Broad public consultations not always sufficient to meet the requirements of fairness

In R (on the application of British Blind & Shutter Association) v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government [2019] EWHC 3162 (Admin) the High Court quashed a regulation inserted into the Building Regulations 2010 by the Building (Amendment Regulations) 2018 (“the 2018 Regulations”). The court found that the Secretary of State’s consultation in respect of … Read more

Energy price cap to be recalculated following flawed consultation

In R (on the application of British Gas Trading Ltd) v Gas & Electricity Markets Authority and others [2019] EWHC 3048 (Admin), British Gas (the “Claimant“) successfully challenged the level of the price cap set by Ofgem (the “Defendant“) on certain tariffs for the retail supply of domestic energy, on the basis that the Defendant had based its … Read more

Launch of the Public Law podcast series – Ep 1: Practical effective access to justice

We are delighted to announce the launch of our own Public Law podcast series on the HSF podcast channel. Our public law team helps claimants, defendants, interested parties and intervening third parties in administrative and public law issues in a variety of proceedings – including judicial reviews, tribunal proceedings, governmental inquiries or regulatory or disciplinary … Read more

Labour’s plans for energy and medicines – public law analysis

We have published two papers which consider the impact of the Labour Party’s recently announced policies on two heavily regulated sectors, namely the energy and pharmaceutical industries. The policies proposed in relation to both sectors, which are similar to those now also proposed in other industries (such as the water industry and in relation to … Read more

Practice head receives award for pro bono contribution

The public law team is delighted that Andrew Lidbetter, practice head, has won the Best Contribution by an Individual Award at the LawWorks Annual Pro Bono Awards 2019. This category considers pro bono lawyers as well as senior partners who have championed pro bono legal work in a firm. The award was presented by the … Read more

Incidental powers allow public body to publish its findings in the public interest

In Vote Leave Ltd v The Electoral Commission [2019] EWCA Civ 1938 the Court of Appeal found that it was within the Electoral Commission’s incidental powers to publish a report setting out its investigation and findings in relation to payments made by Vote Leave Ltd (“Vote Leave”) during the 2016 EU referendum (the “Report”). In doing so, the … Read more

Watt’s the issue here? High Court dismisses challenge to Government smart meter programme

In R (on the application of Utilita Energy Ltd v Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy [2019] EWHC 2612 (Admin), the High Court dismissed Utilita Energy Ltd (Utilita’s) application for judicial review of three decisions relating to the Government’s smart metering programme. Key Points Public authorities are entitled to delay public consultation … Read more

Supreme Court holds that public authorities may disapply secondary legislation in cases of incompatibility with the Human Rights Act

In RR v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2019] UKSC 52, the Supreme Court has dealt with an important constitutional question on the powers of public authorities and tribunals. In its judgment handed down today, it held that a public authority, court or tribunal can disapply a provision of subordinate legislation which would … Read more

London-wide ban on Extinction Rebellion protests quashed by High Court

Last week the High Court handed down its judgment on the high profile judicial review brought against the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis by a number of activists and politicians who support Extinction Rebellion (XR), the environmental pressure movement. The decision challenged was that of Superintendent Duncan McMillan taken on 14 October 2019 to … Read more