UKAJI October round-up
Here is UKAJI’s round-up of important administrative justice related news, research, and events for October 2019. If you have anything to add to this round-up or any future round-ups, please contact Lee Marsons at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UKAJI blog posts:
- Sarah Nason (Bangor University) and David Gardner (No 5 Chambers) posted a blog entitled ‘Ten years of the Administrative Court in Wales: success or failure?’ (15 October 2019)
- Lee Marsons posted a blog summarising the book launch of Margaret Doyle and Nick O’Brien’s Reimagining Administrative Justice: Human rights in small places. UKAJI had previously announced the launch of the book here.
Research and publications:
- Margaret Doyle and Nick O’Brien’s book Reimagining Administrative Justice: Human rights in small places became available in hardback.
- Independent Age launched its report entitled ‘Reviewing the case: The right to appeal in adult social care’.
- The SPSO published its Annual Report for 2018-19.
- The Commission on Justice in Wales published its report entitled ‘Justice in Wales for the People of Wales’ about further devolution of justice-related powers.
- Sarah Nason (Bangor University) posted a blog for Senedd Research entitled ‘Ensuring Fair and Lawful Administration in Wales: The Role of Administrative Justice’.
- Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur for Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, published a report about the human rights risks of a digital welfare state.
- Resolution Foundation published a report concerning intergenerational equity in public affairs.
- Open Government published a report on the need for a national commitment to open justice data and transparency.
- Essex Law School hosted the launch of Margaret Doyle and Nick O’Brien’s book Reimagining Administrative Justice: Human rights in small places on 23 October 2019.
- The PHSO held its Annual Open Meeting on 2 October 2019. The PHSO, Rob Behrens, also published a blog about the meeting.
- Sir Martin Moore-Bick published his findings from Phase One of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
- Jane Touil (Senior Caseworker and Freedom to Speak Up Guardian, PHSO) posted a blog entitled ‘Speak Up Month: Our commitment to speaking up’.
- Legal Wales held its annual conference which included a keynote address by Sir Terrence Etherton.
- On 10 October 2019, the country marked Ombuds Day.
- Public Law Project launched a new website providing free advice on the Claimant Commitment for Universal Credit.
- Scotland marked Poverty Week between 7 and 13 October 2019.
- Joe Tomlinson presented his research on proving public law error in automated decision-making systems to the Public Law Project conference on public law and technology.
- The PHSO determined that the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust misdiagnosed a patient with cancer and consequently failed to inform him that his illness was terminal.
- The PHSO announced a new Expert Advisory Panel to provide advice on specialist medical matters.
- The LGSCO determined that Somerset County Council took 21 months to carry out a reassessment of a vulnerable woman’s care needs.
- The LGSCO determined that Sheffield City Council incorrectly assessed people disabled blue badges.
- The LGSCO welcomed the publication of the House of Commons Education Committee Report on SEND. A link to this report can be found below in ‘Parliamentary affairs’.
- The LGSCO criticised Haringey and Islington Councils for their procedures in recovering historic business rate debt.
- The LGSCO warned that the London Borough of Bexley had failed to fully implement previous LGSCO findings in how it processed school transport applications for disabled children.
- The LGSCO determined that Salford City Council left a woman with autism without adequate support after the Council failed to review her care plan for more than five years.
- The LGSCO launched its report entitled ‘Not going to plan?’ dealing with the system of support for children with SEND.
- The SPSO provided an update on its views about the proposed Independent National Whistleblowing Officer in Scotland. This followed draft legislation published at Holyrood this year. The draft SPSO national whistleblowing standards can be found here. Discussion of this proposal at Holyrood’s Health and Sport Committee can be found here.
- The SPSO laid its conclusions in 41 cases before the Scottish Parliament.
- The SPSO announced that its next conference to be held on 25 February 2020 was now available to book.
- The NIPSO published its October bulletin.
- The PHSO launched a new Radio Ombudsman podcast about patients and the NHS.
- The House of Commons Education Committee published its report on Special Education Needs and Disabilities (First Report of Session 2019-20) 16 October 2019.
- Hugh Gaffney (MP for Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill) published an online questionnaire concerning child poverty in Scotland.
- The House of Lords debated the report of Sir Martin Moore-Bick from Phase One of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
- The House of Lords debated the Historical Institutional Abuse (Northern Ireland) Bill.
