Veils in Court, Grayling and the Left & Legal Aid Anxieties – The Human Rights Roundup

16 September 2013 by

Niqab HRRWelcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your regular breakfast cereal variety box of human rights news and views. The full list of links can be found here. You can  find previous roundups herePost by Sarina Kidd, edited and links compiled by Adam Wagner.

Commentators have been criticising a number of assertions that Chris Grayling made about judicial review in the Daily Mail this week. Elsewhere, although Price Competitive Tendering has been scrapped, there are still many concerning proposals, and there has been a secret court rebellion by the Lib Dems.

Human Rights Awards: Liberty has opened nominations for their 2013 Liberty Human Rights Awards – all details here.

In the News

Grayling, Judicial Review, and the Left/Right Dichotomy

The future of judicial review remains precarious, as Chris Grayling Daily Mail article continues to generate discussion in the blogging community.

Barrister Charlotte Proudman argues against Grayling’s assertion that judicial review is something reserved for left-wing campaigners, giving examples of when people of all political persuasions have used it. By framing the argument within the dichotomy of left vs right, she asserts that Grayling is, ‘distracting us from the real purpose of judicial review: it is about ensuring public bodies and the government are subject to, rather than, above the law’ and that it is up to both political sides to prevent this ‘attack on justice’. The UKHRB also has a post on this matter here.

In a detailed and informative post on the UK Constitutional Law Blog, Robert Thomas also looks at judicial review in immigration and asylum matters, which make up the vast majority of claims. Thomas explains that the success rate for immigration judicial reviews is ‘quite respectable’ and that such claims are often only a last resort. The judiciary’s perspective on judicial review is in stark contrast to that of the government’s. For senior judges, it is ‘increasingly essential to vindicate the rule of law’. Thomas also looks at how things will change when the majority of immigration judicial reviews move to the Upper Tribunal in November. For example, the High Court’s caseload will be greatly reduced.

Judicial review is also in the spotlight in the case about the reinterring of Richard III. Mark Elliot finds it surprising that Haddon-Cave J ‘conceded to a government Minister…an ‘unfettered discretion’’ and reminds us that the public law orthodoxy is that there is no such thing as unfettered discretion. The courts’ powers, when it comes to judicial review, can have a fragile basis due to our unwritten constitution. He opines, therefore, that it is ‘disappointing to see judges carelessly relinquishing or diluting the limited tools which they have at their disposal to ensure that the executive branch is subject to appropriate rule-of-law based constraint’.

 Legal Aid

The Legal Action Group (LAG) has called on the government to increase the profile of civil legal aid services. Since the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act introduced cuts to the scope of aid in April, there has been a decrease in take up. Catherine Baksi discusses her concerns on this here.

Gemma Blythe, meanwhile, notes that it is a small triumph that Price Competitive Tendering (PCT) has been scrapped. Other proposed measures are still a cause for concern, such as the intention to slash lawyers’ rates by 17.5%, which will lead to the demise of many legal aid firms, and make it difficult for the reminder to survive. She concludes that the government’s proposals for civil legal aid present a ‘dangerous and unconstitutional attack on the rule of law’.

Nick Cohen’s article in The Guardian on the effect of the legal aid changes on issues such as sex abuse in prison is excellent: Yarl’s Wood affair is a symptom, not the disease

Secret Court Rebellion

Nick Clegg is to abandon support for the secret courts after a Lib Dem membership revolt over the Justice and Security Act. David Laws, the education and Cabinet Office minister, said it was a ‘very, very difficult’ issue and that the Lib Dems may ‘push to repeal laws after the next election and replace them with a better package’.

60 years on

Most of the discussion of the ECHR 60th anniversary was included in last week’s roundup, but there remains an interesting article by Sadaf Etemadi who goes through the highlights from the BIHR’s ECHR 60th anniversary.  He discusses, among other things, speeches by Sir Nicholas Bratza, BIHR’s president and former president of the ECtHR, and Professor Fiona de Loundras’. Etemadi describes how the speeches were ‘a sobering reminder of the potential abuses that can occur when human rights mechanisms are not enforced and the vital role they play in preventing a rogue practice from becoming the norm’. There was also a debate between Sadiq Khan MP, Julian Huppert MP and Mark Reckless MP, and Etemadi notes that the three politicians did not recognise that the rule of law, in its modern configuration, means adhering to international obligations and respecting the ECHR and HRA.

Failure to overturn a European Court ruling

A British terror suspect, Haroon Aswat, is not to be extradited to the US. The Government has failed in its application for a European Court ruling blocking the extradition to be referred to the court’s Grand Chamber – it was determined that extradition would breach the suspect’s human rights as his mental health would deteriorate (see our post: Jihadist suspect cannot be extradited to United States because of his mental illness).

Niqabs and the law

Dominic Casciani looks at the legal position of wearing a niqab in court. A niqab is a cloth which covers a woman’s face, leaving a small slit for the eyes. Casciani explains that the traditional British legal attitude to religious freedom is liberal, underpinned by the ECHR. However, whilst Article 9 of the Convention protects freedom of conscience and religion, the convention also makes clear that the state can interfere with the right to manifest one’s religion if that interference is necessary, for example, to secure the rights of others.

See also: Home Office minister calls for “national debate” on face-coverings (BBC) and Will judge lift Muslim’s veil of secrecy? (Telegraph).

In other news

  • A number of changes to the Immigration Rules have been laid in Parliament in a written ministerial statement. The changes will come into effect on the 1st October and will lead to greater flexibility for businesses and workers.
  • Claire Overman looks at the recently published European Commission industry-specific guidelines on the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. We’re told that ‘these guidelines, directed at the information industry, employment and recruitment agencies, and the gas and oil industry, mark a further step towards the greater integration of business in safeguarding of human rights’.
  • The United Nations Special Rapporteur on adequate housing paid a visit to the UK at the invitation of the Government. In the summary of recommendation the ‘bedroom tax’ is criticised and it is recommended that the Government ‘puts in place a system of regulation for the private rent sector, including clear criteria about affordability, access to information and security of tenure.’
  • The Ministry of Justice has listed 43 unpublished data sets that could be opened up for public use. It is part of a public consultation on the National Information Infrastructure (NII), a new initiative for improving government data.

In the Courts

Upcoming Events

To add events to this list, email Adam Wagner. Please only send events which (i) have their own webpage which can be linked to, and (ii) are relevant to topics covered by the blog.

UKHRB posts

Welcome to the UKHRB


This blog is run by 1 Crown Office Row barristers' chambers. Subscribe for free updates here. The blog's editorial team is:
Commissioning Editor: Jonathan Metzer
Editorial Team: Rosalind English
Angus McCullough QC David Hart QC
Martin Downs
Jim Duffy

Free email updates


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog for free and receive weekly notifications of new posts by email.

