Human rights roundup: Phone-hacking, family law wrangling and how to not represent yourself in court
8 September 2010
Some of this week’s human rights news, in bite-size form. The full list of our links can be found on the right sidebar or here:
7 Sep | Phone tapping row prompts surveillance law review – politics.co.uk: More on the phone-hacking scandal. The government say they will look at whether the law needs changing to make convictions easier. See our post here.
7 Sep | Plans to extend freedom of information – Ministry of Justice: This is not new news, but it good to hear the government is still looking to fulfil its post-election pledge to”extend the scope of the Freedom of Information Act to provide greater transparency” so that it is easier for the general public to get information from the government. See our posts here and here. The new government is placing great store in freedom of information as, in theory, better and easily accessible information will empower the ‘big society’ (that is, non-governmental organisations). Interestingly, Tony Blair has said in his new book that the Freedom of Information Act is one of his biggest regrets (see this FT blog).
6 Sep | Rooney, Coulson, Hague and freedom of expression – Inforrm’s Blog: A response to and disagreement with my post earlier this week.
6 Sep | LSC extends family contracts for a month (until 14/11/10) whilst legal challenge goes ahead – The Law Gazette: This judicial review of the Legal Service Commission family law tender, the effects of which have been held off until the case has been heard, will be very interesting – see this post for explanation.
5 Sep | Wayne Rooney’s private life and the public interest – Inforrm’s Blog: More on the Wayne Rooney scandal from Inforrm. They say there probably wasn’t any public interest justification in revealing his alleged encounter with a prostitute.
5 Sep | Representing yourself in court may save money – but will probably lead to disaster – Guardian: This interesting discussion from Rupert Myers relates to a number of self-help legal information websites which have sprung up to help people represent themselves in court. See my recent article arguing a different point about the effect of new technology on the legal system. Myers blames the withdrawal of legal aid for these sometimes dodgy sites. It is worth reading the comments below too.
3 Sep | Should corporations be bound by human rights treaties? – The Law Gazette: Jonathan Raynor asks some interesting questions, leading up to a Law Society debate on the issues. My view is probably not – see Do foreign policy and human rights mix?