Institute launches ‘Consultation: Latest Law’
This is the week the Institute solves a seven-year problem. How to keep its members up-to-date on developments in the Law of Consultation.
The odd blog-style article can cover specific Court judgments of note, but it’s a little hit or miss as to whether members always see them. And, typically, they come in threes and fours, with cross-references and disputed implications. Could we not bunch them up together, maybe?
Since 2012, over a thousand members and others have attended the Law of Consultation course, and its little sister – Law of Consultation: Practical Implications. But we constantly have to update it. When next delivered in York in late June, it will be Version 24. New case law has to be accommodated, and new interpretations considered. Those who attended, say in 2014, might today find up to 20 cases which had not yet been heard.
Our solution is to devise a magazine-style programme that gives us the opportunity to let lawyers speak authoritatively about recent cases. In our first issue, we hear Alex Rook of Irwin Mitchell discuss the successful challenge by users of the Nascot Lawn Respite Care Centre to a decision by Hertfordshire Valley CCG. We then talk to David Wolfe QC – one of the country’s leading specialist barristers on the law of consultation. He recently fought a high-profile case brought by objectors to the London Borough of Haringey’s Lendlease housing redevelopment. The Council won the case but it is now going to the Court of Appeal.
There are other pending appeals. Campaigners fighting against changes to Horton hospital, Banbury lost in the lower Court this Spring, but we have invited Rowan Smith of Leigh Day to explain why they think they might win on appeal. Finally, we hear Rosa Curling, who has helped deliver many of the Law of Consultation courses tell the tale of the Help Refugees case that also goes to the Court of Appeal in the coming weeks. This case was the result of the way the Home Office consulted local authorities about the application of the ‘Dubs Amendment’ on allowing child refugees from the Calais camps into the UK.
Finally, the Institute considers what the key messages may be, and how they may affect the way in which its members conduct consultations in the coming months. Rhion Jones and Elizabeth Gammell also review the large number of imminent cases which we expect to go to Court this summer.
Although primarily intended for those who have attended the Law of Consultation course, we are keen to hear from all members and supporters as to their view of the new service.