Human rights roundup: Green Milibands, press freedom and Guantanamo Bay rights

30 September 2010 by

Some of this week’s human rights news, in bite-size form. The full list of our external links can be found on the right sidebar or here:

Can an institution demand a CRB check from tutors visiting to train staff? – Anna Fairclough, Liberty: Another excellent answer to a human rights question via the Guardian’s Liberty Clinic. This edition addresses the overzealous use of Criminal Records Bureau checks by employers. I referred to this issue in a recent roundup, as Nacro, a crime reduction organisation, is campaigning to reform the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act so that ancient and trivial criminal offences would no longer be a bar to employment as they often are now.

Which Miliband is greenest? – Halsbury’s Law Exchange: Stephen Hockman QC, an environmental law expert, says that both Milibands have done more than the current government to promote green issues. Perhaps when David returns to front-line politics he will take up the environmental post his brother recently vacated. We have been featuring environmental law recently on the blog – see a list of recent posts here. Also, good to see the Halsbury’s Law Exchange are now blogging regularly!

Detainees’ rights – the next round starts – SCOTUSblog: The United States Supreme Court Blog discuses the case of Fawzi Khalid Abdullah Fahad Al-Odah — a Kuwaiti national who has been a captive at Guantanamo Bay for nearly nine years – which is winding its way through the US justice system. This is fascinating in light of the Al Rawi litigation making its way through our own courts – see yesterday’s post. The appellant is arguing that previous decisions of the US courts have unduly restricted the basic rights of Guantanamo detainees, including the right to habeas corpus.

Case Law: DFT v TFD – super injunctions, again – Mark Thomson – Inforrm’s Blog: More on super-injunction, this time relating to a blackmail case involving a woman’s threats to make public information relating to a sexual relationship unless the man involved paid her substantial sums of money. The judgment is here.

Human rights lawyers condemn English tests for spouses coming to UK – The Guardian: Liberty (which has a flash new website), have commissioned Rabinder Singh QC and Aileen McColgan of Matrix Chambers to advise on Home Office plans to introduce an English language test for those coming to Britain to marry UK citizens. They say the policy could breach race relations law.

Opinion: “Gary Flood v Times Newspapers” – William Bennett, Inforrm’s Blog: We posted on this case, relating to media freedom of expression, here. At the time it was considered to be a blow to press freedom and the so-called Reynolds defence of qualified privilege, which allows allegations to be reported even if they turn out to be wrong. Inforrm say it is “nothing of the sort”, and “The only significant legal development brought about by Flood has been that the Court of Appeal accepted the inevitable – that the Reynolds defence needs to be re-balanced in order to take account of the recognition (arrived at since Reynolds was decided) that a claimant has an Article 8 right to reputation.”.

Childhood casualties of the family courts – The Observer: The Observer ran some interesting articles on fathers’ rights in family proceedings over the weekend. Our post on this issue is here.

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