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 LATEST NEWS

April 06, 2020

Councils want to keep parks open, but people need to follow social distancing, says Local Government Association

The government has called on councils not to close parks unless it is impossible to maintain social distancing in them.
April 06, 2020

HMCTS issues business priorities for family courts and Court of Protection during COVID-19 outbreak

HM Courts & Tribunals Service has set out the business priorities for family courts during the coronavirus outbreak, setting out the work that must be done, the work that will be done and the work that “we will do our best to do”.
April 06, 2020

LLG, ADSO and NALC issue guidance on new regulations on virtual meetings

Lawyers in Local Government (LLG), the Association of Democratic Services Officers (ADSO) and the National Association of Local Councils have produced guidance on the new regulations that give local authorities greater flexibility when it comes to holding…
April 03, 2020

Tribunal stays information rights cases for 28 days

The First-Tier Tribunal General Regulatory Chamber (Information Rights) has – with immediate effect – stayed for a period of 28 days all proceedings under section 48 of the Data Protection Act 1998, section 162 of the Data Protection Act 2018 and section 57…
April 02, 2020

Government issues regulations giving local authorities flexibility on conduct of meetings, including remote attendance by members

The Government has issued the regulations that will give local authorities greater flexibility in the conduct of meetings, including allowing members to attend remotely, and for public and press access to those meetings.
April 02, 2020

Council and police shut pub that held lock in during lockdown

Ashfield District Council has used its powers working with Nottinghamshire Police to shut a pub under new rules introduced during the COVID-19 outbreak, after the licence holder held a lock in at her pub.
April 01, 2020

Families of disabled children threaten legal challenge over government limit on outdoor exercise

A pre-action protocol letter has been sent to the Government calling on it to reconsider the policy that all citizens are only permitted to leave the house for exercise once per day.
April 01, 2020

NICE amends Covid-19 critical care guideline after judicial review threat

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (‘NICE’) has changed the COVID-19 guideline for clinical care after being threatened with a judicial review challenge.
April 01, 2020

CIPFA issues warning over poor organisational controls and increased risk for councils of fraud during pandemic

More than two thirds (69%) of local government professionals believe poor organisational controls leave local authorities vulnerable to fraudsters, research by CIPFA has found.
April 01, 2020

Government issues guidance on how local authorities can use Care Act ‘easements’

The Department of Health & Social Care has published guidance setting out local authorities can use the new 'easements' under the Coronavirus Act 2020 that mean they no longer need to meet certain duties under the Care Act.
March 31, 2020

Guidance issued on remote access to Court of Protection

The Vice-President of the Court of Protection has today (31 March) issued updated guidance on remote access to the court.
March 31, 2020

HMCTS issues listing priorities for civil courts

HM Courts and Tribunal Service has published listing priorities for civil courts, dividing cases between work that must be done and work that could be done.
March 30, 2020

Divisional Court to consider application for suspension of ‘no recourse to public funds’ policy

The Divisional Court will this week (3 April) consider whether to suspend the Home Office’s ‘no recourse to public funds’ (NRPF) policy.
March 30, 2020

Network of priority courts launched for essential face-to-face hearings

The Ministry of Justice, HM Courts and Tribunals Service and the judiciary have created a network of 157 priority courts and tribunal buildings that will remain open for essential face-to-face hearings during the coronavirus pandemic to make sure the justice…
March 27, 2020

Housing association gains injunction against social gathering

Manchester housing association Mosscare St Vincent’s has been granted an urgent injunction against a tenant who continued to ignore government guidelines on social distancing by hosting parties for up to twenty people.
March 27, 2020

All ongoing housing possession action to be suspended from today

The Master of the Rolls has decided that from today (27 March) the court service will suspend all ongoing housing possession action.
March 26, 2020

Coronavirus Act 2020 receives Royal Assent

The Coronavirus Act 2020, which contains a wide range of emergency measures as part of the government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, has been given Royal Assent.
March 26, 2020

Ombudsman suspends complaints enquiries of councils and care providers

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has suspended all casework activity that demands information from, or action by, local authorities and care providers, in light of the current coronavirus outbreak.
March 25, 2020

