REUTERS | Dani Cardona

In brief for week ending 8 June 2016

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 Wales Bill 2016-17 has been introduced to the House of Commons and given its first reading.

Civil litigation:

  • The Judicial Office has published The Judicial System of England and Wales: A visitor’s guide.
  • The MoJ has published civil court statistics for the quarter January to March 2016, along with statistics relating to the Royal Courts of Justice from 2015.


  • BIS and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport have published an independent review of consumer protection measures concerning online secondary ticketing facilities.

Employment and pensions:

  • The draft Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (Amendment) Order 2016 has been made, and disapplies specified provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 in order to permit questions to be asked about spent convictions and cautions in order to assess a person’s suitability for admission to certain occupations or to hold certain types of employment, licences or permits.
  • The Advocate General has given an Opinion that a Belgian company’s dress code banning employees from wearing any visible religious, political or philosophical symbols in the workplace, which was used to prevent a Muslim employee from wearing an Islamic headscarf, did not amount to direct discrimination (Achbita and another v G4S Secure Solutions NV (AG’s Opinion)).
  • The Pensions Ombudsman has held that an NHS employer breached an implied duty  by failing to inform a new employee in 2000 of the 12-month time limit from joining the NHS Pension Scheme for transferring in benefits on a public sector transfer club basis (Determination in a complaint by Ms Linda Bennett).
  • The DCLG has published draft Local Government Pension Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2016 for consultation.


  • HMRC has launched a consultation on proposals to amend the definition of a taxable disposal at a landfill site and for information on the disposal of certain types of hazardous material.
  • The DCLG has published details of the latest round of Coastal Communities Fund funding.
  • UNEP-INTERPOL has published a report stating that transnational organized criminal networks have embraced environmental crimes as an emerging black market with low risks and high profits and that the value of environmental crime has risen 26%.

FOI and data protection:

  • The Investigatory Powers Bill 2016 had its report stage on 6 June 2016.
  • The EDPS has published its 2015 annual report.
  • The EU and the US have signed the Umbrella agreement, which puts in place a comprehensive high-level data protection framework for criminal law enforcement cooperation.

Property and planning:

  • The new UK House Price Index has been published and from 16 June 2016 will replace the indices recording residential house values previously published by the Land Registry and the Office for National Statistics, from 16 June 2016.

Public procurement:

  • The ECJ has ruled :
    • that a contract scheme for the acquisition of goods under which a public entity contracts with any economic operator that agrees to provide the goods, in accordance with predetermined conditions, without choosing between the interested operators, does not amount to a public contract within Directive 2004/18/EC (Dr Falk Pharma GmbH v DAK-Gesundheit); and
    • that Articles 47(2) and 48(3) of Directive 2004/18 expressly provide that an operator may rely on the capacities of other entities in order to meet the requirements with regard to economic and financial standing and technical and professional ability required by the particular contract, and that the principle of equal treatment requires tenderers to be afforded equality of opportunity, which implies that the tenders of all tenderers must be subject to the same conditions (C-27/15 Pippo Pizzo v CRGT Srl).

Regulation and enforcement:

  • The High Court has held that taking and publishing photographs in court can amount to contempt of court, despite it being a summary offence under section 41 of the Criminal Justice Act 1925 (Solicitor General v Cox).
  • The government has published new guidance on injunctions to prevent gang-related violence and drug dealing.


Practical Law In brief

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