The High Court has granted permission to judicially review a scheme set up by the Financial Conduct Authority to compensate small firms who were mis-sold interest rate swaps, which were billed to protect businesses against interest rate rises. Permission was granted to a nursing home operator to bring a case against KPMG, as the independent reviewer of Barclays’ redress scheme. The FCA, Barclays and KPMG challenged the application on the basis that the relationship between the bank and the accountancy firm was a matter of contract.
The Supreme Court has quashed a decision by Westminster Council that it had discharged its duty to house a single mother-of-five, who became homeless following the introduction of the housing benefit cap, by offering her accommodation in Milton Keynes, which she refused. Westminster Council had failed to demonstrate that serious consideration was given to its obligation to find accommodation within the area, or as close by as possible, where reasonably practicable.
A private-sector ombudsman scheme has been appointed to deal with appeals against parking charge notices on private land. The scheme stems from the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, which imposed a ban on immobilising or removing vehicles that are parked on private land. The Act also introduced the requirement that an independent appeals service should be set up to provide redress for motorists who receive parking tickets on private land. Previously managed by London Councils, responsibility for these appeals will pass to the new ombudsman from October 2015.
The Law Commission is to consult on proposals to replace the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, in order to make them simpler for professions to use without compromising human rights protections.
Justice has published Delivering Justice in an Age of Austerity, which sets out a vision of systemic change to the way civil courts and tribunals resolve disputes. It recommends a new model to apply in any first instance proceedings, featuring a ‘primary dispute resolution officer’ with the power to strike out a case, resolve the dispute, or refer to a judge, and an integrated online and telephone service to provide advice and information.
The Public Accounts Select Committee has raised concerns with national statistician John Pullinger regarding the quality of official statistics on the economy and public finances. The Committee noted that many respondents to its recent inquiry expressed concern over the lack of resources given to official statistics and the impenetrable manner in which they are often presented.
General election 2015
UKAJI has published an A-Z overview of what the parties’ manifestos have to say about administrative justice. For an overview of specific issues covered in the manifestos, see the list below from experts in those issues. (Note: Some of the overviews listed below express opinions about the issues raised; others are intended to be non-political. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinions of members of UKAJI.)
For an overview of the parties’ manifesto promises on justice policy, including legal aid, see the section on the website of the Legal Aid Handbook dedicated to the General Election; and the Legal Voice news piece by Oliver Carter, paralegal in the public law team at law firm Irwin Mitchell.
For an overview of the parties’ manifesto promises on welfare benefits and tax credits, see the document produced by rights.net dedicated to the General Election.
For an overview of the parties’ manifesto promises on dealing with the housing shortage, see the Shelter blog post by Steve Akehurst; for an overview of promises on housing support, see the Shelter blog post by Scott Dawes.
For an overview of the parties’ manifesto promises on the EU, see the UK Constitutional Law Association blog post by Steve Peers, Professor of EU and Human Rights Law at the University of Essex.
For an overview of the parties’ manifesto promises on debt, cuts and austerity, see the UK Constitutional Law Association blog post by Keith Ewing, Professor of Public Law at King’s College London.
For an overview of the parties’ manifesto promises on immigration, see the podcast from law firm Morton Fraser.
For an overview of conservatism (and the Conservative Manifesto) and constitutional change, see the UK Constitutional Law Association blog post by Graham Gee, Senior Lecturer at Birmingham Law School at the University of Birmingham.
For an overview of the parties’ manifesto promises on rural communities and housing, see the summary published by the Countryside Alliance.
For a sardonic overview of the literary qualities of all the parties’ manifestos, see Terry Eagleton’s piece in The Guardian