East Anglian Chambers’ team includes members with practical experience, before they joined chambers, of working in local government and education. In addition, members have represented parties in judicial review proceedings and statutory appeals in the Administrative Court, on appeals against abatement notices served under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, or have experience of statutory or private disciplinary and other tribunals, including the Tax and Social Entitlement Chambers of the First-tier Tribunal. We have also represented local authorities in public procurement disputes.
Judicial review, etc
Examples of work done include :
- judicial reviews obtained of local authorities’ decisions, without proper reason, to remove cared-for children from a residential school and of a local NHS Commissioning body to close a locally supported hospital ward despite assurances given as part of the public consultation exercise that it was not at risk
- applications for permission to judicially review decisions by the Charity Commission about closure of a charity school and by the Legal Services Commission not to award a legal aid contract to an established provider
- statutory appeal under the Solicitors Act against a decision of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal
Local government law
Members’ expertise, drawing on in-depth knowledge of local government practice and procedure, ranges from :
- local authority governance
- planning and environment, including waste disposal
- contract procurement
- property transactions
- action to improve housing conditions, including prosecutions and enforcement
- LGA injunctions and anti-social behaviour
- gaming, liquor and taxi licensing
- highways and streetworks
- rights of way, and
- regulatory prosecutions.
On the validity of action taken at officer, committee or full council level advice can be provided on :
- conduct of meetings/acting as legal advisor to committee
- application of policy
- councillor conduct
- duties under the Equalities Act
- consultation and appropriate decision making, and
- constitutional compliance.
Our barristers can assist with expert advice and representation in all education matters concerning schools, colleges, academies and, where necessary, judicial review applications.
Statements of SEN and EHC plans
We can assist you (whether on a public access basis or through a solicitor) if the local authority has refused to amend, create or assess your child for a statement of special educational needs (SEN) or an Educational, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). We can assess your case and advise you in respect of any appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability). We can also assist with preparing appeals and representation at hearings.
If you consider that your child has suffered disability discrimination in respect of a decision made by his/her school or the local authority, we can advise as to your prospects of pursuing a claim before the tribunal and, where appropriate, provide representation.
Some members of the team regularly provide advisory/clerking services to Independent Review Panels in the region and are expert in the public law issues which must be applied by the panel in reviewing the decision of the governing board in respect of any exclusion. Contact our clerking team if you would like to book a barrister to act as clerk for your review panel.
We can also help if your child has been excluded from school and you wish to challenge that decision before an Independent Review Panel. Our experienced team can advise at every stage of the process, whether it is simply advice or panel representation that you require.
Other State v the individual tribunals
Some members of chambers have represented parties before the First-tier Tribunal in appeals to the Tax Chamber and the Social Entitlement Chamber. We can also advise on the merits of appealing to the Care Standards division of the Health, Education & Social Care Chamber against decisions made by the Care Quality Commission affecting care providers or managers, and by Ofsted concerning childminders on the Early Years and/or the compulsory part of the Childcare Register.
[For appeals against local authority action taken under various Parts of the Housing Act 2004, including the imposition of monetary penalties, please see Property & Planning]