REUTERS | Michael Dalder

In brief for week ending 5 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.

Civil litigation:


  • The Royal Institute of British Architects is proposing to publish two standard forms of building contract.

Education and social services:

Employment and pensions:

  • The government has announced that it is setting up a taskforce to assess the possible impact on businesses of the EAT’s decision in Bear Scotland Ltd and others v Fulton and others and the other conjoined cases on the calculation of holiday pay.
  • The EAT has overturned findings of disability discrimination based on a failure to make reasonable adjustments and unfair dismissal in a case involving recurrent sickness absence which was unlikely to improve (General Dynamics Information Technology v Carranza).
  • BIS has published an “ad-hoc statistical analysis” containing further data extracted from the 2013 Survey of Employment Tribunal Applications, originally published in June 2014.
  • The DWP has published the draft Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Disclosure of Information) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 for consultation.
  • The Department of Health has published the draft National Health Service Pension Scheme (Transitional & Consequential Provisions) Regulations 2014 for consultation.


FOI and data protection:

  • The Upper Tribunal has published a decision considering the inherent weight that should be given to the fact that an exemption under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 is engaged when applying the public interest test (Cabinet Office v Information Commissioner).
  • The DCMS is consulting on proposals to lower or remove the threshold for consumer harm, to enable the Information Commissioner’s Office to bring enforcement action against those responsible for unsolicited direct marketing calls and SMS text messages.

Human rights:

  • The European Court of Human Rights has found that a Hungarian state television journalist’s right to freedom of expression was unjustifiably interfered with when he was dismissed for publishing a book in breach of the confidentiality restrictions in his employment contract (Matúz v Hungary).

Local government:

  • The Court of Appeal has confirmed that the Local Government Ombudsman does not have the jurisdiction to investigate claims where the person affected already has or had a right of appeal, reference or review to or before a tribunal (R (ER) v Commissioner For Local Administration (The Local Government Ombudsman) and another).
  • The High Court has:
    • dismissed claimants’ challenge to a local authority’s decision to cease providing a direct transport service via a dedicated unit to eligible adult users and to implement a revised transport policy (R (Michael Robson) and others v Salford City Council); and
    • rejected claimants’ claim for damages against a defendant for assault and battery, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution and a declaration that their rights under Articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights had been breached (Laporte and another v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis).
  • The government has published a report commissioned from PwC on an inspection of Tower Hamlets Council’s compliance with the best value duty under the Local Government Act 1999.
  • The DCLG has published a practice guide on local authorities’ preparedness for civil emergencies.

Property and planning:

  • The Immigration (Residential Accommodation) (Prescribed Cases) Order 2014 and the Immigration (Residential Accommodation) (Prescribed Requirements and Codes of Practice) Order 2014 will come into force on 1 December 2014.
  • The Court of Appeal has allowed a landlords’ appeal against a first instance decision relating to qualifying works under section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (Francis and another v Phillips and others).
  • The Planning Inspectorate has published detailed guidance on drafting development consent orders.
  • The Welsh Government has published an Addendum to its technical guidance on the Code for Sustainable Homes.
  • The DCLG has issued a consultation on business rates retention and shale oil and gas.

Public procurement and state aid:

  • The MoD has published a draft of the Single Source Contract Regulations 2014.
  • The General Court has dismissed an appeal against a decision of the Publications Office of the European Union to reject tenders on the grounds that they were based on abnormally low pricing (Computer Resources International (Luxembourg) SA v European Commission).
  • The European Commission has published a new “policy brief” newsletter on state aid modernisation.

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