- The EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee took evidence on 29 October 2019 from local authority representatives on their experience of the EU Settlement Scheme.
- The House of Lords debated the Health Service Safety Investigations Bill.
- The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee held an evidence session on 29 October 2019 on the roll-out of smart meters.
- The Work and Pensions Committee launched an inquiry into charges for pensions transfer advice.
- Holyrood’s Social Security Committee marked Poverty Week by calling on citizens to claim money that they were entitled to from the state.
- The Women and Equalities Committee published a report into health and social care and LGBT communities.
- The Education Committee held an evidence session on 18 October 2019 on access to adult education.
- The House of Commons Justice Committee published its report on the Government’s court and tribunal modernisation programme.
- The Joint Committee on Human Rights published its report into the detention of children and young people with SEND or autism in mental health hospitals.
- R (Delve and Glynn) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions  EWHC 2552 (Admin), where the Administrative Court handed down its judgment in a challenge to the increase of women’s state pension age. The claim failed on all grounds.
- Chichester District Council v Secretary of State for Local Government  EWCA Civ 1640, on the application of the National Planning Policy Framework where an application for planning permission conflicts with a neighbourhood plan.
- R (CP, by her father and litigation friend) v North East Lincolnshire Council  EWCA Civ 1614, on the parallel duties owed by local authorities under the Care Act 2014 and the Children and Families Act 2014.
- Troy Guiste v London Borough of Lambeth  EWCA Civ 1758, on whether the applicant had priority need for homelessness accommodation on the basis of a thyroid condition.
- R (Shehab Aburas) v London Borough of Southwark  EWHC 2754 (Admin), on the intersection of the Care Act 2014 and Articles 3 and 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998 in the assessment of a person’s care needs.
- London Borough of Islington v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government  EWHC 2691 (Admin), about the Secretary of State allowing an appeal against an enforcement notice issued by the Council in respect of a change of use of a basement.
- R (Open Rights Group and The3Million v Secretary of State for Home Department  EWHC 2562 (Admin), on the lawfulness of the immigration exemption in the Data Protection Act 2018, Schedule 2 paragraph 4.
- The BBC published a story concerning school exclusions and their consequences for youth knife crime offending.
- The BBC published a story concerning women driven to sex work in order to survive due to Universal Credit.
- The BBC published a story concerning the difficulties facing parents and children who seek support for SEND in schools.
- The Guardian published a story concerning algorithmic decision-making in the welfare state and how this may affect the poor and vulnerable.
Future UKAJI posts:
- Liz Fisher-Frank (University of Essex) will post a blog concerning the work of the Essex Law Clinic and its promotion of social rights.
- Margaret Doyle (University of Essex) will post a blog regarding the House of Commons Education Committee Report in SEND.
- Natalie Byrom (Director of Research, Legal Education Foundation) will post a piece about her research into the Government’s court and tribunal reform programme;
- Katie Boyle (University of Stirling) will post a piece about her Nuffield-funded study into the protection of social rights in each of the UK jurisdictions;
- Charlotte O’Brien (University of York) will post a piece about her work into the discriminatory impact of the ‘two child rule’ for Child Benefit claimants;
- Sarah Nason (University of Bangor) will post a piece concerning the system of administrative justice for education in Wales;
- Lee Marsons (University of Essex) will post a piece concerning the need for caseworkers at the PHSO to be trained in emotional intelligence competencies;
- Anne-Marie Irwin (Irwin Mitchell solicitors) will post a piece concerning the ongoing judicial review into the Government’s funding of SEND education. Judgment is expected in October 2019.
I see there was mention here of the PHSO Annual Open Meeting. Members of the PHSOtheFACTS (the only service user group monitoring PHSO) attended the meeting in order to ask questions of the Ombudsman. Being open and transparent Mr Behrens promised to answer all the questions on the website if there was no time on the day. I was keen to know why the customer satisfaction scores were higher during the time that Dame Julie Mellor was Ombudsman than they are now – particularly given that it is widely accepted that the organisation was in ‘crisis’ due to ‘poor leadership’. Unfortunately, this question remained unanswered which raises a significant query over the accuracy of the customer feedback data. For more information you can check out this blog. https://phsothetruestory.com/2019/10/29/963/