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
The argument that sex shop operators should not have to pay the full costs of regulating their own industry, but that these should be met instead out of general public funds, is hardly the stuff of which causes célèbres are made. So perhaps it is unfortunate that the first test case on the important Provision of Services Regulations 2009 should arise from precisely these facts.
Nonetheless, the case, which is the subject of a recent Supreme Court judgment in R (Hemming) v Westminster City Council, is likely to be significant beyond the narrow limits of its factual context.
Not only does Hemming have something to say about how regulatory systems in general are funded – as evidenced by its raft of interveners which included the Law Society, Bar Council, Local Government Association and HM Treasury – but it also draws attention to the largely neglected subject of how the Provision Of Services Regulations 2009 cut across well-established areas of UK regulatory law, with uncertain future consequences.
Continue reading R (Hemming) v Westminster – A Lesson in the Unintended Effects of EU Law