Media By: Graeme Hall


Lawrence murder sentencing, assisted dying, new SC justices > The Human Rights Roundup

9 January 2012 by

Welcome back to the first UK human rights roundup for 2012. 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 Graeme Hall

In the news

Although human rights abuses don’t break for Christmas, UK human rights news has taken a pause over the festive period. Nonetheless, there have been some newsworthy occurrences, the Commission on Assisted Dying’s report being the most recent.

Stephen Lawrence

As the BBC reports, the Attorney General is reviewing whether the sentences handed down to Dobson and Norris for the murder of Stephen Lawrence, receiving 15 and 14 years respectively, were unduly lenient. Gownandouta blog written by the editor of Banks on Sentencing, believes that a reference is “highly unlikely”, whilst blogger Charon QC notes that the pair is likely to spend a lot longer in prison, particularly due to their lack of remorse.

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Swearing, hacking and legal aid U-turns? – The Human Rights Roundup

28 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 Graeme Hall

In the news

Phone-hacking

The Leveson Inquiry has had a star-studded parade of witnesses and phone hacking has dominated the headlines. This week’s highlights have been comprehensively covered by Inforrm’s Blog here, here and here.

David Allen Green, writing in the New Statesman, remarks that this Inquiry is a boost for democracy as it gives a voice to those who have been at the sharp end of press intrusion – normally all to easily ignored and silenced by papers. Freedom of expression, at least during the Inquiry, is not just the preserve of the press.

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Naïve intentions, inferred imputations – The Human Rights Roundup

13 November 2011 by

Sumption

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 Graeme Hall

In the news

Last Friday was the deadline for submissions to the Commission on a Bill of Rights consultation – please send your submissions to 1crownofficerow@gmail.com and we will publish them in a roundup later this week.

Is my presumed intention inferred from a fair imputation? How naïve!

Domestically, Jonathan Sumption QC, an at-some-time-in-the-future Supreme Court Justice, has been described by Joshua Rozenberg as demonstrating a certain ‘naivety’ when, in delivering the FA Mann Lecture, he argued that judges are too interventionist in policy decisions, and that parliamentary scrutiny is generally a sufficient safeguard to protect ‘the public interest’.

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The Supreme Court’s terrible twos?.. The Human Rights Roundup

30 October 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 Graeme Hall

In the news

The Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights have featured prominently in the legal news this week. Let’s find out why.

The Supreme Court’s ‘terrible twos’?

The Supreme Court has become a toddler, celebrating its second birthday last week. The Guardian has produced a video interview with the justices as well as an article with some of the Justices who attempt to demystify the Courts’ processes. But will its birthday mark the beginning of the court’s ‘terrible- twos’?

Lady Hale, the only female Justice, has certainly been vocal of late. Calling for more diversity amongst the judiciary, Hale argues that we need to “think of the very able people that are doing … less visible forms of practice, rather than just thinking about the top QCs”; representing a possible contrast to the other male Justices who argue that promoting diversity over merit would be a “great mistake”.

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Rehashing old ideas? A response to the Bill of Rights Commission’s proposals

20 September 2011 by

As we recently posted, the UK Commission on a Bill of Rights has published its interim advice to Government on reform of the European Court of Human Rights. The Commission made recommendations to achieve the “effective functioning of the Court over the long term”, following which Joshua Rozenberg stated that “everybody now agrees on the need for fundamental reform. It has to happen. And it will.

But if there is such agreement, can the Commission’s recommendations produce any meaningful reform? Or do the proposals simply rehash old ideas?

by Graeme Hall


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Gagging, discrimination and asylum benefits – the Human Rights Roundup

19 September 2011 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.

First, if you know an individual, campaign group or NGO which deserves to have its local or national human rights work recognised, nominations for The Liberty Human Rights Award close on 30th September 2011, so there’s still time to get nominating!

by Graeme Hall

In the news

Gagging the press

In an uncompromising piece in the Guardian, Geoffrey Robertson QC attacks the attempt of the Metropolitan Police to use the Official Secrets Act 1989 (OSA) to force the Guardian to disclose its source(s) which revealed the hacking of Milly Dowlers’ phone. Robertson not only describes Scotland Yard’s recourse to the OSA “blunderbuss” as misguided given that there is no evidence of the Guardian “inciting” this information from the police, but he also urges Parliament to revisit the OSA and insert a public interest defence to protect press freedom.

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Monstering, 9/11 and supporting human rights – The Human Rights Roundup

5 September 2011 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 Graeme Hall

In the news

Monstering of the innocent?

Once again the Press finds itself in the spotlight, this time over the reporting of former suspect Rebecca Leighton and the deaths at Stepping Hill Hospital. Obiter J sets out the charges against Leighton and also the tests which prosecutors must meet for charges to remain in place. Describing the test as “quite remarkable” given the gravity of the charges, as well as noting the “immense damage” which has undoubtedly been done to Leighton’s reputation, Obiter J predicts a complex human rights challenge to the police’s conduct and calls for Parliament to take a closer look at the existing powers for charging people.

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It’s (nearly) all about the riots – The Human Rights Roundup

15 August 2011 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 Graeme Hall

In the news

Riots

Theft, assault, arson and death: the result of riots not seen in the UK in recent memory. Despite the shocking scenes, communities have united and even the courts have worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week to process those charged. Unsurprisingly, the blawgosphere has been prolific in its coverage, and Adam Wagner provides a summary of useful articles here.

