DBAs: greater need for expert early case assessment
Legal reforms 1 April 2013
Following concerns held by the senior judiciary about the cost of civil justice, where the costs of litigation were often disproportionate to the issues, on 1 April 2013 the government reformed the civil procedure rules to restore balance to the system to try and reduce litigation costs. These are the Jackson reforms.
Changing face of commercial litigation
Child – Court proceedings in relation to child – Proceedings in private
Surrey County Council v Z A-H and others: Family Division: 22 July 2013
The chief constable applied to exclude the media from the hearing of care proceedings of two children orphaned as a result of a gunman’s attack in France. The Family Division, in dismissing the application, held that since the attack, there was no real and immediate risk to the children’s lives. As the court and the parties retained the right and the duty to keep the issue of media attendance under review at all points, there was no likelihood that the attendance of accredited representatives at the substantive hearing would materially increase the risk to the children’s lives.
Validity – Declaration – Respondent lacking capacity having married abroad in arranged marriage ceremony
Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council v RG and others: Court of Protection: 4 July 2013
The local authority supported and cared for a 38-year-old man, RG, who suffered moderate learning difficulties and low intelligence. He had married in India during an arranged marriage ceremony organised by his parents. The authority applied to the court for a declaration that it was in the best interests of RG for the Official Solicitor to issue a petition of nullity on his behalf and to seek to obtain a decree nullity if the matrimonial court was satisfied that RG was entitled to such a decree. The Court of Protection dismissed the authority's application, finding that, on the evidence, RG's best interests did not require or justify that the marriage be annulled.
Relief from sanctions in costs budgeting
First instance decisions on relief from sanction under the new Civil Procedure Rule 3.9 and compliance with costs management rules are percolating through and will be anxiously pored over by a legal profession that is wondering just how tough the post-Jackson regime will be.
Defendant secretary of state appointing Trust Special Administrator to NHS Trust – TSA making recommendations concerning hospital in neighbouring Trust area
R (on the application of London Borough of Lewisham and another) v Secretary of State for Health and another: Queen's Bench Division, Administrative Court (London): 31 July 2013
The secretary of state had appointed a Trust Special Administrator (TSA) over a failing South London NHS Trust. The TSA made recommendations, which were adopted by the secretary of state, concerning changes to a hospital which was in a neighbouring Trust area. On a judicial review application challenging the vires of the recommendations and the decision, the Administrative Court held that, on the true construction of Ch 5A of the National Health Service Act 2006, the TSA had not had power to make recommendations concerning a hospital which was not within the Trust to which he had been appointed and, accordingly, the secretary of state had not had power to make the decision reducing the hospital services that he had.
Precious metal frauds push up VAT gap by 25%, according to expert
An increase in 'carousel' VAT frauds involving platinum and other precious metals has helped to push up the 'gap' between the amount of VAT due and that collected by 25%, an expert has said.
Pickles details new support measures for high streets
The Government will consult on relaxing rules for the change of use from shops to restaurants and the creation of a national planning permission to allow the installation of mezzanine floors in shops as part of its support package for high streets.
London's first neighbourhood plan approved in referendum
The neighbourhood plan for Norland Conservation Area in west London's Holland Park was last week passed at a local referendum by a 74% majority.
Plans for major mixed use Aldgate scheme submitted
The 4C Hotel Group has submitted a planning application to the City of London Corporation for a 458,000 square feet redevelopment of the Minories Estate in London's EC3.
Warning for waste operators as SEPA announces new waste crime task force
Waste operators in Scotland have been warned to ensure that they only deal with other legitimate firms as part of a new enforcement drive against “serious and organised” crime in the industry.