Subscribe

Categories


Tags


7/7 Bombings 9/11 A1P1 Aarhus Abortion Abu Qatada Abuse Access to justice adoption AI air pollution air travel ALBA Allergy Al Qaeda Amnesty International animal rights Animals anonymity Article 1 Protocol 1 Article 2 article 3 Article 4 article 5 Article 6 Article 8 Article 9 article 10 Article 11 article 13 Article 14 article 263 TFEU Artificial Intelligence Asbestos Assange assisted suicide asylum asylum seekers Australia autism badgers benefits Bill of Rights biotechnology birds directive blogging Bloody Sunday brexit Bribery British Waterways Board Catholic Church Catholicism Chagos Islanders Charter of Fundamental Rights child protection Children children's rights China christianity circumcision citizenship civil liberties campaigners civil partnerships climate change clinical negligence closed material procedure Coercion Cologne Commission on a Bill of Rights common buzzard common law communications competition confidentiality confiscation order conscientious objection consent conservation constitution contact order contempt of court Control orders Copyright coronavirus costs costs budgets Court of Protection crime criminal law Criminal Legal Aid criminal records Cybersecurity Damages data protection death penalty declaration of incompatibility defamation DEFRA Democracy village deportation deprivation of liberty derogations Detention devolution Dignitas dignity Dignity in Dying diplomacy director of public prosecutions disability Disability-related harassment disciplinary hearing disclosure Discrimination Discrimination law disease divorce DNA doctors does it matter? domestic violence Dominic Grieve don't ask don't ask don't tell don't tell Doogan and Wood double conviction DPP guidelines drones duty of care ECHR economic and social rights economic loss ECtHR Education election Employment Environment environmental information Equality Act Equality Act 2010 ethics Ethiopia EU EU Charter of Fundamental Rights EU costs EU law European Convention on Human Rights European Court of Human Rights European Court of Justice european disability forum European Sanctions Blog Eurozone euthanasia evidence Exclusion extra-jurisdictional reach of ECHR extra-territoriality extradition extradition act extradition procedures extradition review extraordinary rendition Facebook Facebook contempt facial recognition fair procedures Fair Trial faith courts fake news Family family courts family law family legal aid Family life fatal accidents act Fertility fertility treatment FGM fisheries fishing rights foreign criminals foreign office foreign policy France freedom of assembly Freedom of Association Freedom of Expression freedom of information Freedom of Information Act 2000 freedom of movement freedom of speech free speech game birds gangbo gang injunctions Garry Mann gary dobson Gary McFarlane gay discrimination Gay marriage gay rights gay soldiers Gaza Gaza conflict Gender General Dental Council General Election General Medical Council genetic discrimination genetic engineering genetic information genetics genetic testing Google government Grenfell grooming Gun Control gwyneth paltrow gypsies habitats habitats protection Halsbury's Law Exchange hammerton v uk happy new year harassment Hardeep Singh Haringey Council Harkins and Edwards Health healthcare health insurance Heathrow heist heightened scrutiny Henry VII Henry VIII herd immunity hereditary disorder High Court of Justiciary Hirst v UK HIV HJ Iran HM (Iraq) v The Secretary of state for the home department [2010] EWCA Civ 1322 Holder holkham beach holocaust homelessness Home Office Home Office v Tariq homeopathy hooding Hounslow v Powell House of Commons Housing housing benefits Howard League for Penal Reform how judges decide cases hra damages claim Hrant Dink HRLA HS2 hs2 challenge hts http://ukhumanrightsblog.com/2011/04/11/us-state-department-reports-on-uk-human-rights/ Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority human genome human rights Human Rights Act Human Rights Act 1998 human rights advocacy Human rights and the UK constitution human rights commission human rights conventions human rights damages Human Rights Day human rights decisions Human Rights Information Project human rights news Human Rights Watch human right to education human trafficking hunting Huntington's Disease HXA hyper injunctions Igor Sutyagin illegality defence immigration Immigration/Extradition Immigration Act 2014 immigration appeals immigration detention immigration judge immigration rules immunity increase of sanction India Indonesia Infrastructure Planning Committee inherent jurisdiction inherited disease Inhuman and degrading treatment injunction Inquest Inquests insult insurance insurmountable obstacles intelligence services act intercept evidence interception interests of the child interim remedies international international conflict international criminal court international humanitarian law international human rights international human rights law international law international treaty obligations internet internet service providers internment internship inuit investigation investigative duty in vitro fertilisation Iran iranian bank sanctions Iranian nuclear program Iraq Iraqi asylum seeker Iraq War Ireland irrationality islam Israel Italy iTunes IVF ivory ban jackson reforms Janowiec and Others v Russia ( Japan Jason Smith Jeet Singh Jefferies Jeremy Corbyn jeremy hunt job Jogee John Hemming John Terry joint enterprise joint tenancy Jon Guant Joseph v Spiller journalism judaism judges Judges and Juries judging Judicial activism judicial brevity judicial deference judicial review Judicial Review reform judiciary Julian Assange jurisdiction jury trial JUSTICE Justice and Security Act Justice and Security Bill Justice and Security Green Paper Justice Human Rights Awards JUSTICE Human Rights Awards 2010 just satisfaction Katyn Massacre Kay v Lambeth Kay v UK Ken Clarke Ken Pease Kerry McCarthy Kettling Kings College Klimas koran burning Labour Lady Hale lansley NHS reforms LASPO Law Commission Law Pod UK Law Society Law Society of Scotland leave to enter leave to remain legal aid legal aid