Barristers positive about experience of appearing in one of first remote substantive hearings in Planning Court

Barristers who took part in one of the first remote substantive hearings in the Planning Court have said the experience demonstrates that the courts should remain open for business during the coronavirus outbreak.
March 25, 2020

CaseLines releases electronic bundles tool in bid to help courts maintain service

In response to courts moving online during the COVID-19 crisis, CaseLines has released a tool, eBridge, that allows them to move to electronic bundles for hearings using existing filing protocols.
March 25, 2020

House of Commons Library issues briefing paper on provisions in Coronavirus Bill on local authority meetings

The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on provisions in the Coronavirus Bill on local authority meetings.
March 24, 2020

Government issues procurement policy note on paying suppliers during coronavirus outbreak

The Cabinet Office has issued a procurement policy note (PPN) setting out information and guidance for public bodies on payment of their suppliers to ensure service continuity during and after the COVID-19 outbreak.
March 24, 2020

Vice-President of Court of Protection issues further guidance for judges and practitioners on hearings

No hearings in the Court of Protection which require people to attend are to take place unless there is a genuine urgency and it is not possible to conduct a remote hearing, the Court’s Vice-President has said.
March 24, 2020

Bar Council gives updated guidance for barristers on attending hearings

The Bar Council has told barristers that the Prime Minister’s message yesterday evening was “clear that everyone must stay at home to inhibit all contact and stall the spread of Covid-19” and that this affects all court hearings.
March 24, 2020

Government to protect commercial tenants from eviction if they miss rent payments over coronavirus outbreak

Commercial tenants who miss a payment in the next three months because of the coronavirus outbreak will be protected from eviction, the government has announced.
March 24, 2020

Council officers responsible for enforcing regulations requiring businesses to close during lockdown

Environmental Health and Trading Standards officers will be able to issue prohibition notices to enforce regulations requiring non-essential businesses and premises to close during the coronavirus pandemic.
March 23, 2020

Virtual local authority meetings

Amendments to the Coronavirus Bill will rule out uncertainty over whether local authority meetings can be held online, writes Charles Holland.
March 23, 2020

Judiciary issues guidance as remote hearings to become the norm immediately in Family Court

it should be possible to continue substantially the full operation of the family justice system, albeit on a remote access basis, notwithstanding the COVID-19 pandemic, guidance produced by the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary has said.
March 23, 2020

Ministry of Justice clarifies those key workers seen as “essential to the running of the justice system”

The Ministry of Justice has shared a list of key workers considered “essential to the running of the justice system” during the coronavirus outbreak and therefore whose children will be prioritised for education provision, the Bar Council has revealed.
March 23, 2020

Judiciary issue protocol on conduct of remote hearings in civil justice

The judiciary have published a protocol on the conduct of remote hearings in civil justice in England and Wales.
March 23, 2020

LGA issues briefing on Coronavirus Bill, calls for temporary relaxation of FOI and GDPR requirements

The Local Government Association has called for additional powers to be given to local government as it published a briefing on the measures contained in the Coronavirus Bill.
March 20, 2020

Barristers call for changes to Coronavirus Bill to avoid wholesale removal of duties to provide adult social care

Barristers from 39 Essex Chambers, 11KBW and Monckton Chambers have set out proposed amendments to the Coronavirus Bill, warning that, as it is currently drafted, the legislation is likely to have a serious negative impact on adults with care and support…
March 20, 2020

Government publishes Coronavirus Bill

The government has published the Coronavirus Bill with provisions covering areas such as the emergency registration of social workers, the suspension of most local authority social care obligations, the closure of educational institutions and the postponement…
March 20, 2020

ACAS issues guidance on home-working for employers and employees

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) has set out the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees when working from home, in response to government advice for many workers to stay away from the office.
March 20, 2020

Government sets out list of ‘key workers’ to be prioritised for education provision

Only those administrative occupations in local and national government essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response, or delivering essential public services, such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms-length…
March 20, 2020

Government issues policy note and guidance on public procurement and responses to COVID-19

The Cabinet Office has issued a Procurement Policy Note (PPN) setting out information and associated guidance on the public procurement regulations and responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.
March 19, 2020

Family President issues national guidance for Family Court and High Court Family Division

