Bite-size human rights case law
22 December 2010
More trouble for the LSC tender process
- Hereward & Foster Llp & Anor v The Legal Services Commission  EWHC 3370 (Admin) (21 December 2010) A number of different organisations have attempted to judicially review the much criticised Legal Services Commission tender of publicly funded work, initially the Community Law Partnership and most notably (and successfully), the Law Society. In this case a solicitor has had its permission application refused regarding the LSC’s immigration tender as it was out of time, but the court did find that the “supervisor attendance criteria” imposed by the LSC indirectly discriminated against women as in privileging round-the-clock service, it prejudiced part-time over full-time workers (see para 62 for a summary of the judge’s conclusions). So a partial (moral) victory for the solicitors, with the immigration tender process looking in trouble and vulnerable to future challenges on indirect discrimination grounds.
- Malcolm v Ministry of Justice  EWHC 3389 (QB) (21 December 2010) A prisoner was not entitled to human rights damages despite being given only 30 mins fresh air per day. The requirement in prison service guidance was 1 hour per day.
Double jeopardy not enough to prevent deportation
- QJ (Algeria) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 1478 (21 December 2010):
The High Court have said that an Algerian should be deported despite the risk of “double jeopardy” as he would be tried for the same or similar offence as back in Algeria as he had been in the UK.
No further public inquiry into Iraq abuse allegations… for now
- Mousa, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for Defence & Anor  EWHC 3304 (Admin) (21 December 2010)
The High Court has refused a demand for a public inquiry into detention of Iraqis between 2003 and 2008, as it was satisfied that the government is still investigating the issues through its new ‘Iraq Historic Allegations Team‘. The High Court did not rule out the possibility of a public inquiry in future. There were over a hundred claimants, and they claimed that the state needs to open a public inquiry in order to satisfy the investigative aspect of article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which outlaws torture and inhumane treatment but also requires states to adequately investigate abuse allegations in order to prevent rights breaches happening again (see our previous post for more information).
No right to documents for media in extradition hearing
- Guardian News and Media Limited) -v- City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court and The Government of The United States of America December 21, 2010
The Guardian newspaper has been refused permission by the High Court to see documents relied upon by the parties in an extradition hearing of two British men. The High Court was clear that it is established law that the press are not entitled by way of right to court documents in criminal trials. See paras 55 to 62 for a succinct summary of the reasons for the decision.
Court martial was article 6 (right to fair trial) compliant
- R -v- Timothy Twaite, Court Martial Appeal December 21, 2010
There was no breach of article 6 fair trial rights in a finding of fraud by an air force court-martial. The appellant claimed that the 4-1 bare majority decision was insufficient for a criminal conviction, which must be beyond reasonable doubt. The court rejected his appeal, and said that in future individual members’ opinions should not be disclosed, and only a finding of guilty or not guilty should be recorded.
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