UK government loses Supreme Court case on LGPS ethical investing

first_imgSource: UK Supreme CourtThe Supreme Court in LondonThe PSC applied for judicial review of the measures, and in 2017 the high court upheld the claim, ruling that the challenged part of the guidance was unlawful.However, this was overturned by the Court of Appeal, which concluded that the secretary of state was acting within his legal remit.The PSC, together with an individual member of a LGPS fund, then appealed to the Supreme Court.‘Misconceptions’In his ruling, Lord Wilson said the secretary of state’s inclusion of the provisions “went beyond his powers”.Lord Wilson said: “In my view there has been a misconception on the part of the secretary of state which probably emboldened him to exceed his powers in issuing guidance which included the two passages under challenge.“The misconception relates both to the functions of scheme administrators in relation to investment decisions and, linked to their functions, to the identity of those to whom the funds should properly be regarded as belonging.”He said that administrators of LGPS funds consider themselves to be quasi-trustees who should act in the best interests of their members.He observed: “The view that the administrators are part of the machinery of the state, and are discharging conventional local government functions, fails to recognise that crucial dimension of their role. It is equally misleading to claim that pension contributions to the scheme are ultimately funded by the taxpayer.”And he asserted: “HOW does not include WHAT. Power to direct HOW administrators should approach the making of investment decisions by reference to non-financial considerations does not include power to direct (in this case for entirely extraneous reasons) WHAT investments they should not make.”The five judges were split over the ruling, with three supporting the PSC’s appeal, and two supporting the earlier Court of Appeal ruling.“The LGA welcomes the clarification provided by this judgement.”- Local Government Association spokespersonA spokesperson for the Local Government Association (LGA), which provides most representatives of the LGPS advisory board, told IPE: “The LGA has always supported the position that investment decisions are and should continue to be a matter for the relevant LGPS authority, and welcomes the clarification provided by this judgement.”A spokesperson for the ministry of housing, communities and local government said: “We are committed to ensuring public bodies take a consistent approach to investments and to stop local boycotts. We will therefore bring back new legislation that addresses the technical points raised by the Supreme Court.” The UK government has lost a Supreme Court case in a ruling that overturns legal restrictions on local authority pension funds’ ability to divest from companies on ethical grounds.Fund assets in the local government pension scheme (LGPS) were worth £287bn (€325bn) in March 2019.The case was brought by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), an organisation that promotes so-called BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaigns, including divestment from companies with links to Israeli settlements in contested territories in the Middle East, and from the UK defence industry.The case revolved around guidance on investment strategy for LGPS funds published in September 2016 by the then secretary of state for communities and local government. The guidance included a provision that those administering the pension scheme “should not pursue policies that are contrary to UK foreign policy or UK defence policy”.It also said: “Using pension policies to pursue boycotts, divestment and sanctions against foreign nations and UK defence industries are inappropriate, other than where formal legal sanctions, embargoes and restrictions have been put in place by the government.”last_img read more

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Preview: South Africa v Ghana

first_imgSouth Africa head into Tuesday’s final Group C fixture against Ghana knowing only a victory will leave them with a chance of making the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals.Bafana Bafana currently sits bottom of the standings after managing just one point from their first two group-stage matches, having slumped to a 3-1 loss against Algeria before playing to a 1-1 draw with Senegal.The continued presence of Shakes Mashaba’s men in Equatorial Guinea will now depend on them beating the Black Stars, while also hoping the Lions of Teranga can dispatch the Fennec Foxes in a simultaneous kick-off on Tuesday night.However, Ghana will prove an extremely tough nut to crack, and, unlike South Africa, the team have already tasted victory at this year’s showpiece after seeing off Algeria 1-0 on Friday, which followed on from their 2-1 loss to Senegal in the opening round.On the team front, Mashaba is set to have teenage defender Rivaldo Coetzee back after he missed the draw against the Lions with a knee injury, although Thulani Hlatshwayo is a major doubt after suffering a concussion at the weekend.Ghana, meanwhile, will be looking to inspirational captain Asamoah Gyan to again lead them to victory, with the forward having netted the winner against Senegal deep into injury time.  The Black Stars have, otherwise, reported no fresh injury concerns, leaving coach Avram Grant with a full squad to pick from.last_img read more

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Tickets For B&H-Slovakia Match Will Go On Sale on Tuesday

first_imgThe sale of tickets for the qualifying match for the World Cup 2014 in Brazil for the game between B&H and Slovakia will start on Tuesday, 20 August at 9:00. The match is scheduled for 6 September in stadium ‘Bilino Polje’ in Zenica.Due to limited capacity and security measures, 10.350 tickets have been printed, and the price is 40 KM (west stands), 30 KM (east), and 20 KM (south and north), announced the B&H Football Association.Interest for this match exceeded all expectations, so that the specified number of tickets is absolutely insufficient to meet the stated requirements of collectives and individuals, announced the B&H Football Association.(Source: Fena)last_img read more

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