From your US correspondent: the Supreme Court of the United States

31 January 2020 by

The US Supreme Court has had its home here since 1935

Last autumn I was privileged to spend six weeks in the United States as a scholar on the Pegasus Programme. This gave me the opportunity to learn a great deal about the similarities and contrasts between our legal systems, as well as the latest developments across the Atlantic.

In this piece I will tell you about what I learned about the US Supreme Court — its history, its role and what the Presidency of Donald Trump may mean for its future.

The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is the highest court in the United States and acts as guarantor and arbiter of the Constitution. It has the power to establish (and extend) the content of constitutional rights and to strike down not only government acts, but also primary legislation incompatible with those rights.

The Court’s procedure shares the emphasis on writing over speechmaking that is characteristic of appeal courts in the US. Each side is given only 30 minutes for oral argument — and this is generous by US standards, where many state appeal courts allow only 15. Appeal hearings tend to involve a barrage of questions from the bench, where the advocates are quizzed on the key parts of their reasoning and the consequences of the position they urge on the court. Judges I spoke to were almost unanimous in agreeing that it was almost always on their written submissions (known as ‘briefs’) that the parties won or lost the case.

But it is the way that Justices are appointed to the Court that represents perhaps the most significant contrast with the UK. Article II of the Constitution empowers the President to nominate a Justice, who must then be confirmed by the Senate. Once confirmed, the Justice remains in place for life (unless they retire). As a result, appointment to the Court is an intensely political matter. Who holds the balance of power in the executive and legislature has great ramifications for the composition of the judiciary.

The right to an abortion

One of the Court’s most famous decisions is Roe v. Wade 410 U.S. 113 (1973), where it was established that the Constitution protects a pregnant woman’s right to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction.

The plaintiff (as the claiming party is still known in the States) — real name Norma McCorvey — had become pregnant with her third child and wanted an abortion. However, she lived in Texas, one of a number of states where abortion was illegal except when necessary to save the mother’s life.

In January 1973, by a 7–2 majority the Court held that the Constitution included a right to privacy that protects a pregnant woman’s right to choose whether or not to have an abortion.

The Fourteenth Amendment

The home of this right was found to be the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This Amendment has a fascinating history — passed in 1868 in the aftermath of the American Civil War, it sought to establish citizenship rights and equal protection under the law for former black slaves.

As well as ending the institution of slavery itself, a key concern of the abolitionists in the aftermath of war was to nullify the infamous decision of the Supreme Court in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), which had held that black people

are not included, and were not intended to be included, under the word ‘citizens’ in the Constitution, and can therefore claim none of the rights and privileges which that instrument provides for and secures to citizens of the United States.

As a result, a slave who was taken into free territory but then brought back by his owners to slave-holding Missouri had not gained his freedom — he remained a slave.

In theory, at least, the Fourteenth Amendment established the rights of former slaves on equal footing to their former masters. Tragically, the subsequent backsliding in the South meant that these rights proved illusory until the successes of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s, culminating in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (though the multifarious consequences of the oppression of African Americans are still being felt today).

The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment provides that

… nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.

This is based on a similar clause in the Fifth Amendment which was added by James Madison at the behest of the state of New York. The language deliberately harks back to that of Magna Carta and its purpose is to protect the rights of the individual from being unduly infringed by the state.

In Roe v. Wade, the Court drew on earlier cases involving parental control over bringing up children and the use of contraception and found that these established that the guarantee of liberty under the Fourteenth Amendment included a right to privacy.

The Court then reasoned that outlawing abortions would infringe this right for several reasons: having unwanted children may force upon the woman a distressful life and future, it may bring imminent psychological harm or tax the mother’s physical and mental health and because there may be distress for all concerned with the unwanted child. This reasoning was based on a firm rejection of the notion that a fetus is a “person” within the meaning of the Constitution.

The Court held that the right to privacy in this context was not absolute. During the first trimester, the government could place no restriction on a woman’s ability to choose to abort a pregnancy other than minimal medical safeguards. From the second trimester on, evidence of increasing risks to the mother’s health gave the state a compelling interest and medical regulations could be enacted so long as they were reasonable and “narrowly tailored” to protecting mothers’ health. Since the beginning of the third trimester was normally considered to be the point at which a fetus became viable under the medical science available at the time, the Court ruled that from this time onwards the state had a compelling interest in protecting prenatal life and could legally prohibit all abortions except where necessary to protect the mother’s life or health.

As to the measure in question, the Court concluded that

A state criminal abortion statute of the current Texas type, that excepts from criminality only a life-saving procedure on behalf of the mother, without regard to pregnancy stage and without recognition of the other interests involved, is violative of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. [164]

Political faultlines

The decision is a key divide in American politics. In a May 2018 Gallup poll 48% of Americans described themselves as pro-choice and 48% as pro-life. The issue has become a Shibboleth for American liberals and conservatives, with each Republican President stating his opposition to the decision and each Democratic occupant of the White House expressing his support. It is also interesting (and perhaps surprising) to note that the plaintiff in the original case has disavowed the decision.

