International Women’s Day, the Domestic Abuse Bill and Protest Rights- Round Up

9 March 2020 by

Conor Monighan brings us the latest updates in human rights law

In the News:


The Government’s ant-slavery tsar has severely criticised the government for failing to take action on child slavery. Dame Sara Thornton, who was appointed in 2019, said that the government was failing to make changes as promised.

Her concerns relate to the Independent Child Trafficking Guardian (ICTG) scheme, which is designed to give vulnerable children one-to-one support. Under the scheme, guardians assist children with matters ranging from GP appointments to dealing with social services. In 2016 ministers pledged to implement the scheme, but progress has since stalled.

Dame Sara said that she wrote to the Home Secretary in January outlining her concerns and highlighting the fact that the scheme only covers a third of the country. However, she has not received a response.

In a further development, Dame Sara Thornton has said that the power to intervene in child trafficking cases should be taken away from the Home Office. She argues that local authorities are much better placed to provide support. However, others have pointed out that councils lack the resources and power to adequately address child slavery.

The number of children referred to the Home Office as being potential victims of modern slavery appears to be rising. Over 2000 children were identified between September 2018 – 2019, representing a 66% rise on the previous year.

More from the Independent here and the Guardian here.

In Other News….

  • The International Criminal Court (“ICC”) has ruled that there should be an investigation into alleged war crimes committed in Afghanistan. The ICC had previously refused to hold an inquiry on the basis that the parties that would form the focus of any report would not co-operate. The lower court’s decision was overturned on appeal. The ICC’s investigation will now examine the actions of US, Afghan and Taliban troops (though it is possible the UK’s activities will be mentioned). The ICC’s Chief Prosecutor said she has evidence of torture, cruel treatment, rape and sexual violence being committed by US troops. The announcement provoked an irate response from the American government. Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, said: “This is a truly breathtaking action by an unaccountable political institution masquerading as a legal body”. The decision was praised by institutions such as Human Rights Watch and Reprieve. More from the New York Times here.
  • Last Sunday was International Women’s Day, which is designed to celebrate and promote the achievements of women. The day began in 1908 when women marched in New York City demanding the right to vote, to receive better pay and work fewer hours. This year a number of events took place around the globe to mark the day. In the UK feminists marched in Parliament Square, the Duchess of Sussex visited schoolchildren, and celebrities changed their Twitter names/ photos with helplines for domestic abuse. The official website is here.
  • An enhanced Domestic Abuse Bill is returning to Parliament. The Bill has the potential to produce landmark changes in the law. Ministers are considering how to limit the so-called ‘rough sex’ defence, in which Defendants claim that consensual violent sexual activity led to the victim’s death. The bill also includes: a ban on Defendants being able to cross-examine their alleged victims during proceedings; a requirement that councils find accommodation for victims of abuse (and their children); and a plan to make domestic abusers take lie-detector (polygraph) tests on release from prison. The Duchess of Cornwall addressed the 10th annual Women of the World (WOW) festival over the weekend. She described domestic abuse as a “taboo” subject that requires society-wide solutions. She pointed out that last year two women a week were killed by a current or former partner in England and Wales. More from the Guardian here.

In the Courts:

  • Canada Goose UK Retail Ltd & Anor v Unknown Persons: The Claimants sought an injunction against animal-rights protesters who were campaigning outside its store on Regent Street. The Court of Appeal ruled that the Claimants had not properly served its claim form. Whilst the order granting an interim injunction had provided for an alternative method for service, this only applied to the order and not the claim form. The court reiterated Lord Sumption’s comment that “a person cannot be made subject to the jurisdiction of the court without having such notice of the proceedings as will enable him to be heard” (Cameron). The Court of Appeal also ruled that the Claimant’s application for summary judgment failed. The court produced some extremely useful guidance on injunctions against ‘persons unknown’ (at paragraph 82), but in short it ruled that such injunctions must be rare and clearly identify the category of person they are addressed at. The Claimant’s description of ‘persons unknown’ was impermissibly wide. The court finished by noting that civil litigation is a blunt instrument for dealing with protesters and suggested that the powers possessed by local authorities are better suited to the task.
  • Grobelny v. Poland: The European Court of Human Rights ruled that there had been a breach of Article 1 Protocol 1 (the right to property). This was because the applicant’s disability benefits had been discontinued even though he was assessed as being unable to undertake farm work. The court stated that individuals claiming benefits require a degree of certainty and security. Where an individual has a right in domestic law to a welfare benefit, it is sufficiently important that it should be protected under A1P1. The mere fact that it is revocable in certain circumstances does not prevent the benefit from amounting to property. The applicant was entitled to the benefit and should have been compensated for it being taken away.
  • Nottinghamshire County Council v SF And GD: The question in this case was whether it was ‘necessary’ for the Claimant to make special educational provision for a child. Section 36 of the Children and Families Act 2014 (“CFA 2014”) states that, if a request is made, local authorities should assess whether it is necessary for such provisions to be made. The Court of Appeal found that the word ‘necessary’ in this context was an ordinary word with a plain meaning. The role of the Health Education and Social Care Chambers in the First Tier Tribunal was to assess this fact-specific question. The FTT’s conclusion on whether special educational provisions are ‘necessary’ for a particular child can only be interfered with where no reasonable tribunal could have reached that conclusion. It could not be said that the FTT’s decision fell within this category. Appeal dismissed.


