Buying time on prisoner votes – The Roundup

7 March 2011 by

It’s time for the human rights roundup, a regular bulletin of all the law we haven’t quite managed to feature in full blog posts. The full list of links, updated each day, can be found here.

by Graeme Hall

In the news:

Although prisoner voting appears to have taken a back seat this week, the Daily Mail has reported that the UK government has asked the European Court of Human Rights to refer the decision of Greens and MT v UK to the Grand Chamber. This judgment gave compensation to two prisoners because the UK had failed to implement the court’s decision in Hirst v UK (No. 2). According to the article, the government wants to refer this decision to the court’s appeal chamber because the issue of prisoner voting rights has now been debated in Parliament. See our previous post on Greens and MT v UK, as well as our most recent summary of the ongoing prisoner voting issue. A BBC programme about the Strasbourg court can be accessed via the ECHR blog.

However, as Reuters has reported, firmly in the front seat this week is the Court of Justice of the European Union’s judgment that discrimination on the basis of gender for insurance contracts will become illegal (see the ECJ’s press release).  The Human Rights in Ireland blog gives a concise overview of the decision and its background here. If you want to find out whether we think the judgment is “bonkers”, just click here.

Domestically, reporting on legal aid cuts continues. A BBC article looks at how and whether individuals should represent themselves in legal proceedings. While in the Guardian, Adam Wagner outlines the process of judicial review; a legal mechanism which is deployed increasingly to challenge the coalition’s budget cuts. Also, the High Court’s judgment that local councils are legally entitled to not approve potential foster carers who believe that homosexuality is immoral, has attracted a lot of press coverage. Alan Wilson, writing in the Guardian, takes a defiant stance on this issue, while James Wilson, writing on the A(nother) lawyer writes blog, acknowledges the complexity of such decisions.  Click here for our analysis.

And remember, we’re not the only legal blog, so why not check out other blogs such as Law Think. Or, for commentary on general legal matters, try Law and Lawyers.

In the courts:

Negassi, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] EWHC 386 (Admin) (04 March 2011): Asylum seeker not entitled to damages for being prevented from working even though UK failed to properly implement EU Directive (see our post on last year’s supreme court decision on asylum seekers’ right to work).

A Child v Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [2011] EWHC 454 (QB) (04 March 2011): Identity of child in personal injury settlement decision not revealed, Mr Justice Tugendhat explains why (see Matthew Hill’s post on anonymity in proceedings involving children).

National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers v Serco Ltd (t/a Serco Docklands) [2011] EWCA Civ 226 (04 March 2011): Injunctions granted by High Court against 2 train workers strikes overturned by CoA. Mistakes in ballot were insufficient to invalidate strikes. Rosalind English will be posting on this later in the week.

BB, R (on the application of) v Special Immigration Appeals Commission & Anor [2011] EWHC 336 (Admin) (25 February 2011): Open justice: SIAC must give gist of case in bail proceedings even if already decided to deport on national security grounds. See Adam Wagner’s latest post on open justice. The big open justice news in the next few weeks will be the supreme court’s decision in the Al-Rawi case (see the UK Supreme Court Blog’s preview).

Allen v The Grimsby Telegrph & Anor [2011] EWHC 406 (QB) (2 March 2011): Sex offender fails to prevent Grimsby Telegraph publishing his name or details of Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

Ciaran TONER v the United Kingdom – 8195/08 [2011] ECHR 375 (15 February 2011): Northern Irish prisoner fails in Euro human rights challenge against refusal to allow him to vote as he missed voting registration deadline and was therefore too late in bringing claim. See Adam Wagner’s latest post on prisoner voting.

Johns & Anor, R (on the application of) v Derby City Council & Anor [2011] EWHC 375 (Admin) (28 February 2011): Local authority right to consider Christian couple’s  beliefs that homosexuality is wrong in denying them permission to foster children. See Rosalind English’s discussion of the issue, as well as this interesting article by a bishop in the Guardian.

…and don’t forget to take a look at our recent posts:


  1. Graeme Hall says:

    @John Hirst: you are of course right. Many thanks for the correction and apologies for the error.

  2. John Hirst says:

    You report that: “This judgment gave compensation to two prisoners because the UK had failed to implement the court’s decision in Hirst v UK (No. 2)”.

    However, Greens and MT were awarded costs and expenses but no damages/compensation.

    Greens has appealed to the Grand Chamber arguing that just satisfaction of winning the case may have been sufficient in Hirst v UK (No2) but given the UK’s unjustified delay in fully complying with the judgment it is argued damages shoulkd be made available.

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