During much of the Obama administration, the court was generally seen to be evenly divided on ‘political’ questions, with four ‘liberal’ Justices, four ‘conservatives’ and one ‘swing vote’, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, a moderate ‘conservative’, but one who would vote with the ‘liberals’ on certain issues.

An example of how this has played out are the decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 742 (2010). These cases relate to the rights of gun owners — another major political faultline.

The reasoning of the Court is significantly more favourable to conservatives than liberals — the two decisions established that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms and that this right is binding not only on the federal government but also on the states (via the Due Process Clause).

But the price of Justice Kennedy’s vote with the ‘conservatives’ was a passage in Heller which stated that

Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.

The decision therefore permits at least some regulation on the ownership of firearms.

In February 2016 the leading conservative Justice, Antonin Scalia, passed away. President Obama nominated Merrick Garland as his replacement, a Judge on the important US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. This was the first time in almost a hundred years that a Democratic President had had the opportunity to appoint a Justice to the Court while the Republicans controlled the Senate. A great deal was at stake — particularly given the role that Justice Scalia had as the leader of the ‘conservative’ tendency — and it was clear that his replacement by a ‘liberal’ would have shifted the Court’s ideological balance perhaps for many years to come.

However, this was the dying days of the Obama administration. Sensing an opportunity, Republican Senate leaders declared that because the seat on the Court had become vacant during an election year, the Senate would not even consider a nomination from the President. There was nothing that the Democrats could do. The nomination expired at the end of that Congress at the start of 2017.

Whether you see the move by the Republicans as clever or cynical is likely to depend on your point of view, but even their supporters must surely baulk at the double-standards expressed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who was asked in May 2019 what he would do if a Justice were to die in 2020 (an election year) and stated with a smile that the Senate would fill such a vacancy, a comment he repeated the following month.

When President Trump was propelled to the White House he retained a majority in the Senate. This gave him the opportunity to confirm Neil Gorsuch as the replacement for Justice Scalia by the end of January the following year.

This appointment was ‘like for like’ (‘conservative’ for ‘conservative’). The important change came next. In July 2018 Justice Kennedy retired from the Court at the age of 82. President Trump nominated as his replacement Brett Kavanaugh, another Judge of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. Despite a fraught confirmation process which included testimony from several women who said that they had suffered sexual assault at his hands, he was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 50-48 and sworn in in October 2018.

This is likely to have significant ramifications. With the ‘conservatives’ on the Court now holding a firm 5-4 majority, the jurisprudence of the Court is likely to move rightward on a whole host of issues.

One is the right to an abortion. During the course of 2018, a number of state legislatures have advanced strict limits on abortion in those states. For example, Iowa’s ‘heartbeat’ law prohibits doctors from performing an abortion if a fetal heartbeat can be detected (which can happen as early as six weeks), with exceptions in the case of certain instances of rape, incest or medical emergency. In Louisiana the doctor must obtain admitting privileges from a nearby hospital to carry out the procedure. It appears that only one doctor in Louisiana has been able to meet this requirement — rendering it almost impossible to obtain an abortion in this state.

This appears to involve an unlawful burdening of the right to an abortion established in Roe v. Wade and the Louisiana provision is also almost identical to a Texas law that the Supreme Court struck down back in 2016. But the Court is different now. In October 2019 it decided that it would hear a case concerning the Louisiana law.

This is not all. Another issue now back before the Court is gun control, where the Court is considering its first case in a decade on the right to bear arms. This will probably engage aspects of the issue left vague by the decisions in Heller and McDonald.

What this may all mean is still unclear — but liberals are unlikely to feel optimistic. The Republican domination of the White House (since 2016) and the Senate (since 2014) is likely to have significant consequences for the American legal system. The elections later this year will be very important indeed.

Jonathan Metzer is a barrister at 1 Crown Office Row. He tweets @JonathanMetzer.

1 comment;


  1. spamletblog says:

    I’m surprised the various law societies don’t insist on judges being impartial. Anyone who’s politics is obvious enough for a politician to select them, should be automatically banned from being a judge!

    More importantly though: political parties were never intended to be allowed to capture all three branches of government. George Washington made a well reasoned warning against allowing take over by political parties, in his farewell letter on his retirement. He predicted that human nature would lead to factionalism and tit for tat between the parties, that would allow the rise of a tyrant with the aid of a foreign power. He was, of course, ignored, and now we live in exactly the times he predicted.

    The really sick thing about it all is the way the media quote Washington on the tyrant takeover bit, but not on the reasoning against parties that led to it, so they all profess to be baffled as to how the separation of powers has completely failed and they are powerless to hold each other to account!

    While parties are allowed to capture Congress and choose both who gets to be put forward for election, and then who gets to be a judge, there can never be democracy or a fair tribunal in the USA (and, I might add, most of that applies here too, but for the selection of judges, which, so far, seems to have led to a fairly thoughtful Supreme Court…).

Comments are closed.

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


#50cases #catgate #fighthatewithhumanrights #lawblogs 7/7 7/7 bombing 7/7 inquest 7/7 inquests 9/11 100 years of women in law 1688 bill of rights 2010 General Election 2012 in review 2012 year in review 2017 @Iamspartacus a1p1 a1p1 breach A1P1 damages Aarhus Aarhus Convention A B and C abbas hall Abid Naseer ablyazov abortion Absent Witness Abu Hamza abu qatada abuse of dominant position abuse of private information abuse of process academic freedom access to courts access to information Access to justice accountability acoustic shock acquired disorder AC v Berkshire Addison Lee Adetoro v United Kingdom adjudication administrative law admissability criteria adoption adoption orders advance decision advance directive advertisements advertising affirmative action Afghanistan age assessment agency age of criminal responsibility aggravated damages agreement Agriculture Ahava Ahmad Faraz Khan AI air noise air pollution air quality air travel Al-Saadoon and Mufdhi Alan Turing ALBA alcohol dependence algorithm algorithms Alien Tort Statute alignment problem Al Jedda allergy allocation of resources Al Qaeda Al Quaeda Al Rawi Al Skeini alternative medicine alternative therapy altruism American Declaration of Independence Amnesty International Amnesty International 2010 Report amphibians amusement parks ancillary relief Andy Coulson animal cruelty animal culls animal rights Animals animal welfare anonymising anonymity anonymous website anorexia nervosa an rights Ansari ANS v ML [2012] UKSC 30 anti-blasphemy laws anti-discriminatiom anti-semitism anti-terrorism review anti-terrorist legislation antibody antiretrovirals anxious scrutiny AONB A P Herbert appeal Appeals archeology Arctic charr Arhuus Convention Armed forces army arrest Article 1 Protocol 1 Article 2 article 3 article 3 UNCRC article 5 Article 5 ECHR article 5(3) Article 6 article 6 criminal Article 6(3) Article 8 Article 8 claim against council Article 8 protection of privacy Article 9 article 10 Article 11 article 13 Article 14 Article 50 article 263 TFEU artificial hydration and nutrition Artificial Intelligence artificial nutrition and hydration Artile 8 asbestosis Assange Assange extradition assisted reproduction assisted suicide assisting suicide associated newspapers asylum asylum amnesty asylum claim asylum law asylum seeker asylum seeker death driver asylum seekers ATE premiums atheism Atul Gawande audio Australia australian constitution autism autonomy axel springer axel springer ag ayslum Azelle Rodney babar ahmad baby Baby P badger cull badgers Badger Trust bad judges bad tackle Baha Mousa Public Inquiry Bahta & Ors bail BAILII bailout Balen Report ban bankers bonuses Bank Mellat baptism barclay brothers barristers bats' rights battlefield BBC beaches bedroom tax beijing belief benefit cap benefits bereavement damages best interests big business bike training service bilateral trade treaty bill of right Bill of Rights Bill of rights commission Bingham Rule of Law Centre Binyam Mohamed bioethics biology biomedicine biometric data biotechnology bipolar disorder birds directive birmingham birth certificate births deaths and marriages BJ (INCAPACITATED ADULT) sub nom SALFORD CITY COUNCIL v BJ Black & Morgan v. Wilkinson blawg blawg review blight blogging blogosphere blogs blood Bloody Sunday Bloody Sunday findings BNP boaters boats Body scanners Boris Johnson bovine TB bradley manning BRCA BRCA gene BRCA mutation breach of Article 6 breach of Article 6(1) breach of confidence breast cancer brevet brexit Brian Haw bribery Bribery Act 2010 Brighton Conference Brighton Declaration British Airways British Airways v Unite British Bill of Rights British Chiropractic Association British citizenship British constitution British embassy british lawyers British soldiers Broadmoor bronze soldier brownlie browsing BSkyB BUCKLAND v. THE UNITED KINGDOM - 40060/08 - HEJUD Buddhism budget Bull v Hall burkha Burnham Market Book Festival Cadder Cafcass Canada canal cancellation cancer CAP capacity carbon capture cardio-pulmonary resuscitation Care and Support Bill care home care home; elderly people; dementia; capacity; deprivation of liberty care homes care order Care orders care proceedings car insurance carnivores Carson v UK case law Case Note Catholic Care Catholic Church catholic midwives CBI CCTV cerebral palsy CETA CFAs chagos Chagos Islanders charitable objects charity Charity Commission Charles J read judgment Simon Lewis Charlie Hebdo charter Charter of Fundamental Rights chemotherapy chief coroner child child's best interests child abduction child poverty Child Poverty Action Group child protection Children children's homes children's rights Children Act children giving evidence child welfare chimpanzees China Chindamo Chris Grayling Chris Packham Christian christianity church church of scientology CIA circumcision citizens advice bureau citizenship citizens rights civil liberties civil liberties campaigners civil partnerships civil proceedings civl partnerships CJEU CJEU rule of law class of degree client earth climate change climate change sceptic climategate climate research unit clinical need clinical negligence cloning closed material procedure Closed Material Procedures Coalition agreement Coalition Government Code Civile code of conduct Coercive and controlling behaviour cohabitees cold calling Cologne combat immunity comments comment thread commission Commission for Equality & Human Rights Commission on a Bill of Rights common buzzard common law common law rights communications Communications Act 2003 communications data Communications Data Bill 2008 Compassion in World Farming compelementary medicine compensation competition complementary medicine compulsory detention compulsory labour computer hacking