Search Results for: leveson


Leveson Lands, Cameras in Court and Secret Courts – The Human Rights Roundup

3 December 2012 by

Leveson inquiryWelcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your weekly smorgasbord of human rights news. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here.

A bumper edition this week, mostly thanks to Lord Justice Leveson and his long-awaited report, released this week to a tumult of online commentary. In overshadowed, but potentially no less significant news, the House of Lords approved amendments to the “secret courts” Justice and Security Bill; the Joint Committee on Human Rights reported on the Crime and Courts Bill, and we have another round of arguments for and against the UK’s continuing association with the European Court of Human Rights.


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More Leveson, Channel Islands Homosexuality and Gay Marriage – The Human Rights Roundup

9 December 2012 by

Douglas-Isle-of-Man-001Welcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your weekly bulletin of human rights news. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here.

Commentary on the Leveson report is again dominating the blogosphere this week – and once again, there is some discussion on whether the UK should maintain a relationship with Strasbourg. Gay marriage is also back in the news. However, we also have some “new” news, covering such diverse topics as homosexuality in the Channel Islands, “indie lawyers” and legal aid. A quick reminder: tomorrow (Monday 10 December) is Human Rights Day. We will be hosting a guest post which you can read in the morning.


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Leveson goes live

14 November 2011 by


Updated |Today marks a minor landmark for open justice. For the first time, a public inquiry is being  shown live over the internet.

The Leveson Inquiry into Culture, Practices and Ethics of the Press has taken over Court 73 in the Royal Courts of Justice, so when Counsel to the Inquiry Robert Jay QC begins his cross examination, you could even imagine you are watching a live trial – on that note, watch this space.

The Iraq (Chilcott) Inquiry was broadcast live but it was not a public inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005, as Leveson’s is. The Inquiry’s website has been relaunched and will be hosting the live stream of hearings on this page. My only grumbles about the new website are that the live coverage should be more prominently advertised on the main page.

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R (Associated Newspapers) v Lord Justice Leveson: Challenge to Anonymity Ruling Dismissed

22 January 2012 by

Associated Newspapers Ltd, R (on the application of) v Rt Hon Lord Justice Leveson [2012] EWHC 57 – Read judgment

On Friday 20 January 2012 the Administrative Court dismissed the second application for judicial review of the Leveson Inquiry.   The Court dismissed an application by Associated Newspapers (supported by the Daily Telegraph) to quash the decision of the Chairman, Lord Justice Leveson. decision to admit evidence from journalists who wish to remain anonymous on the ground that they fear career blight if they identify themselves.  

Lord Justice Toulson commented “that the issues being investigated by the Inquiry affect the population as a whole. I would be very reluctant to place any fetter on the Chairman pursuing his terms of reference as widely and deeply as he considers necessary”.

Mail finds new love for Human Rights Act

2 December 2012 by

Just fancy that!You know those films where a couple spend the first two acts hating each other until, possibly at night when it is raining, they realise they have been in love all along? It seems that following the Leveson Inquiry report, a winter romance is developing between the Mail on Sunday and the Human Rights Act.

In Bombshell by Leveson’s own adviser: His law to gag press is illegal as it breaches Human Rights Act, the Mail reveals an interview with Shami Chakrabarti, director of human rights advocacy organisation Liberty and also advisor to the Leveson Inquiry, in which she argues that any new law that made the government quango Ofcom the ‘backstop regulator’ with sweeping powers to punish newspapers would violate Article 10 of the European Convention On Human Right, which protects free speech (Update: for more, see this post by Hugh Tomlinson QC – he disagrees with Chakrabarti, although also points out she has been misrepresented).

It only seems like a few months ago (actually, it was only a few months ago) that a Mail editorial thundered: Human rights is a charter for criminals and parasites our anger is no longer enough. As Private Eye might say… just fancy that!

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Is compulsory regulation of the print media compatible with Article 10 ECHR? – Hugh Tomlinson QC

22 August 2012 by

One of the possibilities being considered by Lord Justice Leveson as he writes the Report for Part 1 of his Inquiry is whether there should be compulsory regulation of the print media.   One, widely discussed possibility is a statutory framework which would require any publisher with turnover or readership above a set threshold to join a “regulatory body”: compulsory regulation for large publishers. 

The purpose of such a provision would be to  deal with the so-called “Desmond problem” – the anomaly of a system of regulation which does not cover all the large newspaper publishers. But an important freedom of expression question arises: is the compulsory regulation of the print media compatible with Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights?  This is not a question which has ever been considered by the Court of Human Rights and the answer may not be an entirely straightforward.


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Democracy dangers, freedom of speech and a Leveson update – The Human Rights Roundup

6 May 2012 by

Welcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your weekly bulletin of human rights news. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here.

In the news

This week, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office published its Report on Democracy and Human Rights and the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act was enacted. The Leveson Inquiry continues to roll on, and we have a fresh round of commentary over freedom of speech, and over the democratic legitimacy of judicial decisions on human rights.


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Hugely important report due imminently… no, not that one

28 November 2012 by

Remember the Commission on a Bill of Rights? You know, the one set up by the Government in the early days of the Coalition to sort out the Human Rights Act? No, not the Leveson Inquiry; that’s about the media (you may have heard that it is reporting tomorrow). CBOR is the one with the eight lawyers, four selected by each of the Coalition partners, a bit like a legal Brady Bunch.

Some accused the Government of kicking the rights issue into the long grass by assigning it to a commission with a far away reporting date – the end of 2012. It seemed so far away, back in the halcyon summer of 2010. Remember David Cameron and Nick Clegg’ romance in the Rose Garden?

Well, the long grass has now grown and CBOR is due to report in just over a month. As I posted in July, the Commission has consulted the public for a second time. The responses have now been published, categorised into Individual responsesRespondent organisations and bodies and Postcard responses. In case you were wondering about the ‘postcard responses’ these resulted from campaigns organised by the British Institute of Human Rights and the Human Rights Consortium.

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Hacking, secret justice and access to it – the Human Rights Roundup

21 November 2011 by


Welcome back to the human rights roundup. Our full list of links can be found 
here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here.

by Melinda Padron

In the news

The Leveson Inquiry begins

Last week saw the start of the Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press, headed by Lord Justice Leveson. Proceedings can be followed via the Inquiry’s website, where you can either watch live hearings or videos of past hearings, a move welcomed by Adam Wagner as a “minor landmark for open justice.” Hugh Grant (pictured) as well as other celebrities and victims will be appearing this week to give evidence.

Blogger Obiter J reported that Lord Justice Leveson gave an interesting warning to journalists against unjustified coverage of the Inquiry proceedings. Such unjustified and hostile coverage, said Lord Justice Leveson, might lead to the “conclusion that these vital rights are being abused which would itself give evidence of culture, practice and ethics which could be relevant to my ultimate recommendations.” The warning, remarks Obiter J, may be perceived as the imposition of restriction on the media. The Inquiry’s opening day has been described as “dramatic”, particularly due to the powerful submissions made by Robert Jay QC, counsel for the Inquiry. Mr Jay QC, in a long speech, set out the purposes and concerns of the Inquiry and referred to evidence which may indicate that the practice of phone hacking at News International was a systematic one.

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My witness statement to the Leveson Inquiry – Part 1/2

29 February 2012 by

Not me giving evidence

Last month I was asked to provide a witness statement to the Leveson Inquiry into Culture, Practice and Ethics of the Press. Yesterday it was “read into evidence”, which means I can now publish it. You can download the entire statement here, and I have reproduced (what I think are) the interesting bits below and in a follow-up post. The questions in bold are those asked by the Inquiry in their request. I have not been asked to give oral evidence.

The extent to which you consider what ethics can and should play a role in the blogosphere, and what you consider ‘ethics’ to mean in this context.

The definition of “blogging” is now extremely wide, so much so that the term “blog” has become in essence meaningless.

A blog can be a “web log” within the original meaning of the word, that is a “personal journey published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete entries (“posts”)” (Wikipedia), but it can also be a news and comment website such as UKHRB, a photo-sharing website, a website promoting a business – practically any website can call itself a blog. Mainstream newspapers now produce “blogs” online and as such the boundary between traditional journalism and blogging has also become unclear.

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Taking a hatchet to the hackers – which way press freedom?

1 November 2011 by

On the eve of Lord Justice Leveson’s inquiry into phone hacking and the ethics of journalism,  the  British Institute of Human Rights  (BIHR) with 1 Crown Office Row hosted a roundtable discussion to examine how to reconcile the right to privacy with freedom of expression. Stephen Bowen, Director of BIHR and Philip Havers QC, 1COR’s Head of Chambers, led the discussion, which followed “Chatham House rules”  so the report below is not attributed to specific attendees, although we can mention that a number of key figures in this debate were present, including Chris Bryant MP, Nuala Cosgrove (director of Ofcom), “Hacked off” political scientist Dr Evan Harris and philosopher and cross bencher Baroness Onora O’Neill. Journalist and law commentator Joshua Rozenberg chaired the discussion.

There has been so much steaming-off and ink-spilling on this issue  that it is unimaginable that anyone can find anything new to say that might advance the arguments for and against a law on privacy; nevertheless this discussion moved apace with high quality contributions and fresh analyses that cast welcome new light on a very old debate.
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Occupy, kettling and Strasbourg stress – The Human Rights Roundup

23 January 2012 by

Welcome back to the human rights roundup, a regular bulletin of all the law we haven’t quite managed to feature in full blog posts. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here.

by Wessen Jazrawi

In the news

BAILII

First, a plea from the Pink Tape family law blog to donate to BAILII, particularly if you run a blog that links to BAILII or if you are a lawyer who relies on BAILII for transcripts, or to simply do their online survey: BAILII – Pink Tape. This blog would not exist without the excellent service provided by BAILII – please help them by donating and doing the survey.

Wilton Park

The report from the Wilton Park conference, where the good and great of Europe met to discuss the future of the European Court of Human Rights, has been published. Suggestions included requiring individuals to show that non-examination of the case would cause a “significant disadvantage” and introducing a “universal periodic review” procedure, such as that used by the UN. It was recognised that national implementation was by far the biggest challenge that the system faced.  The full report can be found here.


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My witness statement to the Leveson Inquiry – Part 2/2

1 March 2012 by

Not me giving evidence to the Leveson Inquiry

Last month I was asked to provide a witness statement to the Leveson Inquiry into Culture, Practice and Ethics of the Press. You can download the entire statement here, The questions in bold are those asked by the Inquiry in their request – read part 1 here.

On similar topics, I also recommend the statements of Francis FitzGibbon QC and David Allen Green.

(10) Does/Can blogging act as a check on bad journalism?

Yes. The primary reason UKHRB was set up was to act as a corrective to bad journalism about human rights, and in under two years it has become a trusted source of information for journalists, politicians, those in government and members of the public.

UKHRB operates alongside a number of other excellent legal blogs, run by lawyers, students and enthusiasts for free, which provide a similar service in respect of other areas of law. I would highlight, for example[2]:

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Bill of Rights, Hillsborough and Redfearn – The Human Rights Roundup

24 December 2012 by


18-hillsborough-afpgtWelcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your weekly bulletin of human rights news. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here.

This week the Commission on a Bill of Rights reported its findings, and commentary on the report has dominated the blogoshpere. We also have some analysis on the latest developments in the Hillsborough saga, analysis of the Redfearn (the BNP bus driver case) case and comments on prosecutions involving social media.

You may also notice that the UK Human Rights Blog has a slightly refreshed design – please do send us your comments if you have any.


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Should bankers be named and shamed? Strasbourg latest

22 January 2012 by

Standard Verlags GmbH v. Austria (no. 3) (no. 34702/07) – read judgment

On the face of it this judgment is no more than a run of the mill case ( in a line running from Bladet Tromso through Fressoz and Roire to Flinkkilä and Others) concerning freedom of speech in one of the Convention signatory states where media controls are a great deal more stringent than they are here. However with the ongoing Leveson inquiry and speculations about its future recommendations occupying many column inches in the UK media it is instructive to see how other countries apply their press restrictions and indeed how Strasbourg approaches any challenge brought against them.

Background

The applicant company, Standard Verlags GmbH, owns the Vienna daily newspaper Der Standard. The case concerned an article it published in April 2006 reporting on enormous speculation losses incurred by a state-backed bank, and the ensuing criminal investigation for embezzlement brought against the bank’s senior management. The article identified a member of the bank’s treasury department as Christian Rauscher, the son of a former regional government member with responsibility for finance. The article reported that in 2004 Rauscher was not dismissed but merely demoted and transferred, being relieved of his duties only after the incident of the losses had become known. But it made it clear that the losses had thus been incurred under his responsibility.
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