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

High Court finds professional disciplinary process to be unlawful

In Captain Arshad Rashid v Oil Companies International Marine Forum [2019] EWHC 2239, the High Court criticised a voluntary association for unlawfully removing the accreditation of one of its inspectors, finding its disciplinary process to be inconsistent with the requirements of procedural fairness and in breach of contract. Key Points In the context of disciplinary processes conducted … Read more

Supreme Court unanimously holds that extended prorogation of Parliament is unlawful

In R (Miller) v The Prime Minister; Cherry and ors v Advocate General for Scotland [2019] UKSC 41, the Supreme Court found that the Prime Minister’s advice to Her Majesty to prorogue Parliament for an extended period was unlawful and void, and quashed the consequent Order in Council effecting the prorogation. Key Points It is the function … Read more