computer science concentration camps conditional fee agreements conditions Confederation of British Industry confidentiality confiscation order conscience conscience clause conscientious objection consent conservation Conservative Party Conservatives constitution constitutional court of south africa constitutional disorder construction consultation consultation responses contact order contact point contempt of court contempt of court act content neutrality content providers contingency fee arrangements contract control and restraint Control orders Convention system of protection Conway cookies copying Copyright copyright infringement cornrows coronavirus coroner Coroner's inquest coroners Coroners and Justice Act 2009 corporal punishment cosmetics testing costs Costs and Procedure costs budgets council Council of Europe Counter Terrorism and Security Bill cour de cassation court Court of Justice of the European Union Court of Protection Court of Session Court Orders court procedure Courts Bill Courts Martial Covent Garden Coventry Council CPR gateway CPS CRB challenge credibiility] credibility cricket crime crimes against humanity Criminal criminal conviction Criminal Courts Charge criminal justice Criminal Justice and Courts Bill criminal law Criminal Legal Aid criminal prosecution criminal records criminal responsibility criminal sentencing Cross Examination Crown Prosecution Service crr crucifix cryonic preservation custody custody dispute cuts Cybersecurity D daily mail Daily Mirror Dajid Singh Shergill Dale Farm evictions damage Damages dangerous nonsense database data controller data processing data protection data retention data sharing data snooping date rape david cameron David Chaytor David James David Kelly David Miranda day care closures death death match death penalty Debbie Purdy declaration declaration of incompatibility defamation Defamation Act Defamation Bill defaming the dead defence of illegality defendant's costs order deficit defmation DEFRA delegated legislation democracy Democracy village demolition order demotion Dennis Gill dentist's registration fees Department of Health deportation deportation cases deprivation of liberty deprivation of property derogations Detainee inquiry Detention determinism devolution devolved government Dewani diagnosis Diane Pretty Dica diego garcia Digital Economy Act 2010 Digital Economy Bill Dignitas dignity Dignity in Dying diplomacy diplomatic immunity direct action Directive direct marketing director of public prosecutions disability Disability-related harassment disabled claimants disciplinary hearing disclosure Disclosure of Previous Convictions discretionary leave to remain discretion to quash Discrimination Discrimination law disease dismissal disqualification dissenting judges Divisional Court divorce DNA DNA database DNA home-testing DNA retention DNA testing doctor doctor-patient relationship doctors doctrine of double effect doctrine of state act does it matter? domestic violence domestic workers Dominic Grieve don't ask don't ask don't tell don't tell donor Do Not Resuscitate Notices Doogan and Wood do trees have rights? double conviction DPP guidelines Dr Chhabra dripa driving licence driving penalty Drones Drone strikes drug dealer damages drug offence Dr Zakir Naik Dublin Convention Dublin II Dublin III regulation Dublin II Regulation Dublin Regulation Dudko duties duty of care duty to investigate duty to rescue eastenders eating horses ECHR economic and social rights economic loss economic rights ECtHR Ed Snowden Education Edward Snowden EHRC elderly election election court election results Electoral Commission report Electoral law electric cars electricity Elizabeth Warren ellie butler el masri embryo embryonic stem cells embryos emergency budget emissions trading employers Employment employment appeal tribunal employment disputes employment law employment rights Employment Tribunal fees employment tribunals employment vetting English Defence Leauge English translation enhanced criminal record checks entitlement Environment environmental challenges environmental impact assessment environmental information environmental justice Environmental law environmental law foundation environmental liability directive environmental protection environmental rights environment brexit Envrionmental Information Directive epa endangerment finding eployment Equality Act Equality Act 2010 Equality and Human Rights Commission Equality and Human Rights Commission v Prime Minister & Ors [2011] EWHC 2401 (Admin) - equality of arms equal marriage equal marriage consultation equal treatment erika espionage ethics EU eu and strasbourg EU Charter EU Charter of Fundamental Rights EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms eu commission EU competence eu costs eu courts EU criminal Law opt out eu documents eu law Europe european european arrest warrant European Charter European Charter of Fundamental Rights European Charter of Fundamental Rigths European Commission European Communities Act European Convention European Convention on Human Rights European Court European Court of European Court of Human Rights European Court of Human Rights reform European Court of Justice european disability forum European law European Sanctions Blog European Social Charter european union Eurozone EUSFTA eu state liability euthanasia EU transparency EU Turkey summit EU waste directive eviction evidence evidence-based medicine Evidence-based policy evidence of torture evironmental assessment evolution ex-pats exceptional case funding exceptionality excessive taxes exclusion exclusion order executions exhaustion of domestic remedies expenses expenses scandal expert evidence Expert evidence on foreign law Express extinct extinction rebellion extra-jurisdictional reach of ECHR extra-territoriality extradition extradition act extradition procedures extradition review extraordinary rendition Eyjafjallajökull volcano Facebook Facebook contempt facial recognition factitious disorder factory farming fair procedures Fair Trial faith courts fake news false imprisonment false passport Families Need Fathers Family Family Court family courts Family Courts without a Lawyer: A Handbook for Litigants in Person family division Family Justice Review family law family legal aid Family life farage farm farm animals farming fast-track removal fatal accidents act fathers fathers rights feature fertility treatment FGM finance Financial Conduct Authority financial dependency financial harm financial information Financial Services Authority Firat Dink First Amendment first publishers fisheries fishing claims fishing industry fishing quota fishing rights fitness to practise Flood v The Times Flood v Times foetus foia food banks forced marriage force feeding foreign criminals foreign office foreign policy forensic science format shifting Fourteenth Amendment fracking France francovich freedom freedom of assembly Freedom of Association freedom of conscience Freedom of Expression freedom of information Freedom of Information Act 2000 freedom of movement freedom of speech freedom of the press free expression Freemen of the land free movement of goods free speech free will freezing assets French schools FTP fundamental rights Funeral pyre Future of legal blogging G (Children) G4S G20 protest Gabrielle Giffords Gaddafi regime gainsborough game birds Gamu Nhengu gangbo gang injunctions Garry Mann gary dobson Gary McFarlane gay couple gay discrimination Gay marriage gay rights gay soldiers Gaza Gaza conflict gazza GCHQ gdpr GE 2017 gearbox Gender gender reassignment General Dental Council General Duty General Election general election 2010 general election 2019 General Medical Council genes genetic affinity genetic discrimination genetic disorder genetic engineering genetic information Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act genetic modification genetics genetic testing Geneva Convention genome genome sequencing Geoff Hoon George Osborne German Chancellor German court Germany germ line mutation Ghailani GlaxoSmithKlein gmc Goldman Sachs golf course Google government governmental bodies GP privacy grayling consultation Great Repeal Bill green belt grenfell Gresham College grooming gross offence Guantanamo Bay Guardian News and Media Ltd guernsey G v E & Ors G v E & Ors [2011] EWCA Civ 939 gwyneth paltrow gypsies H1N1 habeas corpus habitats Habitats Directive habitats protection hackgate Halsbury's Law Exchange hammerton v uk hancock Haney happy new year harassment Hardeep Singh Haringey Council haringey council tax benefit Harkins and Edwards hate speech Health healthcare health insurance hearing loss Heathrow heist heightened scrutiny Henry VII Henry VIII herd immunity hereditary disorder High Court of Justiciary high speed train route Hindu Hirst No. 2 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 home homelessness Home Office Home Office v Tariq homeopathy Homo Deus homophobia homo sapiens homosexual hooding horisontality horizontal application horizontal effect horsemeat hospitals Hounslow v Powell House of Commons Housing housing benefit housing benefits Howard Donald Howard League for Penal Reform how judges decide cases hra damages claim HRA incorporation Hrant Dink HRLA HS2 hs2 challenge hts http://ukhumanrightsblog.com/2011/04/11/us-state-department-reports-on-uk-human-rights/ human being human dignity Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority human genome humanism 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 in private disputes human rights news human rights record Human Rights Watch human right to education Human Tissue Act human trafficking hung parliament hunting Huntington's Chorea Huntington's Disease HXA hyper injunctions Ian McEwan ICAO Igor Sutyagin illegal immigration illegality illegality defence illegitimacy image rights imaginary litigation immigration Immigration/Extradition Immigration Act 2014 immigration appeals immigration detention immigration judge immigration rules immunity Imports incorporation HRA increase of sanction indefinite leave to remain indian advocates indian supreme court indirect discrimination Indonesia Industrial Action informed consent Infrastructure Planning Committee inherent jurisdiction inherited disease Inhuman and degrading treatment injunction injunction continued inland revenue Inquest inquest law Inquests inquiry insanity inshore fleet insult insurance insurmountable obstacles intellectual property intelligence intelligence services act intensive care intercept evidence interception interests of the child interim remedies international international comity international conflict international court of justice international criminal court international humanitarian law international human rights international human rights law International Labour Organisation international law International Stem Cell Corporation international treaty obligations internet internet libel internet service providers internment internship interrogation intrusion inuit invasive species invention investigation investigative duty in vitro fertilisation Iran iranian bank sanctions Iranian nuclear program iran sanctions Iraq Iraqi asylum seeker Iraq War Ireland Irish Constitution irrationality ISC ISIL islam isolated nucleic acids isolation Israel israeli palestinian conflict italian ships Italy iTunes IVF ivory ban Jack Dorsey jackson reforms Janowiec and Others v Russia ( Japan japanese knotweed Jason Smith jean charles de menezes Jeet Singh Jefferies jehovah's witnesses Jeremy Clarkson Jeremy Corbyn jeremy hunt jihad Jihadi brides jihadists JIH identity jim duffy job jobseekers' allowance Jogee John Hemming John Terry joint enterprise joint tenancy jonathan sumption Jon Guant Joseph v Spiller journalism judaism judges Judges and Juries judging judgment judgment in default Judicial activism judicial brevity judicial deference Judicial immunity judicial no-mans land judicial oversight judicial power judicial review Judicial Review reform Judicial Studies Board judiciary Julian Assange Julian Asssange Juncker jurisdiction jury trial JUSTICE Justice and Security Act Justice and Security Bill Justice and Security Green Paper Justice Cameron Justice Human Rights Awards JUSTICE Human Rights Awards 2010 justiciability justification just satisfaction Kant Katyn Massacre Kay v Lambeth Kay v UK kazakstan Ken Clarke Ken Pease Kerry McCarthy Kettling Khan v Advocate General for Scotland khordokovsky Kings College Kiobel Klimas koran burning laboratory animals laboratory test Labour labour law lack of reasons Lady Hale land landfill gas landowner landowners language lansley NHS reforms LASPO Law Commission Law Pod UK Law Society Law Society of Scotland leave to enter leave to remain Lee Rigby legal advice privilege legal aid legal aid cuts Legal Aid desert Legal Aid Reforms legal blogs Legal Certainty legality legal naughty step Legal Ombudsman legal privilege legal profession legal professional privilege legal representation legitimate expectation let as a dwelling Leveson Inquiry Levi Bellfield lewisham hospital closure Lewis Malcolm Calver liability Libel libel reform Liberal Democrat Conference Liberal Democrats liberal humanism Liberty libraries closure library closures licence conditions licence to shoot licensee life insurance life orders life sentence life support limestone pavements limitation lisbon treaty Lithuania litigant in person litvinenko live exports livestock livestock trade living instrument living will LME local authorities local government locked in syndrome locus standi london borough of merton London Legal Walk London Probation Trust Lord Bingham Lord Bingham of Cornhill Lord Blair Lord Carey Lord Goldsmith lord irvine Lord Judge Lord Judge speech Lord Justice Jackson Lord Kerr Lord Lester Lord Mance Lord Neuberger Lord Phillips Lord Rodger Lord Sales Lord Saville Report Lord Sumption Lord Taylor LSC tender luftur rahman machine learning MAGA Magna Carta Magna Carter Mail Online mail on sunday Majority Verdict Malcolm Kennedy male circumcision malice malicious falsehood mandela M and Others v Her Majesty’s Treasury manifestation of belief manifestos Margaret Thatcher Margin of Appreciation margin of discretion Maria Gallastegui Marie Colvin marine conservation marine environmental law marine sanctuaries Mark Kennedy mark twain marriage marriage act 1949 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 Mcfarlane McKenzie friend me/cfs research Media and Censorship media judge Medical medical confidentiality medical ethics medical evidence medical liability medical negligence medical profession medical qualifications medical records medical treatment medicine mental capacity mental capacity; press; reporting restrictions Mental Capacity Act Mental Capacity Act 2005 Mental Health mental health act mental health advocacy mental health awareness Mental Health Courts mental health hospital Mental illness merits review mesothelioma metgate MGN v UK michael gove Middle Temple Midwives Milly Dowler minimally conscious minimum income minimum sentence Ministerial Code Ministry of Justice Ministry of Justice cuts miscarriage of justice misfeasance in public office missiles misuse of private information mitochondrial disease MMR MMR vaccination modern slavery Mohamed monitoring powers monsanto montgomery mooring moral circle morality morocco mortgage fraud mortuaries motherhood motor neuron disease Motor Neurone disease Moulton Mousa movement for democratic change MP expenses Mr Brewer Mr Gul Mr Justice Eady Mr Justice Sharp MS (Palestinian Territories) (FC) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for the Home Department Munchausen Munchausen by proxy murder murder reform music Musician's Union Muslim mustafa kamal mutation mutations myanmar MY Cannis my kingdom for a horse Myriad NADA v. SWITZERLAND - 10593/08 - HEJUD [2012] ECHR 1691 Nadja Benaissa naked rambler Naomi Campbell narcolepsy National Health Act nationality National Origin National Pro Bono Week national security national sovereignty Natural England natural rights nature nature conservation naturism Nazi neanderthals necessary implication need for legal aid needs assessment negligence neighbour dispute Neuberger neural degeneration neurogenerative disease neuroscience Newcastle university news News of the World news roundup new Supreme Court President NGO standing NHS NHS Risk Register NICE Nick Clegg Nicklinson Niqaab niqab No Angels Noise Regulations 2005 non-justiciability nonhuman animals non voluntary euthanasia Northern Ireland Northern Irish Assembly notification requirements nuclear challenges nuisance nurse nursing nursing home obiter dicta Occupy London offensive jokes Offensive Speech offensive t shirt official solicitor of Rights Commission oil and gas oil spill olympics open justice oppress oppressive treatment OPQ v BJM orchestra orthodox schools Osama Bin Laden Osborn v The Parole Board [2013] UKSC 61 ouster clause overseas aid Oxford University Palestinian Territories palliative care palliative sedation paramount consideration paramountcy principle parental responsibility order parental rights parenthood parents responsibility parking spaces parliament parliamentary expenses parliamentary expenses scandal Parliamentary sovereignty Parliament square parole parole board party funding passengers rights passing off passive smoking passport passport seizure pastor Terry Jones patent patents paternity