Media By: Guest Contributor


Court of Appeal upholds Birmingham gang injunction

31 May 2018 by

the-royal-courts-of-justice-1648944_1280

Jones v Birmingham City Council [2018] EWCA Civ 1189 (23 May 2018)

The Court of Appeal has upheld a ‘gang injunction’ restricting the actions and movement of 18 members of a Birmingham gang. One of the men affected, Jerome Jones, unsuccessfully challenged the injunction, arguing that the proceedings by which it was made properly required proof to the criminal standard, and that the application of the civil standard violated his right to a fair trial under Article 6 ECHR.

 

Background

The appellant was said to be a member of the Guns and Money Gang (GMG), affiliated with Birmingham’s notorious Johnson Crew. Named after Johnson’s café, the gang’s erstwhile fast-food hangout, the Johnson Crew have been engaged in often violent turf war with the rival Burger Bar Boys since the 1980s. They both attempt to lay claim to various areas of the city, particularly between Handsworth and Aston.

The violent climate was brought to the nation’s attention with the tragic murder of Charlene Ellis and Letisha Shakespeare, two innocent teenage students gunned down in Aston while leaving a party in the early hours of 2 January 2003. Four associates of the Burgers, imprisoned for the murders, had apparently intended to target a Johnson member as revenge for the earlier execution-style killing of Burger Bar Boy Yohanne Martin. While this particularly bloody period gained attention for claiming the lives of a number of gang members and mere bystanders, the violence has not abated. A Birmingham police officer in the proceedings gave evidence of ongoing gang violence, with innocent members of the public at risk of being caught up in crossfire [7].

 

Gang injunctions

For many years, Birmingham City Council (‘the City’) has sought to use various powers to disrupt and discourage gang-related behaviour, including injunctions against named people said to be involved in violence. By injunction, individuals can be prevented from entering certain areas, or from doing things associated with gang violence.

Continue reading →

Legal personhood for non-human animals? The case of the Non-Human Rights Project — Dr Linda Roland Danil

26 April 2018 by

This guest article argues that it is time to consider seriously the case for granting legal personhood to certain classes of sentient animals.elephant.jpg

Introduction

This post is inspired by a larger project I have recently begun investigating – that of granting legal personhood to non-human animals. This guest post will focus on one of a number of cases initiated by the Non-Human Rights Project (NhRP), specifically in relation to the NhRP’s bid to have a number of chimpanzees in captivity relocated to a sanctuary – the case of Matter of Nonhuman Rights Project Inc. v Lavery (2017) (hereinafter ‘Lavery’).

Beginning in December 2013, the NhRP has filed petitions for writs of habeas corpus on behalf of four chimpanzees (as well as, at the time of writing, three elephants) held in captivity – two of the chimpanzees (Tommy and Kiko) are being held by private individuals, and the other two chimpanzees (Hercules and Leo) who were kept, until recently, by Stony Brook University for research into the evolution of human bipedalism. In order for this to be executed, however, the chimpanzees would have to be considered legal persons. It is important to note here that, as the NhRP itself argues, legal personhood is not synonymous with ‘human being’ – as most prominently exemplified by the fact that, for example, corporations have legal personhood. One of the aims of the NhRP is‘[…] change the common law status of great apes, elephants, dolphins, and whales from mere “things,” which lack the capacity to possess any legal right, to “legal persons,” who possess such fundamental rights as bodily liberty and bodily integrity.’ The NhRP is beginning with great apes, elephants, dolphins, and whales because they are members of species for whom there is considerable and robust scientific evidence of self-awareness and autonomy.

Continue reading →

Salvation outside the church? CJEU rules on religious discrimination in employment — Dr Ronan McCrea

20 April 2018 by

CJEU

The Court of Justice of the European Union has issued its first major ruling on the reconciliation of the autonomy rights of religious organisations with the right of employees (or potential employees) of such organisations to be free of discrimination.


Background


In 2012 Vera Egenberger applied for a fixed term post advertised by the Evangelisches Werk für Diakonie und Entwicklung, which is a body associated with the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (a German Protestant church). The post advertised sought a person who could prepare a report on Germany’s compliance with the United Nations International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Ms. Egenberger had significant experience in this area and applied for the post. However, there was a problem. Ms. Egenberger is a person who does not have a religious faith and the relevant advert included the following statement:


‘We require membership of a Protestant church, or of a church which is a member of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Christlicher Kirchen in Deutschland (Cooperative of Christian Churches in Germany), and identification with the welfare mission. Please state your membership in your curriculum vitae.’



Ms. Egenberger was not called for interview. She took a case in the German courts alleging discrimination on grounds of religion.


Continue reading →

Worboys’ release quashed — Jake Richards

3 April 2018 by

taxiOn 28th March 2018 a three-judge panel of the Divisional Court gave its decision in R (DSD and Ors) v The Parole Board of England and Wales [2018] EWHC 694 (Admin), ruling that the Parole Board’s decision to direct the release of John Worboys (the ‘black cab rapist’) should be quashed.

 

Background

On 21st April 2009, John Worboys (now under the name of John Radford) was convicted of 19 serious sexual offences, including rape and sexual assault, which were committed on victims aged between 19 and 33 between October 2006 and February 2008. He was given an indeterminate sentence for public protection – specifying a minimum term of imprisonment of 8 years after which Worboys would be eligible for release if the Parole Board was satisfied that it was no longer necessary for the protection of the public for him to be held in prison.

On 26th December 2017, the Parole Board determined that incarceration was no longer necessary and directed for Worboys to be released. After much public outcry, the decision was challenged by the Mayor of London, two victims and, on a discrete aspect of the decision, a media group.

A decision to release a prisoner by the Parole Board had never been the subject of judicial review before. This is because the only parties to a hearing before the Parole Board are the Secretary of State for Justice, the Parole Board themselves and the prisoner. The proceedings are held entirely in private. To that extent, unless the Secretary of State for Justice intervened to seek judicial review of a decision by another government body, the decision was effectively unchallengeable.

Continue reading →

New Zealand’s Parliament to consider assisted dying – David Seymour

28 March 2018 by

David Seymour is a New Zealand MP sponsoring a Bill in support of assisted dying.

Our liberal history can be briefly sketched out in two stages. Establishing a bundle of rights and then expanding them to include a wider range of people. In one sense, the right to assisted dying is a continuation of this movement and perhaps its final chapter.

In dark ages past people had few dimensions of freedom and little self-expression. Most people had one option for spiritual thinking with severe penalties for deviance.  As for choice in sexuality, the electoral franchise, freedom of speech, unless you fitted in exactly the right box, forget it.

In my maiden speech to parliament, I borrowed heavily from AC Grayling’s excellent Towards the Light of Liberty where from the Inquisition to the Reformation through the abolition of slavery, the liberation of women and expansion of the franchise, the black civil rights movement and finally the LGBTI movement, the sphere of liberty was expanded and then eventually included all people.

The British Commonwealth has long been an important institution for advancing these liberties. The Treaty of Waitangi, which established ‘the same rights and duties as citizens of England’ for all New Zealanders, was an extraordinary document for colonial times marred by arrogance and violence by colonisers. Today, the Commonwealth Charter sets out an admirable set of values that would make the world a better place if only they were universally followed. They include access to health: voluntary euthanasia is merely consistent with this value.
Continue reading →

Immigration Detention: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back — Sophie Walker

19 March 2018 by

immigration centreNew legislation significantly curtails accommodation provision for those seeking release from immigration detention. The likely result is more and more people being held in immigration detention.

The fight to end to indefinite detention of immigrants pending their removal from the UK has been gathering momentum.  There have been parliamentary debates and expert reports, all critical of the Home Office policy of what effectively involves ‘warehousing’ immigrants in cramped and often unsafe conditions with no end in sight.

While there is no legal maximum for how long someone can be held in immigration detention, the Home Office can only use their power to detain if they intend to remove the person and can do so ‘within a reasonable period’.  If at the outset it is apparent that the person cannot be removed within a reasonable period they should not be detained at all. If it becomes apparent once detention has commenced that the person cannot be removed within a reasonable period, then the person should also be released. In addition, the Home Office should exercise appropriate diligence in their efforts to remove the person.

Despite these well-established restrictions on the power to detain, men and women are still held in detention centres for extended periods of time. In March 2018, a report by HM Inspectorate of Prisons of Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre found that 23 men had been held for over year, and one man had been held for four years.

Continue reading →

Demolitions in the West Bank highlight a deep inequality — Josh Newmark

8 March 2018 by

Josh Newmark is a History and Politics graduate from Durham University and an incoming History MSc at the University of Edinburgh, currently teaching in Salamanca. He is part of the youth-led #DontSettleForThis campaign with Yachad, the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement in the UK.

The security of a roof over one’s head, a space for personal and familial privacy… Having “a place to call home” is widely recognised as an essential prerequisite for human wellbeing. This is acknowledged across the political spectrum – from the phrase “property-owning democracy” shared by both Thatcherites and American liberal philosopher John Rawls, to left-wing movements for affordable housing. In Judaism, too, the value of having a home is recognised. A key aspect of Judaism’s story is learning from the experience of being a people in exile, yearning for a home – “love the stranger, for we were once strangers in Egypt” is a frequent refrain in the Torah. Moreover, the Jewish household is of central importance to Jewish life – with its important physical features, like the mezuzah (boxed prayer scroll attached to each door frame), and key practical functions, such as hosting the traditional Friday night family meal to welcome the Sabbath. Undoubtedly, this is one of the motivating factors for young British Jews’ repugnance towards the Israeli’s government continuing policy of demolishing Palestinian homes.

Yachad is a British Jewish NGO which promotes support for a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict within the Jewish community through education, debate, and advocacy. Under the hashtag #DontSettleForThis, young Yachad activists are raising awareness within the Jewish community of the demolitions of Palestinian homes, and pushing the UK government to help prevent these demolitions.

According to Israeli humans rights NGO B’Tselem, Israel has demolished at least 1,323 Palestinian residential units in the occupied West Bank, plus over 600 just in East Jerusalem, since 2006. This policy has taken homes from over 8,000 people in that time period, more than 50% of them minors. These figures exclude the demolitions which Israel controversially carries out upon the family homes of convicted or deceased terrorists. Rather, these are homes which are being demolished because they have been built without permits. While demolishing such structures might seem to be the right, even obligation, of a governing authority, only a little detail is necessary to make clear that this policy is an inflammatory and unjust policy which compounds the wider injustice of the occupation itself. The dual policy of allowing and stoking a Palestinian housing shortage whilst allocating land for well-planned, well-connected illegal Israeli settlements, often with illegal (even under Israeli law) structures tolerated on them, highlights the deep inequality inherent in the occupation.

Continue reading →

Women “groomed, pimped and trafficked” as teenagers not required to disclose prostitution convictions to employers

6 March 2018 by

Demo 9 - Credit Making Herstory.png

Credit: Onjali Rauf from Making Herstory

R (QSA and others) v Secretary of State for the Home Dept and Secretary of State for Justice [2018] EWHC 407 (Admin) – read judgment

The High Court ruled on 2nd March 2018 that three women forced into prostitution as teenagers will no longer have to disclose related convictions to potential employers.

The claimants challenged the criminal record disclosure scheme which required them to reveal details of multiple decades-old convictions for ‘loitering or soliciting’ for the purposes of prostitution.

The women had been groomed, coerced or forced into sex work, two of them when they were children. They were required to divulge their convictions under the regime of the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) governed by Part V of the Police Act 1997. DBS checks (previously CRB checks) are made when an applicant seeks certain paid or voluntary work involving children or vulnerable adults. While the claimants weren’t strictly barred from such jobs, they had to inform would-be employers of their historical convictions. They said this placed them at an unfair disadvantage, caused embarrassment and put them off applying in the first place. They argued that this interference with their private and working lives was unjustified by the scheme’s aims and unlawful. The Court agreed.

Continue reading →

The new German social media law – a risk worth taking? An ‘extended look’ by Stefan Theil

19 February 2018 by

social media.pngThe German Gesetz zur Verbesserung der Rechtsdurchsetzung in sozialen Netzwerken (Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz) (literally: Law on the improvement of law enforcement in social networks and known as ‘NetzDG’) has attracted much media attention, e.g. here and here, since fully entering into force on 1 January 2018. This was sparked to a significant extent by a few high profile deletions, including a tweet from the responsible Minister for Justice.

This contribution will give an overview of the NetzDG and explain how some of the criticisms are overstated and partially misguided. While the NetzDG is unlikely to resolve all challenges surrounding social media and freedom of expression, and undoubtedly presents a certain risk of stifling expression online, I believe it is nonetheless a significant step in the right direction. Rather than undermine freedom of expression, it promises to contribute to more inclusive debates by giving the loud and radical voices less prominence. In any case, it appears reasonable to let this regulatory experiment play out and observe whether fears over a ‘chilling effect’ on free expression are borne out by the evidence. A review of the law and its effects are is planned after an initial three year operation period, which should deliver ample data and regulatory experience while limiting the scope for potential harm.

Continue reading →

The Round up: Assange’s arrest warrant, victims of human traffickers, and a Convention Right victory for salmon fisherman

18 February 2018 by

Eleanor Leydon brings us the latest developments in rights law.