The President of the Family Division has published national guidance on Covid-19 that should be followed with immediate effect by all levels of the Family Court and the High Court Family Division.
March 19, 2020

Emergency legislation to prevent start of possession proceedings for three-month period

Emergency legislation will suspend new evictions from social or private rented accommodation while the national emergency over Covid-19 is taking place, the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has announced.
March 18, 2020

Pubs and restaurants to be allowed to serve takeaways as part of coronavirus response

The Communities Secretary has confirmed that planning regulations will temporarily be relaxed to allow all pubs and restaurants to operate as takeaways of hot food and drinks, as part of plans to help the hospitality industry during the coronavirus outbreak.
March 18, 2020

Housing associations body says no one should be evicted because of coronavirus

No one should lose their home because of coronavirus, the National Housing Federation has said.
March 18, 2020

Councils welcome measures to protect renters from eviction during coronavirus outbreak

The Local Government Association has welcomed a government commitment to bring forward measures protecting tenants from eviction amid the coronavirus outbreak.
March 18, 2020

Mother sends letter before action to government over coronavirus and strategy for needs of younger disabled people, lack of testing of health and social care workers

Claimant law firm Simpson Millar has sent a letter before action on behalf of the mother of a child with a number of complex health and learning disabilities calling on the UK government to confirm its strategy for “meeting the needs of younger disabled…
March 18, 2020

LLG and ADSO write to Secretary of State on impact of Covid-19 on governance

Lawyers in Local Government (LLG) and the Association of Democratic Services Officers (ADSO) have written to the Local Government Secretary on the impact of Covid-19 on governance issues.
March 17, 2020

Lord Chief Justice calls for more remote hearings, says it is vital administration of justice does not grind to a halt

There is an urgent need to increase the use of telephone and video technology immediately to hold remote hearings where possible, the Lord Chief Justice has said, saying it is “of vital importance that the administration of justice does not grind to a halt”.
March 17, 2020

Ofsted suspends all routine inspections

Ofsted has temporarily suspended all routine inspections of schools, further education, early years and social care providers as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
March 17, 2020

Government to consider allowing virtual committee meetings on temporary basis: Jenrick

The government is to consider bringing forward legislation to legislation to allow council committee meetings to be held virtually for a temporary period during the coronavirus outbreak, the Local Government Secretary has said.
March 17, 2020

Care watchdog in immediate cessation of routine inspections in response to coronavirus

The Care Quality Commission has stopped routine inspections as it adapts its regulatory approach in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
March 16, 2020

Council suspends debt-related court action against residents during coronavirus pandemic

Sandwell Council is to suspend council debt-related court action against residents during the coronavirus pandemic.
March 16, 2020

Mother launches judicial review challenge over decision not to close schools in Northern Ireland over coronavirus outbreak

Lawyers acting for a mother with a child at primary school in County Armagh have said they intend to apply for emergency judicial review of the decision not to close schools across Northern Ireland.
March 13, 2020

Councils and Electoral Commission welcome government decision to put May 2020 elections back by one year

The government has decided to postpone the 7 May 2020 local and mayoral elections in England for one year.

  FEATURES AND ANALYSIS

April 06, 2020

School admission appeals – the new virtual reality?

Lisa Busch QC considers whether, in the absence of specific legislation, school admissions appeals can be heard using remote technology.
April 06, 2020

Virtual local authority meetings

The government has brought in new regulations handing local authorities greater flexbility when it comes to holding meetings. Richard Harwood QC analyses the key elements of the measures.
April 03, 2020

Coronavirus and Police use of drones

Ibrahim Hasan looks at the significant issues arising out of the police's use of drones during the coronavirus outbreak.
April 03, 2020

Coronavirus and local authority meetings in England and Wales

Alastair Lewis gives an overview of the regulations for local authority meetings in England and Wales during the COVID-19 crisis.
April 02, 2020

Coronavirus employment implications - FAQs

Allison Cook provides answers to frequently asked questions from public sector employers during the COVID-19 outbreak.
April 02, 2020

A life worth living

Nageena Khalique QC looks at Mostyn J's judgment in a novel case concerning withdrawal of life sustaining treatment in the Court of Protection’s first ever Skype trial.
April 01, 2020

Covid-19, social distancing and mental capacity

Victoria Butler-Cole QC, Sian Davies and Alex Ruck-Keene discuss the legal position where a person (“P”) lives in the community and declines to practice social distancing in circumstances where P does not (or may not) have capacity to make decisions about social contact in the circumstances of COVID-19.
March 31, 2020

Housing disrepair claims and the complications caused by coronavirus

Whilst there might be a decline in the number of new housing disrepair claims in the short term, there is likely to be a spike in claims once restrictions are lifted, write Matthew Lake and Matthew Wilson.
March 30, 2020

COVID-19 and housing law

Elizabeth England rounds up the key developments in housing law in the week commencing 23 March 2020 and considers what is next for possession and disrepair claims.
March 30, 2020

COVID-19 and social landlords: updated

Angela Hall, Elizabeth England and Tristan Salter provide an update for social landlords on the changes taking place as a response to the pandemic.
March 27, 2020

Coronavirus and executing documents remotely

David Sawtell and Gethin Thomas look at the legal position on the execution of documents during the coronavirus outbreak and the particular issues faced by local authorities.
March 27, 2020

Coronavirus Act 2020 and social care

The Coronavirus Act 2020 means that disabled and vulnerable adults may be left with no entitlement or access to care, writes Jonathan Auburn.
March 27, 2020

Coronavirus emergency: local authority charges for care and support

Christine Cooper looks at the issues for local authorities around charging for care during the coronavirus outbreak.
March 27, 2020

Skype in the Court of Protection: The courts in the time of coronavirus

Nageena Khalique QC and Sophia Roper explain what it was like to take part in a trial concerning withdrawal of life sustaining treatment that was heard by Mr Justice Mostyn with five parties and at least 20 participants over Skype for Business.
March 26, 2020

Data protection and coronavirus

The Information Commissioner's Office has issued guidance for data controllers on their data protection compliance obligations during the coronavirus outbreak. Euros Jones, Alexander Gorst and Natasha Jordan look at the key points.
March 26, 2020

Coronavirus, local authority meetings and development management

John Pugh-Smith provides a brief overview of the current known position, watch points and continuing uncertainties as at 26 March 2020 now that the Coronavirus Act 2020 is in force.
March 26, 2020

Homelessness and Covid-19

Andy Lane, Matt Lewin and Tara O’Leary of Cornerstone Barristers’ Housing and Public Law Teams have prepared a briefing note in response to the particular issues raised for local housing authorities (LHAs) by Covid-19 insofar as concerns their Part 7 homelessness duties and powers.
March 25, 2020

Forfeiture frustrated

The government is proposing emergency legislation via the Coronavirus Bill intended to protect business tenants from the threat of having their leases forfeited for non-payment of rent. Peter Hall looks at the issues.
March 25, 2020

COVID-19 and State aid: Local Government Impacts

Fenella Morris QC and Kelly Stricklin-Coutinho set out what local authorities need to consider in relation to state aid if they are looking to provide support during the COVID-19 outbreak.
March 25, 2020

Remote licensing hearings are lawful

Philip Kolvin QC addresses any lingering doubts as to whether it is lawful for licensing hearings to be conducted remotely.
March 24, 2020

Enforcing the lockdown

The government is once again using s.45C of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 to impose distancing measures, writes Charles Holland, as new measures are introduced in Wales.
March 23, 2020

Closing restaurants, cafes and pubs during COVID-19

Charles Holland analyses the regulations issued by the government for the closure of restaurants, cafes, pubs and other leisure venues during the coronavirus outbreak.
March 23, 2020

COVID-19 and new State aid exemptions

The European Commission has adopted new State aid exemptions to allow Governments to alleviate the economic impact of COVID-19. Jonathan Branton and Alexander Rose analyse the provisions.
March 20, 2020

Keeping the planning system going

Jonathan Easton sets out how local authorities can maintain decision taking when it is becoming ever more difficult to convene planning committees.
March 20, 2020

Consultation in a time of social distancing and self-isolation

Local authorities should consider the legal issues around consultation during the Covid-19 crisis, writes Jonathan Moffett QC.
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