Technology develops rapidly. The law does not. In consequence, and with increasing frequency, new technology is being introduced into a legal environment that was not designed to accommodate it.
To what extent is the law self-adapting, addressing itself to technological solutions that could not even have been contemplated when it was originally written?
This was the question considered by the High Court in Transport for London v Uber London Ltd, a case which is interesting not only on its own facts, but also because it draws attention to how regulatory systems need to become more responsive in an era of rapid technological change.
Continue reading TfL v Uber – Transport, Regulation and Disruptive Technology
As everyone who practises in the field of public law knows, judicial review has a habit of giving rise to the occasional pyrrhic victory – the apparent success that is actually a defeat. This can happen for a range of reasons. Since relief is discretionary, it is not always granted even where unlawfulness has been made out. When it is granted, it will not necessarily change the ultimate outcome. And, occasionally, success can simply come too late for any effective remedy to be available.
This last situation is the one considered by the Supreme Court in Hunt v North Somerset Council, where the question that arose was how to deal with costs when the claimant won on the law, but got no effective remedy. Put simply, for costs purposes in public law cases, is a pyrrhic victory really a victory or actually a defeat?
Continue reading Hunt v North Somerset – Judicial Review, Pyrrhic Victories, and Costs