  • After Strangeways: The past, present and future of prisons: 1st April, 9am with KCL. More information here.
  • The law is broken: the future of legal aid: 30th April, 6pm with Gresham College. More information here.

If you would like your event to be mentioned on the Blog, please email the Blog’s Commissioning Editor at

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.




Aarhus Abortion Abu Qatada Abuse Access to justice adoption AI air pollution air travel ALBA Allergy Al Qaeda Amnesty International animal rights Animals Anne Sacoolas 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 blogging Bloody Sunday brexit Bribery British Waterways Board care homes Catholic Church Catholicism Chagos Islanders Charter of Fundamental Rights child protection Children children's rights China christianity citizenship civil liberties campaigners civil partnerships climate change clinical negligence closed material procedure Coercion Commission on a Bill of Rights common law communications competition confidentiality consent conservation constitution contact order contact tracing contempt of court Control orders Copyright coronavirus coronavirus act 2020 costs costs budgets Court of Protection covid crime criminal law Cybersecurity Damages data protection death penalty defamation DEFRA deportation deprivation of liberty derogations Detention Dignitas diplomacy diplomatic relations disability disclosure Discrimination disease divorce DNA domestic violence duty of care ECHR ECtHR Education election Employment Environment Equality Act Equality Act 2010 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 evidence extradition extraordinary rendition Facebook Facial Recognition Family Fatal Accidents Fertility FGM Finance foreign criminals foreign office foreign policy France freedom of assembly Freedom of Expression freedom of information freedom of speech Gay marriage gay rights Gaza Gender genetics Germany Google Grenfell Gun Control hague convention Harry Dunn Health HIV home office Housing HRLA human rights Human Rights Act human rights news Human Rights Watch Huntington's Disease immigration India Indonesia injunction Inquests insurance international law internet inuit Iran Iraq Ireland islam Israel Italy IVF ivory ban Japan joint enterprise judaism judicial review Judicial Review reform Julian Assange jury trial JUSTICE Justice and Security Bill Law Pod UK legal aid legal aid cuts Leveson Inquiry lgbtq liability Libel Liberty Libya lisbon treaty Lithuania local authorities marriage Media and Censorship mental capacity Mental Capacity Act Mental Health military Ministry of Justice modern slavery morocco murder music Muslim nationality national security naturism neuroscience NHS Northern Ireland nuclear challenges nuisance Obituary ouster clauses parental rights parliamentary expenses scandal patents Pensions Personal Injury physician assisted death Piracy Plagiarism planning planning system Poland Police Politics Pope press prison Prisoners prisoner votes Prisons privacy procurement Professional Discipline Property proportionality prosecutions prostituton Protection of Freedoms Bill Protest Public/Private public access public authorities public inquiries quarantine Radicalisation refugee rehabilitation Reith Lectures Religion RightsInfo right to die right to family life Right to Privacy right to swim riots Roma Romania round-up Round Up Royals Russia saudi arabia Scotland secrecy secret justice Secret trials sexual offence shamima begum Sikhism Smoking social media social workers South Africa Spain special advocates Sports Standing starvation statelessness stem cells stop and search Strasbourg super injunctions Supreme Court Supreme Court of Canada surrogacy surveillance sweatshops Syria Tax technology Terrorism The Round Up tort Torture travel treason treaty accession trial by jury TTIP Turkey Twitter UK Ukraine universal credit universal jurisdiction unlawful detention USA US Supreme Court vicarious liability Wales War Crimes Wars Weekly Round-up Welfare Western Sahara Whistleblowing Wikileaks wildlife wind farms WomenInLaw Worboys wrongful birth YearInReview Zimbabwe


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: