by against decisions of the European Police Office to exclude a claimant’s bid in an open tender procedure and subsequently award the tender framework contract to another party (European Dynamics Luxembourg and Evropaïki Dynamiki v Europol).
  • The High Court has:
    • granted the Cabinet Office’s application to lift the automatic suspension of its award of a single supplier framework for media planning and buying services following an appeal by an unsuccessful tenderer (Group M UK Ltd v Cabinet Office); and
    • ruled that a successful tenderer should, in principle, be awarded its costs of participating in a hearing in support of the contracting authority’s successful application for the lifting of the automatic suspension on the contract award (Group M UK Ltd v Cabinet Office).
  • The European Ombudsman has published a decision finding that there was no maladministration by the ECJ in its conduct of calls for tenders for the conclusion of framework contracts for the translation of legal texts from certain official languages of the EU into Italian (Decision of the European Ombudsman closing the inquiries into complaints 826/2013/EIS and 878/2013/EIS).
  • The CMA has published a “60 second summary” guidance note providing advice to public sector providers on bid-rigging.
  • The Cabinet Office’s Efficiency and Reform Group has published information on Major Projects Authority priorities.
  • The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has published guidance on the government’s plans to improve the UK’s broadband network.

Regulation and enforcement:

  • The Report stage of the Consumer Rights Bill has commenced in the House of Lords.
  • The CMA has issued a consultation on draft advice on consumer protection law for UK higher education providers.

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