In Boyd & Anor v Ineos Upstream Ltd & Ors  EWCA Civ 515, the Court of Appeal handed down a fascinating judgment exploring the tension between the exercise of the rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression and the protection of property rights.
The case concerned injunctions ordered against “persons unknown”. In the High Court, the Ineos Group of companies (known for their prominence in the UK shale gas exploration market) had obtained interim injunctions against a collection of as yet unidentifiable defendants. The applications were made to guard against the perceived risk of fracking demonstrations becoming unlawful protests at several sites owned or operated by Ineos.
The circumstances in which a court should prevent the press from reporting information about famous people has long provoked debate. The decision of the Court of Appeal in ABC & Ors v Telegraph Media Group Ltd  EWCA Civ 2329 is no exception, attracting extensive press coverage and comment from the #MeToo movement.
In a unanimous judgment, the Court of Appeal overturned the decision of Mr Justice Haddon-Cave in the High Court and granted an interim injunction to the Appellants/Claimants.
The decision had the effect of temporarily restraining publication of certain information which was alleged by the Claimants to be confidential and disclosed in breach of non-disclosure agreements – namely allegations of sexual and racial harassment made against a well-known (and at the time unidentified) leading businessman – pending a full trial.
However, Lord Hain then went on to disclose under Parliamentary privilege that the accused businessman was Sir Philip Green. He said that given the “serious and repeated” nature of the allegations he felt under a “duty” to name him, and publication of this information was “clearly in the public interest”. Continue reading →
In the first phase of Liberty’s landmark challenge to the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 (“IPA”), Singh LJ and Holgate J sitting as a Divisional Court have granted a declaration that in the area of criminal justice, Part 4 of the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 is, in part, incompatible with EU law. Other parts of Liberty’s challenge to the IPA will be considered at a later date.
Part 4 was declared incompatible in so far as it (a) authorises the issue of retention notices for the purpose of investigating crime that is not “serious crime”, and (b) provides for access to retained data that is not subject to prior review by a court or an independent administrative body.
By way of remedy, the court has allowed the Government and Parliament a “reasonable amount of time” to correct the defects which exist and which are incompatible with EU law. This period will expire on 1 November 2018. However, the court decided not to disapply the legislation.
Recent years have seen a significant increase in the number of people sleeping on the streets in Greater London — the figure has more than doubled since 2017. This includes people of all nationalities, and a significant number of EEA nationals.
The High Court has quashed policy guidance which set out the circumstances in which “rough sleeping” would be treated as an abuse of EU Treaty rights, rendering an EEA national liable to removal if this would be proportionate .
The Claimants were two Polish nationals and one Latvian national against whom removal notices had been served. They challenged the legality of the policy on the basis that it was contrary to EU law.
R (on the application of Holborn Studios Ltd) v Hackney LBC; R. (on the application of Del Brenner) v Hackney LBC  EWHC 2823 (Admin) – John Howell QC sitting as a High Court Judge read judgment
Update: Listen to the Law Pod UK podcast episode 19, available for free download from iTunes or from Audioboom here
The High Court has just ruled that the public should be reconsulted on a planning application which has been amended. Failure to do so may be procedurally unfair and therefore unlawful.
This important case will signal to public authorities the need to consider carefully their procedural obligations when determining the outcome of planning applications. They will now need to be alive to the risk that a court will substitute its own view of whether “fairness” requires that the public be re-consulted where a planning application has been amended.
In two judicial review applications the claimants challenged the process by which Hackney London Borough Council gave planning permission to a proposed development.
The development would have replaced a number of industrial buildings in the Eagle Wharf area of Regent’s Canal in Hackney. It is a listed area of local architectural and historic interest and lies within the Regent’s Canal Conservation Area. Continue reading →
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