The Weekly Round-up: Bill of Rights halted, Rwanda defence revealed, and inter-charity disputes

13 September 2022 by

Source of image: https://news.sky.com/story/rwanda-an-authoritarian-state-that-tortures-and-murders-opponents-high-court-told-as-challenge-begins-against-asylum-policy-12690666

In the news

One of the first decisions taken by the new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, has been to halt Dominic Raab’s Bill of Rights plan. The bill would have given legal supremacy to the UK Supreme Court, explicitly entitling it to disregard rulings of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). The bill is now ‘unlikely to progress in its current form’, a Whitehall source of the BBC has expressed, leaving doubt over whether Raab’s attempts to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998 will materialise. Vice President of the Law Society, Lubna Shuja, said that ‘the only smart way to proceed would be to go back to the advice of the independent review it [the Government] commissioned.’

The legal challenge against the Rwanda asylum plan is being heard before the High Court. While the trial is ongoing, and no judgment will be handed down for some time, the Government’s legal arguments defending the plan are now known. Part of the defence advanced by Lord Pannick KC, counsel for the Government, relies on the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act 2004, which confers on ministers the power to send asylum seekers to safe countries. If they are of the opinion the asylum seekers will be safe and not put in danger, the Home Secretary can transfer them to other states. The main hurdle for the Government in this defence will be the UN Refugee Agency’s declaration that Rwanda is an unsafe place for migrants. The Court has asked for a detailed response to this critical point.

In other news

  • The trans rights charity, ‘Mermaids’, has brought a legal challenge against the Charity Commission’s decision to award charitable status to the new gay rights organisation ‘LGB Alliance’. In the first time one charity has attempted to strip the charitable status of another charity, the case will centre on distinctions between sex and gender identity, and the legal definitions of sexual orientation. It is to be argued that LGB Alliance is a group set up with the purpose of restricting the rights afforded to transgender people.

In the courts

  • In Harris v Environment Agency [2022] EWHC 2264 (Admin), the High Court found in favour the claimants, Norfolk locals who challenged the Environmental Agency’s (“EA”) refusal to expand the scope of an investigation into the effect of water abstraction on the environment. The claimant’s case was that the EA was in breach of an obligation to avoid the deterioration of protected habitats, and that the decision to not conduct a more expansive investigation was irrational. With the claimants having satisfied the court that water abstraction may be causing the deterioration of protected habitats, it fell to the EA to justify its departure from their obligations. Critically, the EA’s review of abstraction was flawed and no further reviews to address these flaws were undertaken. It was on this basis that the departure was held to be unjustified.
  • In Jwanczuk v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2022] EWHC 2298 (Admin) the High Court found in favour of the claimant in holding that it was unlawful to deny a bereavement support payment (“BSP”) to the husband of a deceased wife on the grounds that she did not pay national insurance due to a disability preventing her from working. The claimant argued that denying BSP to a surviving spouse violates article 14, read with article 8 and 1 of the ECHR. The defendant argued that the claimant’s late wife was not necessarily unable to work, and so no ECHR violation arises. Mr Justice Kerr found that the denial of BSP treated the claimant in the same way as other people not sharing his status and whose situation is different [85]. The late wife’s disability was a relevant fact, the disregarding of which was an unjustified interference with the claimant’s Convention rights.

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Aarhus Abortion Abu Qatada Abuse Access to justice adoption ALBA Allison Bailey Al Qaeda animal rights 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 Artificial Intelligence Asbestos assisted suicide asylum Australia autism benefits Bill of Rights biotechnology blogging Bloody Sunday brexit Bribery Catholicism Chagos Islanders Children children's rights China christianity citizenship civil liberties campaigners climate change clinical negligence Coercion common law confidentiality consent conservation constitution contempt of court Control orders Copyright coronavirus Coroners costs Court of Protection crime Cybersecurity Damages data protection death penalty defamation deportation deprivation of liberty Detention diplomatic immunity disability disclosure Discrimination disease divorce DNA domestic violence duty of care ECHR ECtHR Education election Employment Employment Law Employment Tribunal Environment Equality Act Ethiopia EU EU Charter of Fundamental Rights EU costs EU law European Court of Justice evidence extradition extraordinary rendition Family Fertility FGM Finance football foreign criminals foreign office France freedom of assembly Freedom of Expression freedom of information freedom of speech Gay marriage Gaza gender genetics Germany Google Grenfell Health high court HIV home office Housing HRLA human rights Human Rights Act human rights news Huntington's Disease immigration India Indonesia injunction Inquests international law internet Inuit Iran Iraq Ireland Islam Israel Italy IVF Japan Judaism judicial review jury trial JUSTICE Justice and Security Bill Law Pod UK legal aid Leveson Inquiry LGBTQ Rights liability Libel Liberty Libya Lithuania local authorities marriage Maya Forstater mental capacity Mental Health military Ministry of Justice modern slavery music Muslim nationality national security NHS Northern Ireland nuclear challenges Obituary ouster clauses parental rights parliamentary expenses scandal patents Pensions Personal Injury Piracy Plagiarism planning Poland Police Politics pollution press Prisoners Prisons privacy Professional Discipline Property proportionality Protection of Freedoms Bill Protest Public/Private public access public authorities public inquiries rehabilitation Reith Lectures Religion RightsInfo right to die right to family life Right to Privacy right to swim riots Roma Romania Round Up Royals Russia Saudi Arabia Scotland secrecy secret justice sexual offence sexual orientation Sikhism Smoking social media South Africa Spain special advocates Sports Standing statelessness stop and search Strasbourg Supreme Court Supreme Court of Canada surrogacy surveillance Syria Tax technology Terrorism tort Torture travel treaty TTIP Turkey UK Ukraine UK Supreme Court unduly harsh USA US Supreme Court vicarious liability Wales War Crimes Wars Welfare Western Sahara Whistleblowing Wikileaks wind farms WomenInLaw YearInReview Zimbabwe
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