cuts Legal Aid desert Legal Aid Reforms legal blogs Legal Certainty legal naughty step Legal Ombudsman legal representation legitimate expectation let as a dwelling Leveson Inquiry Levi Bellfield lewisham hospital closure lgbtq liability Libel libel reform Liberal Democrat Conference Liberty libraries closure library closures Libya licence conditions licence to shoot life insurance life sentence life support limestone pavements limitation lisbon treaty Lithuania Litigation litvinenko live exports local authorities locked in syndrome london borough of merton London Legal Walk London Probation Trust Lord Bingham Lord Bingham of Cornhill Lord Blair Lord Goldsmith lord irvine Lord Judge speech Lord Kerr Lord Lester Lord Neuberger Lord Phillips Lord Rodger Lord Sumption Lord Taylor LSC tender luftur rahman machine learning MAGA Magna Carta mail on sunday Majority Verdict Malcolm Kennedy malice Margaret Thatcher Margin of Appreciation margin of discretion Maria Gallastegui marriage material support maternity pay Matthew Woods Mattu v The University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust [2011] EWHC 2068 (QB) Maya the Cat Mba v London Borough Of Merton McKenzie friend Media and Censorship Medical medical liability medical negligence medical qualifications medical records medicine mental capacity Mental Capacity Act Mental Capacity Act 2005 Mental Health mental health act mental health advocacy mental health awareness Mental Health Courts Mental illness merits review MGN v UK michael gove Midwives migrant crisis Milly Dowler Ministerial Code Ministry of Justice Ministry of Justice cuts misfeasance in public office modern slavery morality morocco mortuaries motherhood Motor Neurone disease Moulton Mousa MP expenses Mr Gul Mr Justice Eady MS (Palestinian Territories) (FC) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for the Home Department murder murder reform Musician's Union Muslim NADA v. SWITZERLAND - 10593/08 - HEJUD [2012] ECHR 1691 naked rambler Naomi Campbell nationality National Pro Bono Week national security Natural England nature conservation naturism Nazi negligence Neuberger neuroscience Newcastle university news News of the World new Supreme Court President NHS NHS Risk Register Nick Clegg Nicklinson Niqaab Noise Regulations 2005 Northern Ireland nuclear challenges nuisance nursing nursing home Obituary Occupy London offensive jokes Offensive Speech offensive t shirt oil spill olympics open justice oppress OPQ v BJM orchestra Osama Bin Laden Oxford University paramountcy principle parental rights parenthood parking spaces parliamentary expenses parliamentary expenses scandal Parliamentary sovereignty Parliament square parole board passive smoking pastor Terry Jones patents Pathway Students Patrick Quinn murder Pensions persecution personal data Personal Injury personality rights perversity Peter and Hazelmary Bull PF and EF v UK Phil Woolas phone hacking phone taps physical and mental disabilities physician assisted death Pinnock Piracy Plagiarism planning planning human rights planning system plebgate POCA podcast points Poland Police police investigations police liability police misconduct police powers police surveillance Policy Exchange report political judges Politics Politics/Public Order poor reporting Pope Pope's visit Pope Benedict portal possession proceedings power of attorney PoW letters to ministers pre-nup pre-nuptial Pre-trial detention predator control pregnancy press press briefing press freedom Prince Charles prince of wales princess caroline of monaco principle of subsidiarity prior restraint prison Prisoners prisoners rights prisoners voting prisoner vote prisoner votes prisoner voting prison numbers Prisons prison vote privacy privacy injunction privacy law through the front door Private life private nuisance private use proceeds of crime Professional Discipline Property proportionality prosecution Protection of Freedoms Act Protection of Freedoms Bill Protest protest camp protest rights Protocol 15 psychiatric hospitals Public/Private public access publication public authorities Public Bodies Bill public inquiries public interest public interest environmental litigation public interest immunity Public Order Public Sector Equality Duty putting the past behind quango quantum quarantine Queen's Speech queer in the 21st century R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department & Ors [2011] EWCA Civ 895 R (on the application of) v The General Medical Council [2013] EWHC 2839 (Admin) R (on the application of EH) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] EWHC 2569 (Admin) R (on the application of G) v The Governors of X School Rabone and another v Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust [2012] UKSC 2 race relations Rachel Corrie Radmacher Raed Salah Mahajna Raed Saleh Ramsgate raptors rehabilitation Reith Lectures Religion resuscitation RightsInfo right to die right to family life right to life Right to Privacy right to swim riots Roma Romania Round Up Royals Russia saudi arabia Scotland secrecy secret justice Secret trials security services sexual offence Sikhism Smoking social media social workers South Africa south african constitution Spain special advocates spending cuts Standing starvation statelessness stem cells stop and search Strasbourg super injunctions Supreme Court Supreme Court of Canada surrogacy surveillance swine flu Syria Tax Taxi technology Terrorism terrorism act tort Torture travel treason treaty accession trial by jury TTIP Turkey Twitter UK Ukraine unfair consultation universal jurisdiction unlawful detention USA US Supreme Court vaccination vicarious liability Wales War Crimes Wars Welfare Western Sahara Whistleblowing Wikileaks wildlife wind farms WomenInLaw Worboys wrongful birth YearInReview Zimbabwe

Disclaimer


This blog is maintained for information purposes only. It is not intended to be a source of legal advice and must not be relied upon as such. Blog posts reflect the views and opinions of their individual authors, not of chambers as a whole.

Our privacy policy can be found on our ‘subscribe’ page or by clicking here.

%d bloggers like this: