The Government has recently announced the abolition of the 'same roof rule' which prevented victims of crime (particularly historical abuse) from claiming a CICA payment if they were assaulted by someone they lived with, as members of the same family, before 1979. The reform will be costly.
The Government has recently announced the abolition of the 'same roof rule' which prevented victims of crime (particularly historical abuse) from claiming a CICA payment if they were assaulted by someone they lived with, as members of the same family, before 1979. The reform will be costly. The predicted cost assessment is up to £126m.
Firstly, there was in important Court of Appeal decision in the summer of 2018. A woman known as ‘JT’ brought a claim. Her stepfather abused her between the ages of 4 and 17 and was later convicted of eight offences including rape. However, when she applied for damages through the CICA she was refused because of the same roof rule.
JT contended that the decision to reject her claim was incompatible with Article 14 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights as incorporated into UK law by the Human Rights Act 1998. The Court of Appeal upheld her appeal with one Judge commenting that the scheme was all the more unfair because JT was a child when the abuse took place and had no control over where and with whom she lived.
Secondly, the IICSA in an interim report in April 2018 recommended that the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme be reformed in a number of ways including abolition of the same roof rule.
Thirdly, in September2018 the Government introduced a 'Victim Strategy' which included an indication that the MoJ intended to abolish the rule.
What is very clear is that the mood has decisively changed. Over many years there were regular complaints that some of the rules regarding the making of a claim; procedural and evidential strictures and delay had the effect of discouraging rather than encouraging claims. The scrapping of the rule will allow those refused compensation under the rule and those applying for the first time to make a claim. The MoJ has said 'Whilst no amount of compensation can make up for the immense suffering endured by victims of violent crime, we are committed to ensuring that they receive the help and support needed to rebuild their lives'
The existence of the pre-1979 same roof rule and the generally restrictive approach of the CICA had the effect of pushing claims towards the civil courts. Typically, someone abused in their home, who could not make a successful claim through the CICA, alleged a failure to remove or protect against the local authorities who had had social worker involvement with their family. Such claims were brought in negligence and were notoriously difficult to prove and were disproportionately expensive in terms of legal costs incurred on both sides. The Court of Appeal, in the case of CN v Poole Borough Council  EWCA Civ 2185, restricted the ability to bring such claims. It remains to be seen whether the Supreme Court will lift that restriction and what, if any, account they will take of the fact that compensation will now be more widely available via a CICA payment.
When the impact of future IICSA reports, the government’s own Victim Strategy and the ongoing review of the CICA is looked at in the round, it is likely to become more straightforward to bring successful claims through the CICA. Awards are likely to rise and become more genuinely compensatory and akin to civil court levels of compensation. If that comes to pass then, even if the Supreme Court reverses the Court of Appeal judgment in CN v Poole Borough Council, claims against local authorities alleged to have failed in their oversight of families may begin to fall.
Society may consider that a claim against the abuser (or at least the state standing immediately behind the abuser) is preferable to a secondary claim against an organisation with perhaps only a tangential connection with the victim. Time will tell.
Law firm Browne Jacobson has collaborated with Wiltshire Council and Christ Church Business School on the launch event of The Council Company Best Practice and Innovation Network, a platform which brings together academic experts and senior local authority leaders, allowing them to share best practice in relation to council companies.
In the Autumn Statement delivered on 17 November, rises to the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates were announced, to take effect from 1 April 2023:
Announced in September but scrapped on 17 November the investment zone proposals were very short lived. The proposal has now morphed into the proposal for a smaller number of clustered zones earmarked for investment.
Settlement agreements are commonplace in an employment context and are ordinarily used to provide the parties to the agreement with certainty following the conclusion of an employment relationship. There are already restrictions on the extent to which personal injury claims can be settled by a settlement agreement. There have also been numerous consultations about the use of non-disclosure agreements and confidentiality clauses, particularly where allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination have been raised. In any event, it is clear that settlement agreements should not be used to prevent an employee from raising a protected disclosure.
On 2 November 2022, the Supreme Court handed down its judgment in the much awaiting case of Hillside Parks Ltd v Snowdonia National Park Authority  UKSC 30. The Court’s judgment suggests that the long established practice of using drop-in applications is in fact much more restricted than previously thought. This judgment therefore has significant implications for both the developers and local planning authorities.
In ‘failure to remove’ claims, the claimant alleges abuse in the family home and asserts that the local authority should have known about the abuse and/or that they should have removed the claimant from the family home and into care earlier.
This article is the second in a series to help firms take a practical approach to complying with the ‘cross-cutting rules’ within the new ‘Consumer Duty’ (CD) framework. The article summarises what it seems the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is seeking to achieve from the applicable rules (section 2 below) and potential complications arising from legal considerations (section 3).
Across the UK, homelessness is an urgent crisis, and one that is set to grow amid the rising cost of living. Local authorities are at the forefront of responding to this crisis, but with a lack of properties that are suitable for social housing across the UK, vulnerable individuals and families are often housed in temporary accommodation.
Claims arising from interest-only mortgages have been farmed in volume. Many such claims to date have sought to drive a narrative that interest-only mortgages are an inherently toxic product and brokers were negligent simply for suggesting them. Taylor is a helpful recalibration, focussing instead on what the monies raised by the mortgage product were being used for and whether the client understood the inherent risks.
Updates include UK Shared Prosperity Fund, contracts, Subsidy Control Bill, data controller liability, Government Covid-19 procurement and Highway Code revisions.
The complex and rather nebulous transitional subsidy control regime set out in the UK-EU Trade and Co-operation Agreement and the UK’s wider international commitments has made it difficult for public authorities and those working with them to proceed with certainty where subsidies are involved.
Investment zones have been introduced by the Conservative party to get the United Kingdom (UK) ‘working, building and growing’. They are to be designated sites which provide time-limited tax incentives, streamlined planning rules and wider support for local growth to encourage investment and accelerate the development of housing and infrastructure that the UK needs to drive economic growth. Processes and requirements that slow down development will be stripped back with the intention of attracting new investment.
Created at the end of the Brexit transition period, Retained EU Law is a category of domestic law that consists of EU-derived legislation retained in our domestic legal framework by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. This was never intended to be a permanent arrangement as parliament promised to deal with retained EU law through the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill (the “Bill”).
It is clear that the digital landscape, often termed cyberspace, is a man-made environment, in which human behaviour dominates and where technology both influences and aids our role in it — through the internet, telecoms and networked computer systems, which are often interdependent. The extent to which any organisation is potentially vulnerable to cyber-attack depends on how well these elements are aligned.
Three months on from the commencement of the new statutory Integrated Care Systems (ICS) Anja Beriro and Gerrard Hanratty reflect on the main themes and issues that have come from the new relationship between local government and health.
The Procurement Bill (the Bill) has now been with us for about four months, during which time there have been a huge number of amendments proposed in the House of Lords (circa 320). Lately, there has been less mention of it — unsurprising, really, given everything else going on in politics recently — but here’s a summary of some of the key issues and themes so far.
Browne Jacobson has been named as a supplier on Crown Commercial Service’s (CCS) Public Sector Legal Services Framework on Lot 1a – full-service provision (England and Wales) and Lot 2a – general service provision (England and Wales).
This article is the first in a series aimed to help firms get to grips on a practical basis with the ‘cross-cutting rules’ within the new ‘Consumer Duty’ framework.
Browne Jacobson has been ranked as a Top Tier law firm in 25 key practice areas in Legal 500 UK 2023, the independent directory of comparative law firm performance. The firm also continues to underpin its status as one of the leading law firms in the East Midlands region with 16 Tier 1 rankings.
Welcome to our September edition of Public Matters, our monthly round-up of legal updates, news and insights for the public sector.
Since the UK left the EU and are now able to move away from the EU data protection regime, the UK government have implemented a national data strategy with the aim of reducing the burden on organisations but maintaining a high data protection standard.
The Chancellor’s recent mini-budget provided a significant announcement for business as it was confirmed that the off-payroll working rules (known as “IR35”) put in place for public and private sector businesses from 2017 and 2021 will be scrapped from April 2023.
Devolution is the transfer of powers in areas like transport, housing and skills in England and since the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016 has been a much-discussed topic.
In this article we look at local authority companies and whether they are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000. And for those that are, what information are they legally obliged to submit.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has published a consultation on proposals to require Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) administering authorities (AAs) in England and Wales to assess, manage and report on climate change risks.
The concept of Legal Project Management (“LPM”) is increasingly relevant to the delivery of legal services, both in-house functions and private practice law. This is unsurprising, LPM is crucial if lawyers are to add value by controlling budgets, communicate pro-actively on risk mitigation and costs, and manage time by resourcing to deal with pinch points in the project.
The Department for Education (DfE) have announced that the conversion of Donisthorpe Primary School in Leicestershire on 1st September marked the 10,000th academy conversion.
Welcome to our August edition of Public Matters, our monthly round-up of legal updates, news and insights for the public sector.
On 31 August 2022, the Court of Appeal handed down the Judgment in respect of the appeal case of HXA v Surrey County Council and YXA v Wolverhampton City Council .
This month, HM Treasury issued a consultation on Administrative Control Process for Public Sector Exits with draft guidance. They’re proposing to introduce an expanded approvals process for employee exits and special severance payments, and additional reporting requirements. If approved, the proposals will impact public sector bodies and those that do not have a specific right to make exit payments.
The focus on the Levelling Up agenda and the availability of grant funding, means there are numerous important regeneration schemes actively being pursued across the country. With ever-escalating project and building costs, in many cases, applications that were made for grant funding were based on costs contingencies that have already been exceeded.
The Government has recently published its response to the consultation on Subsidies and Schemes of Interest and of Particular Interest under the Subsidy Control Act 2022. In this article, our subsidy control experts discuss some of the key points coming out of the response, and their impact for public authorities.
Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards was due to transition to Liberty Protection Safeguards in October 2020 but delayed due to the pandemic. While the public consultation has now closed and we’re still unclear of what the final legislation and code will look like, it’s worth noting and keeping a watching brief.
In November 2021, The Civil Justice Council’s published its interim report on proposed changes to the current Pre-Action Protocols, which included a mandatory Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) gateway. In this article, we look at proposed reforms and consider what this could mean for your case.
The use of social media platforms and applications can have overwhelmingly positive benefits for public bodies. However, regulatory action recently taken by the Information Commissioner, has highlighted various pitfalls that public bodies should seek to avoid if allowing staff to use social media as a communication tool.