UKAJI January 2020 round-up
Here is UKAJI’s round-up of important administrative justice news and events for January 2020. If you have anything to include in this or future round-ups, please contact Lee Marsons on firstname.lastname@example.org. A kind reminder that UKAJI’s new editorial guidelines on blog contribution style can be found here.
UKAJI blog posts:
- Lee Marsons (University of Essex) launched UKAJI’s new research series on emotions in administrative justice with a call for blog contributions;
- Alice Welsh (University of York) and Joe Tomlinson (University of York) posted a blog entitled ‘The EU Settlement Scheme: Trends and Forecasts’;
- Jaime Lindsey (University of Essex) posted a blog entitled ‘Researching mental capacity disputes: The role of mediation in improving participation in the Court of Protection’;
- UKAJI published an invitation to an event at the University of Liverpool discussing Margaret Doyle and Nick O’Brien’s new book ‘Reimagining Administrative Justice: Human rights in small places’ (2019);
- Margaret Doyle (University of Essex) posted a book review of Amelia Gentleman’s ‘The Windrush Betrayal: Exposing the Hostile Environment’ (2019);
- Joe Tomlinson (University of York) and Emma Marshall (University of Exeter) posted a blog launching a new Public Law Project on legal aid and the operation of the Exceptional Case Funding Scheme.
Research and publications:
- The EHRC published new guidance for employers on protecting employees from harassment;
- Public Law Project published a briefing on Clause 26 of the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill;
- Public Law Project published a briefing on the Independent Monitoring Authority created by the Withdrawal Agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom, and how the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 allows the Secretary of State to change or abolish this body via secondary legislation;
- Sarah Clark (Public Law Project) posted an article on the Legal Action Group website entitled ‘Do benefit sanctions breach ECHR article 3?’;
- Chris Foye, ‘Ethically-speaking, what is the most reasonable way of evaluating housing outcomes?’ (2020) in the Journal of Housing, Theory and Society;
- Timea Tallodi (University of Essex) published How Parties Experience Mediation: An Interview Study on Relationship Changes in Workplace Mediation;
- Ofsted published its Annual Report for 2018-19 on 21 January 2020;
- Healthwatch published a report entitled Shifting the mindset: a closer look at NHS complaints;
- Sofia Ranchordas (University of Groningen) posted a blog on I-Connect entitled Public Law and Technology: Automating Welfare, Outsourcing the State;
- Carolyn Hirst (Hirstworks) published a blog entitled ‘Perceived Fairness and Justice’;
- The Law Commission published its report Simplifying the Immigration Rules;
- Boram Kimhur published an article entitled How to Apply the Capability Approach to Housing Policy? Concepts, Theories and Challenges in the Journal of Housing, Theory and Society;
- Special Needs Jungle posted a blog entitled Challenging opaque, illegal social care plans for disabled adults.
- R (Shu & Anor) v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care & Anor  EWHC 3369 (Admin), which concerned a challenge to NHS charging regulations on the basis of Articles 8 and 14 of the Human Rights Act 1998;
- R (FF) v Director of Legal Aid Casework  EWHC 95 (Admin), which concerned a challenge to the refusal of an application for legal aid.
- James Titcombe, Patient Safety Campaigner and member of PHSO Expert Advisory Panel, posted a blog for the PHSO entitled ‘Learning from mistakes: An open and honest review of failings in handling a serious complaint’;
- The PHSO’s Radio Ombudsman posted a new podcast entitled ‘Human rights challenges and opportunities’ with Rebecca Hilsenrath, Chief Executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission;
- Kate Eisenstein, Assistant Director of Insight and Public Affairs at the PHSO, posted a PHSO blog entitled ‘International Holocaust Memorial Day: What it means to me’;
- The PHSO determined that Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust’s failure to operate on a twisted bowel led to a patient’s death;
- The LGSCO determined that a young family, including a disabled child, had to leave their home following a miscalculation of their housing benefits by London Borough of Haringey;
- The LGSCO determined that a pregnant woman, who approached Tower Hamlets council for help when she was made homeless, was left in an unfurnished flat, miles from her support network;
- The LGSCO published a report into poor Housing Benefit practice across local government;
- The LGSCO strongly criticised Richmond council’s children’s service provider, Achieving for Children, for not effectively supporting children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND);
- The LGSCO issued a second report against Medway Council because the council had not implemented the LGSCO’s recommendations on school transport provision for children;
- The LGSCO published its report into the transport duties of local government in relation to foster children;
- The LGSCO determined that a Nottinghamshire man with autism was left relying on his parents to part-fund his care when the county council cut his package without identifying a suitable alternative;
- The LGSCO strongly criticised Sandwell council for refusing to let a vulnerable mother have her representative present at an important meeting and for making serious and unsubstantiated allegations about both of them during an investigation by the LGSCO;
- The PSOW determined that Flintshire County Council was guilty of maladministration over its failure to deal with a nuisance car wash;
- The SPSO published its new National Whisteblowing Standards;
- The SPSO laid the results of one decision before the Scottish Parliament;
- The SPSO launched a consultation on its Strategic Plan for 2020-2024;
- The Housing Ombudsman launched a new Insight Report sharing knowledge and learning from casework.
- The House of Lords gave the Pensions Schemes Bill its Second Reading, which will, inter alia, establish a new regulatory framework for operating money pensions schemes and grant new powers to the Pensions Regulator;
- The Welsh Assembly’s Finance Committee launched a consultation on amending the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2013;
- The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill 2019 received the Royal Assent and became an Act of Parliament. During the passage of the Bill, MPs had rejected amendments made by peers to provide paper identity documents to EU citizens as proof of their settled status;
- The House of Commons considered the Second Reading of the NHS Funding Bill 2019-20;
- Brandon Lewis MP, Minister of State for Security, wrote to the House of Lords Committee on Exiting the European Union in relation to concerns about the EU Settlement Scheme.
- Public Law Project held a workshop at the University of York entitled Benefit Sanctions: What’s Next? on 27th January 2020;
- Public Law Project held a clinic on 27 January 2020 to launch its Exceptional Case Funding toolkit;
- Public Law Project held a workshop on 14 January 2020 on judicial review of statutory instruments;
- The University of York posted a job advertisement for a research associate to assist Professor Caroline Hunter on a housing law project;
- The annual NHS Complaints Summit was held on 20 January 2020;
- Sir Ernest Ryder, Senior President of Tribunals, announced his retirement;
- The Public Service Ombuds Group met in Manchester on 28 January 2020 to discuss strategies for ombuds reform;
- The Administrative Justice Council held a meeting in Edinburgh on 31 January 2020.
- Phase 2 of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry began on 27 January 2020.
- The BBC reported that Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, called for powers to be devolved to Holyrood so that a Scottish visa system could be established;
- The Guardian reported on the ongoing litigation regarding the so-called robodebt scandal in Australia;
- The Independent reported that solicitors acting for the Home Office routinely deployed unsound legal argument in Tribunal hearings;
- Civil Service World reported that some complainants faced an eighteen month wait for the DWP’s Independent Case Examiner;
- The BBC reported on the fears faced by some EU citizens as they attempted to navigate the EU Settlement Scheme;
- The BBC’s Behind Closed Doors series reported on the work of the Court of Protection;
- The BBC reported on an increase in school exclusions connected to racism;
- The BBC reported on comments by former Thomas Cook staff who felt that the benefits system had failed them;
- The BBC reported on plans from the Scottish Government to launch a free debt advice service.