Here is UKAJI’s summary of important administrative justice events, news, and research for November 2019. If you have any information to add to this or future round-ups, please contact Lee Marsons at email@example.com.
UKAJI blog posts:
- The Administrative Justice Council (‘AJC’) posted a blog piece introducing and summarising its first annual report;
- UKAJI posted its October 2019 round-up of key administrative justice news, research, and events. The round-up can be found here;
- Paul Daly (University of Ottawa) posted a blog piece entitled, ‘Thinking about administrative justice – the Power of Mashaw’s model’;
- Lee Marsons (University of Essex) posted a blog piece concerning the launch of Margaret Doyle and Nick O’Brien’s book ‘Reimagining Administrative Justice: Human rights in small places’.
Research and publications:
- Paul Daly (University of Ottawa) published a paper entitled, ‘Artificial Administration: Administrative Law in the Age of Machines’;
- The IPPR (Institute for Public Policy Research) published a report entitled ‘Social (in)security: Reforming the UK’s social safety net’;
- The Administrative Justice Council published its annual report for 2018-19.
- Andrew Medlock, the Assistant Director of Strategy and Partnerships at the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (‘PHSO’) published a blog concerning the PHSO’s objective to produce a complaints standards framework for the entirety of the NHS (12 November 2019);
- Rob Behrens, the current PHSO, posted a podcast on Radio Ombudsman in conversation with Rosemary Agnew, the current Scottish Public Services Ombudsman. The pair discussed the advantages of an ombud becoming a complaints standards-setting authority;
- The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (‘LGSCO’) issued new guidance for council providing services for current and former members of the armed services in light of the Armed Forces Covenant;
- The LGSCO heavily criticised a Kent-based private care home for threatening to evict an elderly and vulnerable resident if her family did not pay a sudden 25% increase in her care home fees;
- The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman laid the results in 35 complaints before the Scottish Parliament;
- The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales (‘PSOW’) published its Equality Plan for 2019-2022;
- The PSOW published its first ‘Human Rights Casebook’ involving a series of cases it regarded as having a special connection with human rights;
- The PHSO and HSIB (Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch) signed a Memorandum of Understanding outlining their working relationship with regard to health investigations.
- The Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport to argue that the performance of NHS Health Boards should be more strictly monitored;
- The Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee published its budget scrutiny report on regional selective assistance, a fund which financially supports local businesses across Scotland;
- The Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Communities Committee recommended that the Scottish Government introduce compulsory sales orders to tackle the problem of empty homes;
- The Scottish Parliament’s Social Security Committee visited Wester Hailes Education Centre in their continuing inquiry into why millions of pounds of benefit in Scotland goes unclaimed;
- The Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee issued a public call for evidence over the operation of the European Common Agricultural Policy during a post-Brexit transition period and what devolved powers may be necessary for its proper functioning;
- The Welsh Assembly’s Health, Social Care and Sport Committee called on the Welsh Government to provide assistance to young carers through strengthening guidance for schools and introducing a national ID card scheme for carers;
- Douglas Bain was appointed the Acting Standards Commissioner for the National Assembly for Wales;
- The Welsh Assembly’s External Affairs Committee published a report into the Westminster Government’s EU Settlement Scheme.
- RR v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions  UKSC 52: This was a follow-on case from the Supreme Court’s decision in R (Carmichael) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions  UKSC 58 regarding the lawfulness of the so-called ‘bedroom tax’ in Regulation B13 of the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006. With Lady Hale giving the judgment, the Supreme Court determined that, where it was necessary to avoid a violation of the Convention rights, housing benefit was to be calculated without spare-room deductions required by the Regulations. The court decided this on the basis that it is not unconstitutional for a court to disapply a provision of subordinate legislation which would otherwise result in their acting incompatibly with a Convention right, where this is necessary in order to comply with the Human Rights Act 1998.
- London Borough of Waltham Forest v Saleh  EWCA Civ 1944: The central issue on this appeal was whether, in conducting a review of a homelessness decision under s.202 Housing Act 1996, the review officer must reconsider the decision in the light of all relevant circumstances at the date of the review or is limited to a reconsideration of the facts as they stood at the date of the original decision. The Court of Appeal decided the obligation of the council to review its decision required it to reconsider that decision in the light of all material circumstances at the date of review.
- R (BACI Bedfordshire) v Environment Agency  EWCA Civ 1962: concerning the proper factual basis on which the Environment Agency could grant an environmental permit to a company, and the extent of the ‘margin of appreciation’ possessed by the Agency in doing so.
- R (Anand and Alg) v Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea  EWHC 2964 (Admin): concerning a local authority’s imposition of parking restrictions, which were challenged on three grounds: (1) failure to consult; (2) failure to discharge the public sector equality duty under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010; and (3) irrationality.
- R (Bond) v Vale of White Horse District Council  EWHC 3080 (Admin): concerning a challenge to a local authority’s designation of land as inside the green belt when it was previously understood as being outside of the green belt. The decision was challenged on the grounds of illegality and legitimate expectation.
- R (Daniel Justin Farmiloe) v Gas and Electricity Markets Authority  EWHC 2981 (Admin): concerning a judicial review of the Authority’s refusal to accept the claimant’s application to be a registered and accredited provider under the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme.
- Inside Housing published a story noting that the firefighters’ union called for a specialist forum to be established in order to monitor the implementation of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry recommendations;
- The Guardian published a story arguing that waiting periods for complaints to be made to consumer ombuds should be abolished;
- The Guardian posted an opinion piece concerning the so-called ‘cruelty’ involved in the immigration appeals process.
Upcoming UKAJI blog 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;
- 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.