*X County Council v a mother and others

Family proceedings Orders in family proceedings. The Family Division considered the case of two boys, aged three and one, who came from a family in which Huntington's disease (HD) was said to be present. The boys were the subject of interim care orders and were likely to be placed for adoption. The court held that it was not in the welfare interests of either child for the court to order testing to establish whether they were carrying the gene for HD.

R (on the application of Baker) v Bath and North East Somerset Council and another

Town and country planning Permission for development. The interested party, H Ltd, operated a waste composting site. The claimant lived near the site. Following the quashing of various planning permissions due to the fact that para13 of Sch 2 to the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999, did not properly implement European Union law, with the result that applications required to be screened, H Ltd continued to operate the site in the manner that would have been permitted by them. The Secretary of State made positive screening directions and accordingly, there were before the respondent authority three live applications for planning permission which would, if granted, operate with retrospective effect. The purported environmental statement submitted by H Ltd was inadequate and 14 months later, the authority decided that H Ltd ought to have a further three months to present a complete environmental statement and the issue of whether an enforcement notice should be issued was withdrawn from the agenda. The claimant sought to challenge the decision by way of judicial review proceedings. The Administrative Court, in dismissing the claim, held that there was no duty on the authority under EU law immediately to issue an enforcement notice in the circumstances and, notwithstanding the court's initial misgivings, on the evidence, the authority had reached a fair, reasonable and proportionate decision on the relevant issue.

Hogan and others v Minister for Social and Family Affairs and others

European Union Employment. The Court of Justice of the European Union made a preliminary ruling concerning the interpretation of arts 1 and 8 of Directive (EC) 2008-94 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2008 (on the protection of employees in the event of the insolvency of their employer). The request had been made in proceedings between Mr Hogan and other former employees of Waterford Crystal Ltd (Waterford Crystal), the plaintiffs in the main proceedings, and the Minister for Social and Family Affairs, Ireland and the Attorney General concerning the transposition of that Directive.

Associata ACCEPT v Consilul National pentru Combaterea Discriminarii

European union Employment. The Court of Justice of the European Union made a preliminary ruling concerning the interpretation of arts 2(2)(a), 10(1) and 17 of Council Directive (EC) 2000-78 (establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation). The reference had been made in proceedings between Asociaia ACCEPT (Accept) and the Consiliul National pentru Combaterea Discriminarii (National Council for Combatting Discrimination) (CNCD), concerning its decision partially dismissing a complaint lodged following public statements, made by a person who presented himself as and was considered by public opinion to play a leading role in a professional football club, ruling out the recruitment by that club of a footballer presented as being a homosexual.

Cheshire East Borough Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and others

Town and country planning Permission for development. The first defendant Secretary of State overturned the claimant local authority's refusal of outline planning permission for the erection of up to 269 dwellings and associated works. The claimant sought the quashing of the decision on prematurity grounds. The Administrative Court, in dismissing the claim, held that the Secretary of State had not failed to take into account a material consideration, misunderstood a relevant policy or given inadequate reasons.

*Uprichard v Scottish Ministers and another

Town and country planning District plan. The Supreme Court, determining an appeal from the Inner House, Court of Session, held that the appellant's objections to the validity of a structure plan submitted by the planing authority responsible for Fife and, in particular St Andrews, had been adequately considered by the first respondent Scottish Ministers, and the Ministers had given adequate reasons for rejecting the objections.

R (on the application of Catt) v Brighton & Hove City Council

Town and Country Planning Development consent. The defendant local planning authority granted development consent based on an Environmental Impact Assessment screening process that had been conducted in June 2011. The claimant opposed the grant of development consent for nearby land. The claimant contended that the June 2011 screening process had been flawed. The authority admitted to conducting a flawed process and carried out a second screening process that also concluded that the development was not an EIA development. In December 2012, two subsequent planning permissions were granted in respect of the same site. These subsequent permissions had been based on screening processes conducted in August 2012 and November 2012. The claimant issued two applications for judicial review, one concerning the August 2011 permission and the other concerning the two permissions granted in 2012. The essence of both claims was that the screening opinions had been unlawful. Aside from the admitted flaws in the June 2011 screening process, the Administrative Court held that the authority had otherwise conducted impeccable screening processes and the claim for judicial review in respect of the December 2012 permissions would be dismissed. Further, although the August 2011 permission had been granted unlawfully and the second screening opinion could not remedy a flawed process. In the circumstances of the instant case, the court would not exercise its discretion to quash the August 2011 planning permission.

R (on the application of NR) v Local Government Ombudsman

Education Local education authority. The claimant was the mother of a child who had significant special educational needs. Between November 2006 and November 2007, the local authority responsible for providing for the child's education had failed to provide any education at all. Thereafter, the local authority offered a placement at an unsuitable school. The claimant appealed to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal and the authority was ordered to provide a placement at a suitable school at considerable cost. Following a reference to the Local Government Ombudsman, compensation of 7,000 was offered for the missed education. The ombudsman claimed not to have the jurisdiction to investigate the failure to initially provide for a suitable school in the child's statement of special educational needs. The claimant issued judicial review proceedings, claiming, inter alia, that the ombudsman had not followed guidance in quantifying the award of compensation. The Administrative Court held that the ombudsman had taken into account all relevant considerations when considering the award of compensation. As there had been no challenge on rationality grounds, it would not interfere with the ombudsman's decision on the appropriate compensatory award. Furthermore, the Administrative Court applied established law to hold that the ombudsman did not have the jurisdiction to investigate the decision to name an inappropriate school in the statement of special educational needs.

Re N (Children) (care proceedings: jurisdiction of court)

Family proceedings Orders in family proceedings. The appellant mother was convicted of child cruelty and her children were taken into local authority care. The mother challenged the interim care order in respect of the three youngest children on the basis that the court had had no jurisdiction because the three youngest children had not been habitually resident in the jurisdiction on the date of the commencement of the proceedings. The judge dismissed that claim on the basis, inter alia, that the children had been habitually resident in the jurisdiction. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the appeal as the judge had arrived at a conclusion which had been plainly right.

Elliott and others v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Town and Country Planning Permission for development. The claimants applied for judicial review of the defendant Secretary of State's decision to grant planning permission for a regeneration scheme at Crystal Palace on the basis, inter alia, that the application had not been properly constituted. The judge dismissed that claim and the claimants appealed. The Court of Appeal dismissed the claimants' appeal as the application had been properly constituted and the Secretary of State had been entitled to grant planning permission.