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Latest Law – version 2 – what’s covered

The Institute has been spoilt for choice this autumn. Our Law of Consultation course has already had to be significantly amended and updated to take account of the torrent of new judgments pouring out of the High Court.

The second issue of Latest Law is an 18 minute video briefing that covers most of the new cases that are relevant for Institute members.

They include:

R (Buckingham) v NHS Corby Clinical Commissioning Group

… where the CCG’s plan to convert an Urgent Care Centre into a Same-day Access Centre was challenged on the grounds of inadequate consultation.

Cherwell District Council v Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group

… where Councils challenged the proposed downgrading of maternity and other services at the Horton hospital, Banbury.

R (ex parte Hinsull) v NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group

… where campaigners challenged the consultation on the future of Accident & Emergency services in Bournemouth and Poole hospitals.

Gordon Peters v London Borough of Haringey & Lendlease

… where campaigners against a massive redevelopment project argued that there should have been better consultation on the project.

R (ex parte Kohler) v Mayor’s Office for Policing & Crime (MOPAC)

… where the Mayor’s consultation on proposals to close police counters faced a challenge and Professor Kohler won his case to quash the decision to close Wimbledon police station.

R (ex parte KE,IE,CH) v Bristol City Council

… where children with special educational needs (SEN) challenged the Council’s failure to consult on significant cuts to the service.

R (ex parte The Law Centres Federation) v The Lord Chancellor

… where proposed changes to a scheme to provide legal aid for those faced with housing possession orders was challenged by Law Centres who claimed that the fundamental assumption behind the proposal – and its consultation was not properly.

Dulgheriu and Orthova  v London Borough of Ealing

… where pro-life campaigners argued that the Council’s consultation leading to a Public Spaces Protection Order, restricting their right to protest against an abortion clinic had been unlawful.

We also refer to a couple of other cases in passing.

Whilst each case clearly depends upon their particular facts, the trend remains for Courts to be increasingly willing to strike down decisions where Judges think there has been an unfairness to consultees. Several of the recent cases focus on the Gunning Four principle – conscientious consideration, suggesting that there are still many grey areas over the way in which public bodies and others take account of consultation output.

For members and others wishing to explore the implications of these cases in-depth and for anyone seeking personal or team coaching on these subjects, the Institute offers several Workshops and services of considerable value. For further information, please talk to Rebecca Wright at the Institute office on 01767 318350 or

About the Author

Rhion Jones is considered a leading authority on Public Engagement and Consultation. A founding Director of the Consultation Institute, he is co-author of “The Art of Consultation” (2009) and “The Politics of Consultation” (2018). He has delivered over 500 training courses and Masterclasses and is a prolific writer on the subject, having written over 350 different Topic papers and over 50 full Briefing Papers for the Institute. Since 2003 over 15,000 person-days of training based on courses he invented have been delivered. Rhion is in demand as an entertaining Keynote Speaker and Special Adviser, particularly on the Law of Consultation, and its implications for Government and other Public Bodies. In 2017, he was awarded the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’.

Read more about Rhion

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