Statutory guidance must remain within the purpose of the primary legislation

In R (on the application of Palestine Solidarity Campaign Ltd) v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government [2020] UKSC 16, the Supreme Court demonstrates that statutory guidance will be considered unlawful if it does not remain within the scope of what Parliament intended when it was conferring the power to issue that … Read more

Court of Appeal considers the legality of policies

In Bayer Plc v NHS Darlington Clinical Commissioning Groups [2020] EWCA Civ 449 the Court of Appeal had to consider the legality of a policy issued by NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (“CCGs”) in the light of EU law.  The court concluded that a policy which would permit the prescription of Avastin, an off-label drug for … Read more

Navigating Public Procurement in the COVID-19 era

As with almost all areas of commercial activity, public procurement across all sectors is currently experiencing varying degrees of extreme disruption. The UK Cabinet Office has issued general guidance and support in the form of three Procurement Policy Notes: PPN 01/20, addressing how public authorities may meet their urgent and unexpected needs for certain goods, … Read more

COVID-19 Pressure Points: The Right to Property

The current pandemic has led to an extraordinary level of state action. In many cases this has involved interference with the private rights of businesses and individuals. While states are undoubtedly seeking to balance health and economic concerns of the utmost importance, their actions nevertheless must comply with rules of domestic and international law. In … Read more

Today in a unanimous decision the Court of Appeal found that the current Government policy in relation to the expansion of Heathrow Airport is unlawful

Background The Court of Appeal has today handed down two related judgments both concerned with the Government’s policy in relation to the proposed expansion of Heathrow by way of a third runway, one dealing with the detail of how expansion should take place and the other considering the planning aspects and process of the policy. … Read more

High Court finds that the suspension of pension benefits breaches the Human Rights Act

In R (on the application of British Medical Association) v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care [2020] EWHC 64 (Admin) the British Medical Association (the “Claimant”), a trade union and professional body for doctors, successfully challenged the National Health Service Pension Schemes, Additional Voluntary Contributions and Injury Benefits (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (the “Regulations”). … Read more

Artificial Intelligence in the Public Sector – a new regulatory field?

The Committee on Standards in Public Life (the “Committee”) has published a report on artificial intelligence (“AI”) and its impact on public standards following the Committee’s review into this fast-developing field (the “Report”).  The Report sets out the Committee’s recommendations for the governance and regulation of AI in the public sector, aimed at ensuring high … 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