Whilst calm appears to have returned to our streets, further outcry was brought to the nation’s living-rooms when the historian David Starkey provocatively pronounced on Newsnight that “the whites have become black”. However, deploring the lawlessness and imploring calm, David Allen Green takes a more considered approach, noting in the New Statesman that “the participants in the disorder came from a range of social and employment backgrounds.

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School’s out – The Human Rights Roundup

1 August 2011 by

The higher courts may have shut for the summer and judges escaped to tropical retreats, but the UK Human Rights Blog rumbles on. 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, updated each day, can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here.

by Graeme Hall

In the news:

Legal Aid

The Pink Tape blog picks up on another “teensy glitch” with the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill, noting that applicants for non-molestation orders will be disinclined to accept an undertaking from a respondent (“a solemn promise to the court not to behave in a particular way, which is punishable by imprisonment and can stand in the stead of an non-molestation order”), as in doing so, s/he will be disqualified from legal aid entitlement.

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Hacking, torture and legal aid – The Human Rights Roundup

18 July 2011 by

In the week that saw the UK Human Rights Blog reach half a million hits, we welcome you 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, updated each day, can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here.

by Graeme Hall

In the news:

Phone-hacking

With the resignation of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, and the arrest of the former Chief Executive of News International, Rebekah Brooks, the phone-hacking scandal revelations continue to snowball. Adam Wagner considers what role human rights may have played in the News of the World’s demise, here.

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Will the Sex Offenders’ Register “Review Mechanism” breach human rights law?

12 July 2011 by

Updated | In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that a mechanism should be put in place to review whether convicted sex offenders should remain liable after their release from prison to notify the police of where they live or plans to travel abroad. In June 2011, the government published draft legislation to “ensure that strict rules are put in place for considering whether individuals should ever be removed from the register.” However, it is possible that the “strict rules” leave the government vulnerable to further legal challenges.

To recap (see also Adam Wagner’s post), section 82 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 places those convicted of a sexual offence and imprisoned for at least 30 months under a life-long obligation once released from prison to notify the police when changing address and travelling abroad (“the notification requirements”). The Supreme Court ruled that the notification requirements violated sex offenders’ Article 8 rights to a private life and issued a declaration of incompatibility.

by Graeme Hall

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Please release me (on bail) – The Human Rights Roundup

4 July 2011 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, updated each day, can be found here.

by Graeme Hall

In the news:

Having had its second reading in the House of Commons, one of this week’s legal hot potatoes is the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill. A detailed analysis of the Bill can be found on the Law Society Gazette’s website. Of interest, the government’s proposal to provide up to £20million extra for the provision of social welfare legal advice received a cautious welcome from Steve Hyne, director of Legal Action Group. Nonetheless Hyne, writing for the Guardian.co.uk, concludes that the extra funding is no replacement for the continued provision of legal aid, particularly if the money is a one-off. Adam Wagner summarizes early responses to the Bill from the legal-world here.

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Beanstalks, bad press and the death of juries? – The Human Rights Roundup

21 June 2011 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, updated each day, can be found here.

by Graeme Hall

In the news:

Continuing with their assessment of the UK’s law and legal system, the Law and Lawyers’ blog has produced the latest in its series, No. 4:  Juries. This comes at an opportune moment given the recent jailing of a juror for contempt of court after using Facebook to contact an acquitted defendant. This case has seen a possible dichotomy of opinion arise: passionate supporters of trial by jury, such as barrister Felicity Gerry and Tory politician David Davis; or that of Joshua Rozenberg who poses the thorny question; “Whom would you prefer to be judged by – a highly trained, publicly accountable circuit judge? Or 12 people like [jailed juror] Joanne Fraill?”.

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Bailii needs money and Eady speaks – The Human Rights Roundup

13 June 2011 by

It’s time for 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, updated each day, can be found here.

by Graeme Hall

In the news:

The big UK Human Rights Blog news is the launch of our new Case Table. Click here to see it.

Writing for the UK Constitutional Law Group blog, Professor Gordon Anthony summarizes the Supreme Court’s decision in Re. McCaughey. Following developments in the European Court of Human Rights’ case-law, the Supreme Court ruled that under article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to life), the procedural obligation to investigate deaths possibly caused by State agents is “detachable” from the State’s substantive obligation to protect the right to life of its citizens.

Whilst concluding that the implications of the McCaughey judgment are probably straightforward, the post outlines the Supreme Court’s criticisms of the European Court’s reasoning, as well as some of the possible consequences of its poorly reasoned judgments. See also Matthew Hill’s post today on this blog.


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Film those pesky judges?.. The Human Rights Roundup

6 June 2011 by

It’s time for 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, updated each day, can be found here.

by Graeme Hall

In the news:

Joshua Rozenberg, critical of the decision to appoint Jonathan Sumption QC to the Supreme Court, reports that Parliament is consulting on whether it should intervene in judicial appointments. Indeed, a guardian.co.uk Editorial has suggested that the best way for the judiciary to defend itself against accusations by Parliament of over-stepping its authority, is to make itself more diverse. Adam Wagner has previously blogged about the (lack of) diversity in the upper echelons of the judiciary and has also published a two-part series on the power of unelected judges here and here.

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