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In brief for week ending 29 November 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.

Adult social services:

  • The High Court has dismissed an appeal against a decision of the county court, which gave judgment to Nottinghamshire County Council in respect of its claim to recover the costs of providing residential care under Part 3 of the National Assistance Act 1948 for the appellant’s father WB. The council sought to recover those costs from WB’s estate following his death or alternatively, from the appellant to whom WB’s assets had been transferred (Nottinghamshire County Council v The Estate of Belton and another).
  • The Welsh Government has published a summary of the responses to its consultation on the draft regulations and statutory guidance relating to the workforce aspects of phase 2 of the implementation of the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016.

Central government:

  • The House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee has published the government’s response to the Committee’s report on Brexit and the House of Commons scrutiny system for EU legislation.
  • The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on the sixth round of Article 50 negotiations, which were held on 9 and 10 November 2017, and other Brexit developments in November.
  • The National Audit Office has published a briefing paper on the impact of Brexit on the Infrastructure and Projects Authority’s work.
  • The government has announced its intention to develop a civil society strategy.

Children’s services:

  • The Family Court has granted permission to disclose papers and judgments connected to care proceedings to facilitate a social worker’s claim in the European Court of Human Rights (Re W (Children), Application by SW (No2)).

Civil litigation:

  • The TCC has considered a defendant’s application for early specific disclosure, which had been made after the claim form had been issued but before the particulars of claim had been served in final form (The Bullring Limited Partnership and others v Laing O’Rourke Midlands Ltd).
  • The European Commission has published a notice to stakeholders in the field of civil justice and private international law, reminding them of the legal repercussions of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU.
  • The making document setting out changes to practice directions associated with the 92nd CPR Update (most of which took effect on 1 October 2017) has received ministerial sign off.
  • A 93rd CPR Update setting out changes to Practice Directions has also received ministerial sign off and came into force on 22 November 2017.

Employment and pensions:

  • The Advocate General has given his opinion on the extent to which a German Church can determine its own occupational requirements invoking the ecclesiastical privilege of self-determination under German law (Egenberger v Evangelisches Werk für Diakonie und Entwicklung e.V).
  • The EAT has considered whether an employee who had resigned in response to a false reason for dismissal could bring a claim for breach of contract for his notice pay (Rawlinson v Brightside Group Ltd).
  • The European Commission has adopted an action plan setting out measures the Commission will take to tackle the gender pay gap, together with a number of related initiatives and reports.
  • The House of Commons Work and Pensions and BEIS committees have published a report, “A framework for modern employment,” encouraging the government to build on and enact many of the Taylor Review recommendations and have produced draft legislation for this purpose.
  • The Education Committee has launched an inquiry into the quality and accessibility of apprenticeships and skills training funded by the Education & Skills Funding Agency. The Committee will be accepting written submissions until 5 January 2018.
  • The Deputy Pensions Ombudsman has upheld a complaint against an employer who failed to properly acknowledge and investigate a member’s complaint about an incorrect retirement benefits quotation (Determination in a complaint by Mrs K).

FOI and data protection:

  • The Court of Appeal has:
    • rejected an appeal by the pressure group Privacy International that decisions made by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal could be subject to judicial review (Privacy International v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs); and
    • held that the Ministry of Justice had correctly applied section 31(1)(f) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to withhold information in a physical restraint training manual, and that the Information Commissioner and tribunals’ decisions that upheld this had not breached or been required to consider the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in relation to the public interest test (Willow v Information Commissioner and another).
  • An urgent parliamentary question on the Uber hacking case has been asked in the House of Commons by Wes Streeting MP. The response was provided by the Minister for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, Mike Hancock MP.


  • The Court of Appeal has allowed an appeal by a local authority against a previous High Court decision dismissing the authority’s claim for possession on the grounds that the tenant husband was acting as an agent for his wife and therefore she was entitled to continue to occupy the property even after he had signed a subsequent agreement (London Borough of Haringey v Ahmed and another).
  • The National Assembly for Wales has published a research briefing on the Stage 2 changes made to the Abolition of the Right to Buy and Associated Rights (Wales) Bill.

Local government law:

  • The Equality Act 2010 (Commencement No 13) (Scotland) Order 2017 has been made and will come into force on 1 April 2018.
  • The Department for Transport has published three guidance documents on the Bus Services Act 2017.
  • The House of Commons Library has published briefing papers:
    • providing an overview of City Deals; and
    • summarising the main developments regarding the process of devolution of powers to local government within England since 2014.

Property and planning:

Public procurement:

  • The European Commission has published a notice in the Official Journal announcing the end of a suspension of its deadline for considering a request from the Czech Republic under Article 35 of Directive 2014/25 on procurement by utility companies.
  • The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has published a report on leveraging public procurement to grow the innovation economy in relation to the Small Business Research Initiative.
Practical Law In brief

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