Judicial review of a decision of a public authority can be an expensive business, especially as an unsuccessful petitioner is usually liable for a substantial proportion of the respondent’s legal expenses. This risk was often seen as inhibiting individuals and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as environmental groups from challenging a decision to grant planning permission.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined online travel services company Think W3 Limited £150,000 following a data protection breach arising from insecure “coding” on the website of their subsidiary business Essential Travel Limited.
On Tuesday certain employment provisions of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 came into force. Among those now in force, is the provision which makes the use of exclusivity clauses in zero hour contracts unenforceable. The legislation also now provides a statutory definition of a zero hour contract.
On 9 July the Inner House of the Court of Session upheld the Scottish Minister’s decision to grant section 36 consent for the construction and operation of the 103 turbine Viking Wind Farm in Shetland. The appeal decision in Sustainable Shetland v The Scottish Ministers overturns Lady Clark’s decision of October 2013. Lady Clark had interpreted the Electricity Act 1989 as requiring that section 36 consent could only be granted to a party which, at the time of the section 36 application, already held, or was exempt from holding, a licence under the 1989 Act. As such, she held that the grant of section 36 consent to Viking Energy (who did not hold a licence) was legally incompetent. This interpretation ran contrary to the industry practice of obtaining section 36 consent in advance of securing a generating licence from Ofgem or a licence exemption from DECC.
The recent case of Hubbard v Bank of Scotland Plc (t/a Birmingham Midshires)  EWCA Civ 648 has provided valuation surveyors with some welcome clarification and reassurance regarding their scope of duty of care when providing a mortgage valuation.
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