Legislation / Legal

OFT: The OFT has recently referred the UK's private motor insurance market to the Competition Commission for further investigation amid concerns that the market is not working well for motorists. 
Press release & links
 
DfT: Aviation Minister, Simon Burns, has announced new rules to better protect holidaymakers from losing out if their travel company fails have come into force. Anyone who books an ATOL-protected holiday or flight will immediately get an ATOL Certificate confirming the details of the booking and their level of protection.  It is designed to make clear to UK holidaymakers in a simple, straightforward way how their holiday is financially protected.
Press release & links
 
HO: Couples tying the knot will be given greater freedom of choice, as outdated time restrictions on ceremonies are removed, as from last week. People wanting to get married or register a civil partnership will be able to do so any time of the day or night under the Protection of Freedoms Act.  Couples were previously restricted to between 8am & 6pm.
Press release & links
 
ICO: The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has confirmed that it is set to issue two monetary penalties totalling well over £250,000 to 2 illegal marketers who have been responsible for distributing millions of spam texts.
 
The ICO has written to both individuals to confirm that the ICO intends to issue both of them with a monetary penalty for breaching the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR), which regulate electronic marketing.  The recipients have 28 days to respond and prove that they were complying with the law otherwise final penalty notices will be issued.
Press release & links
 
EHRC: The Equality and Human Rights Commission has welcomed the ban on age discrimination in services which came into force last week in England, Wales & Scotland. Evidence gathered by the Commission shows older people suffer discrimination due to their age, their treatment being based on stereotypes around their age, rather than as individuals.
 
This includes not receiving support to allow them to take part in local community activities; support which was available to younger people.  In another case, an 84-year-old man waiting for an urgent operation claimed he was told that he'd been put at the bottom of a 6-month waiting list and that any cancellations would go to a younger person.
 
The 2010 Equality Act, makes it unlawful for any organisation providing a private or public service to discriminate against, harass or victimise an adult because of their age, and covers younger as well as older adults.
Press release & links ~ Age UK - Car insurance discrimination continues
 
HO: From last week, migrants who have overstayed their leave by more than 28 days and then apply for further leave in the UK will be automatically refused.
 
Previous rules allowed people who had come to the UK on a work or study route to make further applications to stay, even if their original leave had long since expired.  As a result migrants could apply to stay in the country more than a year after their leave had expired, without any penalty.
Press release & links
 
OFTChanges to the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Regulations mean that UK-based estate agents who assist clients to buy or sell overseas property must register as soon as possible (those that fail to do so may be subject to a fine or face prosecution) and comply with the regulations from 1 October 2012..
Press release & links
 
ScotGov: The Scottish Government has introduced a Bill before the Scottish Parliament that will underpin the sustainable development of the fish farming and freshwater fishing sectors. The Aquaculture & Fisheries (Scotland) Bill will ensure that farmed & wild fisheries continue to be managed effectively, maximising their combined contribution to supporting sustainable economic growth with due regard to the wider marine environment.
Press release & links
 
WAG: A Bill to simplify & localise procedures for making & enforcing Welsh local authority Byelaws is within the legislative competence of the National Assembly for Wales, the Welsh Government’s Counsel General, Theodore Huckle QC will argue before the UK’s highest court next week.
 
The Bill seeks to empower local authorities in Wales to take ownership of local laws by simplifying & localising procedures for making, confirming and enforcing local authority byelaws, removes the function of the Welsh Ministers and the Secretary of State to confirm byelaws.  The aim, in addition, is to reduce the bureaucracy and length of time it currently takes to make & confirm byelaws - partly due to the requirement for confirmation by the Welsh Ministers.
Press release & links
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