Pathway Students patiets' rights Patrick Quinn murder Paul Chambers PCOs peace-keeping operations Pensions people for the ethical treatment of animals (Peta) performers' rights permanent injunction persecution persistent vegetative state personal data personal information Personal Injury personality rights Personal life perversity Pet Animals Act 1951 Peter and Hazelmary Bull Peter Gibson pet shops PF and EF v UK Philip Lawrence Phil Woolas phone hacking phone taps photos photovoltaics physical and mental disabilities physical restraint physician assisted death Pinnock Piracy PJS placement order planning planning human rights planning system planning time limits plantagenet plebgate pleural plaques POCA podcast points poison Poland Police police investigations police liability police misconduct police powers police surveillance policing Policy Exchange report political advertising political judges political persecution politicians for hire Politics Politics/Public Order pollution polonium poor reporting Pope Pope's visit Pope Benedict porsche 917 portal possession order possession proceedings post mortem Posts power of attorney PoW letters to ministers pre-nup pre-nuptial Pre-trial detention predator control pregnancy preliminary reference prerogative powers press Press Association press briefing press freedom Priest priests primary legislation Prince Andrew 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 prison rules Prisons prison vote privacy privacy injunction privacy law through the front door private disputes Private life private nuisance private use procedural unfairness Procedure proceeds of crime Professional Discipline professional indemnity Professional life Property property rights proportionality prosecution Protection of Freedoms Act Protection of Freedoms Bill protective costs Protest protest camp protest rights Protocol 15 psychiatric hospitals psychology psychotherapy Public/Private public access publication public authorities public authority public bodies Public Bodies Bill public figure public funding public inquiries public inquiry public interest public interest environmental litigation public interest immunity public interest litigation publicity public law unfairness Public Order public powers public procurement Public Sector Equality Duty Public Services Ombudsman Putin putting the past behind quango quantum quarantine Queen's Speech queer in the 21st century R (on the application of) v Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts & Anor [2012] EWCA Civ 472 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 Rabone and another v Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust [2012] UKSC 2 Race race relations Rachel Corrie racial discrimination Racial equality radio radiotherapy Radmacher Raed Salah Mahajna Raed Saleh Ramsgate randomised controlled trial rape rape case raptors Ratcliffe 6 Ratcliffe on Soar Ratcliffe power station rating rationality rcs RCW v A Local Authority reasonableness reasons reasons challenges recent case law and news Recent posts reception conditions recognition of judgments recreational rights Redfearn v UK referendum reform refugee applications refugee crisis refugee status refusal of treatment Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages registration regulatory rehabilitation of offenders Reith Lectures Re J (A Child: Disclosure) [2012] EWCA Civ 1204 relgious freedom Religion religion in the courts religious beliefs religious discrimination religious freedom religious prosecution remedies renewables subsidies rent repeal reporting restrictions representation reproductive rights reproductive technologies reproductive wrongs rescue rescuer's claim resettlement of offenders resource allocation respect for family life responsibility in tort restrictions on exports restrictions on liberty results 2010 resuscitation retrospective application of the Human Rights Act retrospective legislation retrospective penalty retrospectivity rev paul nicholson reynolds Reynolds defence Re [2012] EWCA Civ 1233 richard III Richard O'Dwyer right of appeal rightsifno RightsInfo rights of children Right to a fair hearing right to a fair trial right to a home right to a remedy right to artistic expression right to a student loan right to autonomy right to autonomy and privacy right to die right to dies right to die with dignity right to dignity right to education right to expression right to family life right to food right to free enjoyment of possessions right to information right to liberty right to life right to peaceful enjoyment of property Right to Privacy right to private and family life right to refuse treatment right to respect for private life right to silence right to strike right to swim right to truth right to vote Rihanna Rio Ferdinand riots ripa rise of fascism risk risk assessment rival supermarkets Roma Roman Catholic Roman Catholic Church roman catholic schools Romania Rooney's Gold roundup roundup ready Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust royal dutch petroleum royal name Royal Oper House Royal Prerogative rule of law Rupert Jackson Rusal Russia russia and human rights Russian Federal Security Service Rutherford Ryanair s sadie frost Safari same-sex same sex parents same sex partnerships same sex relationship sanctions set aside sanctity of life Sandiford Sapiens Sarah Ferguson sark satire saudi arabia Savage (Respondent) v South Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Saville Report schedule 7 schizophrenia school building school surveillance schrems science scientific atheism scientific research scientology Scoppola Scotland Scotland Act Scotland Act 1998 Scotland Bill Scottish Government Scottish Human Rights Commission scottish landlord and tenant Scottish Parliament SCOTUS sea fishing seals Seal v UK search engines search powers secondary legislation secondary smoking secrecy Secretary of State Secretary of State for the Home Department v AP secret courts secret criminal trial secret evidence secret justice Secret trials sectarianism secularism security security cameras security services security vetting Sedar Mohammed segregation Select Committee on AI self-defence self-incrimination seminar sentencing September 11 serco serious harm sermon Seroxat service outside jurisdiction set-off Sewel Convention sex abuse sex ban sex ban low IQ sex offender Sex offenders sex register sexual abuse Sexual Offences sexual orientation sexual orientation regulations SFO investigation sfo unlawfulness shaker aamer Shamima Begum sham marriage shared residence order Sharon Shoesmith shetland shipping shipwreck Shirley Chaplin shooting shoulder shrug should trees have rights SIAC sihkism Simon Singh sir alan ward Sir Nicholas Wall Sir Peter six months rule slander slaughterhouses slavery smacking small claims court small solar Smith Smith & Ors v The Ministry of Defence [2012] EWCA Civ 1365 smog smoking ban Snyder v Phelps social and economic rights social benefits social housing socialite social media social security law social welfare social workers Solicitorsfromhell website solitary confinement soma somali pirates sources South Africa south african constitution sovereignty Sovereignty clause soviet union soybean Spanish properties spare room subsidy special advocate special advocates species specific performance spending cuts spielmann squatters Standing standing rules starvation state immunity statelessness statute statutory power Statutory purpose stay of execution stem cell research stem cells stem cell therapy Stephen Gough stephen sedley stepping hill hospital Sterilisation steve macqueen Steven Neary stobart-law stop and search stop powers Stormont Assembly storms Strasborug Strasbourg Strasbourg Court strasbourg damages pirates strasbourg law Strasbourg terminology strategic environmental assessment strike strike out Strikes student loans sturgeon subsidies Sugar v BBC suicide suicide act 1961 super injunction super injunctions supermax prisons superstition Supreme Court Supreme Court Live Supreme Court of Canada Supreme Court Scotland surgery surrogacy surrogacy arrangement surveillance swine flu Syria systemic violence Take That tallinn tariff Taser Tax tax avoidance tax discrimination tchenguiz technology Telegraph telephone preference service television justice tenancy tent city termination termination of pregnancy terror asset freezing Terrorism terrorism act terrorism act 2000 terrorism legislation terrorism prosecution terrorist finance terrorist threat terry pratchett Tesla testamentary dispositions The Bike Project the Catholic church The Corner House theism The Law in These Parts therapy Theresa May the right to privacy The Stig The Sun third countries third party appeals three way case time limits time limits in human rights Tobacco tobacco cartels Top Gear tort Torture torture inquiry totally without merit TPIM TPP tracking trade trade secrets trades unions trade union congress Trade Unions transexual transsexual transsexuals travel travellers travel restrictions treason treatment treaty treaty accession trial by jury trolling TTIP TTM v London Borough of Hackney & Ors Tugendhat tumour Turkey tweeting in court Twitter twitter in court Twitter Joke Trial UK UK citizenship uk constitution UK election UK Human Rights Blog UK Human Rights Roundup UKIP UK Jewish Film Festival ukraine UK Supreme Court UK Uncut ultra orthodox jews ultra vires UN unable to vote unacceptable behaviour policy unaccompanied minors unborn child UN Convention on the Rights of the Child unelected judges unemployment unfair consultation unfair dismissal unfairness at hearing Unison Unite United Against Fascism Group United Kingdom United Nations United States United States v Windsor universal declaration of human rights universal jurisdiction Universal Periodic Review University University Fees university of east anglia University of Southampton unjust and oppressive unlawful arrest unlawful detention unpaid work schemes UN Resolution unsolicited calls UPR US aviation US Constitution use as of right US Supreme Court vaccination Valkyries variants veganism vehicle breakdown vetting and barring vicarious liability victim victim status Victoria Climbie victorian charter Vienna airport vigilantism villagisation vinton cerf violence violist visa scheme vivisection voluntary euthanasia Volunteers voter compensation voters compensation voting voting compensation vulnerable Wagner Wakefield Wales War war correspondents ward of court War Horse water utilities Watts Wayne Rooney Websites welfare of child welfare of children welfare of the child welfare state welsh bill western sahara whaling What would happen if the UK withdrew from the European Court of Human Rights whimbrel whisky Whistleblowing WHO who is JIH whole gene sequencing whole life orders whorship Wikileaked cable Wikileaks wiklleaks Wild Law wildlife Wildlife and Countryside Act will William Hague William Marbury wills wind farms wind turbine Winterbourne View witchcraft withdrawal of treatment wolves women's rights Woolas worboys Workers working time directive wrongful birth wrongful conception wrongful life WTO wuhan X AND OTHERS v. AUSTRIA - 19010/07 - HEJUD [2013] ECHR 148 X Factor XX v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] EWCA Civ 742 X Y and Z v UK Yemshaw Yildirim v Turkey Your freedom website YouTube yukos Yuval Noah Hariri Zakir Naik Zanu-PF Zero Hours Contracts ZH (Tanzania) v Secretary of State for the Home Department Zimbabwe Zimbabwe farm invasions ZN (Afghanistan) (FC) and others ZZ [2015] CSIH 29 [2015] CSOH 168 £750

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: