Ofcom’s regulatory powers under review in test case on Postal Services Act 2011

In a recent three day judicial review hearing brought by DHL International (UK) Limited, Ofcom’s precise regulatory remit in the Postal Services sector was carefully scrutinised by the Administrative Court.  The case has the potential to restrict the wide remit Ofcom believed it had in the sector.

The main issue turned on whether DHL was a “postal operator” under section 27(3) of the Postal Services Act 2011 and accordingly whether Ofcom had correctly issued a regulatory information request.  This in turn entailed a consideration of the legislative history surrounding the phrase “by post” and whether it was capable of applying to an international door to door courier.  Other issues involved whether Ofcom had complied with its statutory obligation to issue a proper policy statement on information gathering under Schedule 8 of the 2011 Act.

The Administrative Court is anticipated to give its judgement after Easter.
Graham Read QC and Ishaani Shrivastava have acted for DHL throughout.

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