Prince Harry’s photos, squatting and defining rape – The Human Rights Roundup
2 September 2012
Welcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your weekly dose of human rights news. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here.
Prince Harry and those photographs
Unsurprisingly, the legal blogs had a lot to say about the publication of the naked photos of Prince Harry. The Inforrm blog listed the 5 lessons for media regulation that have come out of it, including that the media does not understand privacy, it pays no attention to the PCC or its editors’ code, and no opportunity will be lost to blame Lord Justice Leveson. It concludes that effective media regulation is a necessity. Also on Inforrm, Brian Pillans has provided a thorough analysis of the legality of the publication, concluding that it is questionable whether the publication breach privacy law or even breach the Editors’ Code of Practice. The Halsbury’s Law Exchange has also written a piece on the photos that also concludes that on balance the Sun is entitled to publish the photos and notes that, contrary to the statement by the Sun’s Managing Editor, the PCC does not make law.
Squatting now a criminal offence
The Ministry of Justice provides a short statement on the new rules while Nearly Legal provides some very interesting commentary and points out some issues with the new legislation. Definitely worth a read.
259 Marikana miners have been charged with the murder of their 34 colleagues who were shot dead by the police. In so doing, the police relied on the “common purpose” doctrine that was heavily used in the apartheid era. Pierre de Vos on the Constitutionally Speaking blog has written an excellent piece on the history of this doctrine as well as the law applicable to what has happened. He concludes that – as no court could find that those charged intended to make common cause with the police to shoot their own comrades – there must be another aim, such as to stigmatise the miners in the eyes of the public or to intimidate them in an attempt to break their spirit.
The latest updated from the BBC is that South Africa has provisionally dropped the miner murder charges.
Dissent in the UKSC
Chris Hanretty on the UK Supreme Court blog has taken a look at the levels of dissent in the Supreme Court. He admits that he had expected Baroness Hale to be the most dissentient judge based on her dissents in a number of high profile cases, and in particular on the manner of her dissents. Instead, the facts showed it was Lords Rodger (who died last year) and Kerr have shown the greatest propensity to issue dissenting judgements, doing so in 10/63 and 13/86 cases heard respectively, a large number of which concern Scots and Northern Irish cases.
Scottish adoption law compatible with human right to family life
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