Round Up 31.08.20 – Few new judgments, but still some controversy…

31 August 2020 by

Image: Screenshot of the Home Office’s twitter feed (now deleted).

It was not an overly exerting bank holiday weekend for the author of this week’s round-up. The influence of the summer holiday appears to have resulted in relatively few judgments from the senior courts, with particularly little in the field of human rights law. However, the week was not wholly without incident…

In response to the growing numbers of migrants seeking to cross the English Channel in small boats, the Home Office tweeted a short video explaining that “current return regulations… (allow) activist lawyers to delay and disrupt returns”. The video was helpfully illustrated with little pictures of planes taking off from the English coast bound for Europe, although why the Home Office would seek to return migrants to Europe following the UK’s withdrawal from the Dublin Regulations was unclear.

In the interests of fairness, despite being removed from the Home Office’s twitter feed following numerous complaints, the video can still be viewed here. Readers will without doubt form their own opinions. It is submitted however, that the following statements are uncontroversial:

  1. that upholding the law and ensuring it is correctly applied would appear to the be the very job of courts/lawyers;
  2. that if a court were to rule in a way it knew to be incorrect, in order to achieve an outcome desirable to one particular party to legal proceedings, that would represent corruption;
  3. that applying the law correctly is usually considered a good thing, particularly in a country that values the rule of law;
  4. that it is usually better for governments (and indeed people generally) to act within the law;
  5. that the Home Office’s track record on ejecting from the country people who later turn out to have the right to be in the UK, including on occasion British citizens, isn’t great;
  6. that the Home Office could avoid such delays and disruptions by acting in compliance the law;
  7. that conveniently for the Government, it gets to decide what the law is by writing new laws and passing them in Parliament, where it currently enjoys a large majority. 

With uncanny timing, one of the few cases in which judgment was handed down this week provided an illustration of the risks faced by those working within the judicial system when its legitimacy comes under attack. In Oliver v Shaikh [2020] EWHC 2253 (QB) (24 August 2020), a judge succeeded in bringing committal proceedings against an individual held to have committed numerous breaches of the terms of an interim injunction restraining him from harassment. Shaikh had appeared before the judge concerned in 2014 in relation to proceedings concerning his dismissal from his role as a trainee cardiac physiologist for gross misconduct. Upon judgment in those proceedings being entered against him, he proceeded to launch a wide variety of online attacks amounting to abuse and harassment. 

The week’s news also illustrated the consequences when a Government chooses to stop acting within the law and seeks to denigrate those working to ensure compliance with it. Once again, in the interests of fairness, it is the view of some (including a “Government source”) that “there’s a bunch of particularly loudmouthed lawyers and barristers who seem to spend more time on social media than representing their clients, who think even the mildest criticism of their profession will bring about the destruction of democracy” (The Times, 28th August). Conversely, on the UK Human Rights Blog, Joanna Curtis wrote this week about the European Court of Human Rights exercising its powers to secure information pertaining to the condition and medical treatment of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was allegedly poisoned on a flight to Moscow last week (here). Sceptics may wish to type “Russia, Lawyer and Window” into google.

Finally, to conclude this week’s (short) round up, in a noteworthy case the Court of Protection ruled that a young woman suffering with anorexia nervosa should not have feeding or further treatment imposed upon her – Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust v AB [2020] EWCOP 40 (16 August 2020). This was notwithstanding the fact that the court held her to lack capacity to make decisions in this regard. On balance, the likelihood of death could not justify the extreme suffering which would be imposed on her by way of further forcible treatment. For a further examination of the case, see Rosalind English’s blog post here.

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 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 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: