REUTERS | Todd Korol

In brief for week ending 31 May 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 European Commission has published the first two draft position papers to be used when the Article 50 Brexit negotiations with the UK start.

Children’s services:

  • The High Court has reminded practitioners of the requirements on journalists who wish to interview children that are contained in the Independent Press Standards Organisation Editor’s Code of Practice (2016) (Westminster City Council v H).
  • The Family Court has criticised a local authority for the delay in issuing care proceedings when the parents had decided to relinquish their twins for adoption, but would not engage to provide their written consents (Re M & N (Twins: Relinquished Babies: Parentage)).

Civil litigation:

  • The High Court has refused to set aside a default judgment and provided a reminder that the Denton test for relief from sanctions under CPR 3.9 is also relevant to applications to set aside default judgment under CPR 13.3 (Redbourn Group Ltd v Fairgate Development Ltd).
  • The TCC has partly allowed a defendant’s application for specific disclosure under CPR 31.12 just one week before the trial (Erith Holdings Ltd and others v Murphy).
  • A draft Practice Direction based on PD 51O, in relation to electronic filing, has been circulated by the Civil Procedure Rule Committee (CPRC) as part of the papers relating to the CPRC meeting on 7 April 2017.


Employment and pensions:

  • The Supreme Court has considered whether an employer could withhold one working day’s pay, as opposed to one calendar day’s pay, when its employees went on a one-day strike (Hartley and others v King Edward VI College).
  • The Court of Appeal has decided that, in a whistleblowing dismissal case, it is irrelevant that the employer genuinely believed that the employee’s disclosure was not protected. A disclosure will be protected if it meets the statutory conditions in Part IVA of the Employment Rights Act 1996, and this is an objective test (Beatt v Croydon Health Services NHS Trust).
  • The European Commission has published an Interpretative Communication on Directive 2003/88/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time.

FOI and data protection:

  • The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published its Information Rights Strategic Plan 2017 – 2021. The plan sets out the ICO’s mission to uphold information rights for the UK public in the digital age, its vision to increase confidence that the public has in organisations that process personal data and those which are responsible for making public information available, and its five strategic goals for the next four years.

Property and planning:

Public procurement:

  • The Northern Ireland High Court has decided that a project company on a PFI project failed to notify the public authority of a compensation event in accordance with the contract, which was a condition precedent to claiming relief (Glen Water Ltd v Northern Ireland Water Ltd).
  • The European Commission has published a notice in the Official Journal extending its deadline for considering a request from the Czech Republic under Article 35 of Directive 2014/25 on procurement by utility companies.

Regulation and enforcement:

  • The Health and Safety Executive has announced that a council has been fined £33,000 after pleading guilty to breaching section 2(2)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, section 9(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment 1998 and sections 3(1) and 5(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 in the Crown Court.
Practical Law In brief

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