In The News:

A Senior District Judge has ruled that upholding the warrant for Julian Assange’s arrest is both in the public interest and proportionate, albeit that Assange has already restricted his own freedom for several years. In determining the proportionality of the proceedings the judge had regard to the seriousness of the failure to surrender, the level of culpability at this stage of the proceedings, and the harm caused, including impact on the community.

Continue reading →

Court of Appeal gives guidance on immigration cases involving medical treatment: an extended look – Paul Erdunast  

13 February 2018 by

 

the-royal-courts-of-justice-1648944_1280On 6th February 2018, the Court of Appeal in AM (Zimbabwe) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWCA Civ 64 gave authoritative guidance on how Paposhvili v Belgium (Application no. 41738/10), which was decided last year by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, should be applied by English courts.

The issue in AM (Zimbabwe) concerned the applicable test for when removal of seriously ill people to their country of origin would raise an issue under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (prohibition on inhuman or degrading treatment). Sales LJ, giving the judgment of the Court of Appeal, decided that removal would only violate Article 3 if intense suffering or death would be imminent in the receiving state as a result of the non-availability of treatment which would have been available in the UK (AM para 38).

This ‘extended look’ analysis piece will call into question whether the Court of Appeal’s interpretation of Paposhvili into English law is correct.

Continue reading →

No power to grant immigration bail if no power to detain — Jake Richards

13 February 2018 by

supreme court

R (on the application of B) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] UKSC 5

On 8th February 2018, the Supreme Court held that the power to grant bail and impose bail conditions in respect of a person pending deportation ceases to be lawful if there is no legal basis for detaining that person. The power to impose bail conditions is inextricably linked to the power of detention. Once the Home Secretary ceases to have the power to detain a person under immigration law, she can’t then impose conditions on that person’s freedom through bail conditions.

Continue reading →

The Forum Bar: it does exist — Bruno Min

9 February 2018 by

Fly Aircraft Transport Jet Aeroplane ManchesterOn 5th February 2018 the Divisional Court gave judgment in Love v USA [2018] EWHC 172 (Admin), holding that the forum bar operated against the extradition of Lauri Love to the United States to face charges of making a series of cyber-attacks on the computer networks of private companies and US Government agencies.

This is the first reported case in which the ‘forum bar’ has been applied to block an extradition.

Continue reading →

The Henry VIII powers in the EU (Withdrawal) Bill: Political and Legal Safeguards — Antonios Kouroutakis

7 February 2018 by

Parliament debate.jpgWhen Britain joined the European Economic Community in 1973 along with Ireland and Denmark, it marked the first enlargement of what we today call the European Union.  Since 1973, the club of the nine members has become a union of 28 member states. Most importantly, the law of the EU has developed significantly in terms of validity, scope and substance.  What we were studied in the law school with EU law was in essence the institutions, the processes and the tools that are available for the European integration. And in fact EU law has achieved a remarkable degree of integration in some areas such as the Eurozone and the internal market. However, with Brexit, a new chapter is in the writing, this time on the withdrawal from the EU.

 

A constitutional pathology

The withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union after 44 years poses unprecedented legal challenges but provides useful lessons for the withdrawal process. Until today, this issue was a footnote in the textbooks, with the case of Greenland (which left in 1985) being the only precedent. Greenland joined the European Economic Community in 1973 with Denmark, then gained its autonomy (home rule) from Denmark in 1979 and in a referendum that took place in 1982, 53% percent of the population voted in favour of leaving the European Community. But it is beyond doubt that the exit of Greenland was much less complex, with the main topic for negotiation being the fishing industry.

Continue reading →

Sovereignty or Supremacy? Lords Constitution Committee Reports on EU (Withdrawal) Bill — Mark Elliott and Stephen Tierney

29 January 2018 by

EU flagThe House of Lords Constitution Committee today issues its main report on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. This follows the preliminary and interim reports on the Bill that the Committee published last year. The new report is wide-ranging and hard-hitting, the Committee’s view being that the Bill ‘risks fundamentally undermining legal certainty’.

In this post, we make no attempt to summarise the report. Rather, we focus on two key and interlocking chapters that address the legal nature and constitutional status of the new body of domestic law — ‘retained EU law’ — that the Bill will create. In doing so, we highlight the Committee’s view that central parts of the Bill are ‘conceptually flawed’ and that relevant retained EU law should be reconceived by treating it as if it were contained in an Act of Parliament enacted on ‘exit day’.

Continue reading →

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

Categories


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: