Minimum price of 50p on alcohol sales approved by the Supreme Court – for Scotland

Scotch Whisky Association  v Lord Advocate and Another (Scotland)  [2017] UKSC 76 – read judgment

The Supreme Court has ruled that the introduction of minimum pricing into the sales of alcohol in Scotland will not constitute a disproportionate measure interfering with the free movement of goods and competition in the EU. The initial legislation that paved the way for minimum pricing was approved by the Scottish parliament five years ago but has been under legal challenge since. The Scottish Parliament had decided to address the health and social consequences arising from the consumption of  cheap alcohol by a minimum pricing regime. They did this by inserting in the Scottish licensing legislation an additional condition that an alcohol product must not be sold at a price below a statutorily determined minimum price per unit of alcohol. The minimum price is to be set by secondary legislation. The current proposal is 50 pence per unit of alcohol. Continue reading

Experimental treatment? “All of life is an experiment” – New Podcast

B (Applicant, acting as litigation in person) – and – D (by his litigation friend, the Official Solicitor) (1) The Ministry of Defence (2) [2017] EWCOP 15 Respondents – read judgement

Stem cell therapy has been very much in the news recently, as doctors have saved the life of a seven year old boy with a genetic disorder that caused the top layer of his skin to blister and flake away. After years of struggling with this painful and dangerous disease – antibiotics, bandages and even skin transplants were to no avail – the boy was on the point of death from bacterial infection. The skin contains its own supply of specialised stem cells, which allows the epidermis to be constantly renewed throughout our lives, with cells turning over roughly every month. This also allows scientists to grow grafts in culture, simply by taking a small sample. Specialists in Germany cultured centimetre wide pieces of his skin and engineered this tissue to accept the correct gene through viral transfer. The healthy patch of skin was then grown in the laboratory until enough of it was ready to be grafted back on to the boy’s body. Ultimately the team was able to replace 80% of the child’s skin. He is now understood to be leading a normal life at school, playing soccer and generally not displaying any of the dangerous side effects of gene therapy.

The relevance of this success story to this Court of Protection case will soon become obvious. In this hearing Baker J, deciding the best interests of D, a young man severely brain damaged after being assaulted by another soldier, had to determine whether his strongly held desire to travel to Serbia for stem cell treatment should prevail over the medical opposition to such a step. This was not a case of scarce allocation of public resources as D had the money from his compensation award to spend on this treatment. Continue reading

Public Law Podcast Seminar on Radicalisation Part 3: Detention

Detention and the common European Asylum System  –  Alasdair Henderson and Suzanne Lambert

The highlights of the Public Law Seminar given by members of 1 Crown Office Row are now available for podcast download here or from iTunes under Law Pod UK, Episodes 13, 14 and 15. For ease of reference the following three posts set out the introductions to each of the presentations and the case citations.

For non-Apple devices the podcasts are available via the Audioboom app.

Click on the heading for PDF copies of each of the presentations.

Issues:

  • Detention in UK pending transfer to another Member State;
  • Detention in another Member State pending transfer to the UK;
  • Risk of detention in another state as grounds for resisting transfer.

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Public Law Podcast Seminar on Radicalisation Part 2: Inquests and Article 2 ECHR

 Inquests and Article 2 ECHR – Caroline Cross and Suzanne Lambert

The highlights of the Public Law Seminar given by members of 1 Crown Office Row are now available for podcast download here or from iTunes under Law Pod UK, Episodes 13, 14 and 15. For non-Apple devices the podcasts are available via the Audioboom app.

For ease of reference the following three posts set out the introductions to each of the presentations and the case citations. Click on the heading for PDF copies of each of the presentations.

Introduction

Article 2 ECHR has had a profound impact upon coronial law, no more so than in relation to deaths in custody/detention and mental health deaths.

This talk will cover the following topics: mental health inquests; terrorism inquests (and inquiries); and detention inquests. Through these lenses, we will examine a number of developments in coronial law over the past 18 months and draw out relevant themes.

We discuss a number of cases in relation to mental health and detention inquests.

Case references in podcast

P v Cheshire West and Chester Council [2014] UKSC 19

R (on the application of Ferreira) and HM Senior Coroner for Inner London South, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, the Intensive Care Society and the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine and Secretary of State for Health and Secretary of State for Justice [2017] EWCA Civ 31

Austin v UK (2012) 55 EHRR 359

Tyrrell v HM Senior Coroner County Durham and Darlington [2016] EWHC 1892 (Admin)

R (Tainton) v HM Senior Coroner for Preston and West Lancashire [2016] EWHC 1396 (Admin)

R (Hamilton-Jackson) v Assistant Coroner for Mid Kent and Medway [2016] EWHC 1796 (Admin)

R (Scarff and Ors) v Governor HMP Woodhill and Secretary of State for Justice [2017] EWHC 1194 (Admin)

 

 

 

Public Law Podcast Seminar on Radicalisation Part 1: Civil Law and Closed Hearings

The first episode from the Public Law Seminar given by members of 1 Crown Office Row is now available for podcast download here or from iTunes under Law Pod UK. Look for Episode 13: Tackling radicalisation through the civil courts.

For non-Apple devices the podcasts are available via the Audioboom app.

For ease of reference the following three posts set out the introductions to each of the presentations and the case citations. Click on the heading for PDF copies of each of the presentations.

Introduction

The Civil Courts have now been involved in cases of radicalisation brought before them by local authorities for very nearly three years (we are approaching the third anniversary of the first case). What was then innovative is now reasonably well-established (see President’s Guidance on Radicalization Cases in the Family Courts (8 October 2015) and the judgment of Hayden J in London Borough of Tower Hamlets v B [2016] EWHC 1707.
 Concern was stirred originally by the spectre of significant numbers of people travelling to Syria to demonstrate their support for ISIS or the Al Nusra Front. This problem is not novel as 80 years ago Britain and Ireland were similarly fixated with the problem of volunteers departing for Spain to fight on both sides in the Civil War. A portrayal of the indoctrination of school age children to fight in that war even seeped into popular culture courtesy of Muriel Spark’s novel, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. The current situation is complicated by the relative ease of international travel, the tactics and targets used by extremists and the fact that the UK has already experienced domestic terrorism inspired by international examples.
 The number of UK nationals travelling to Syria may have fallen but reports in 2016 of significant numbers of youths travelling from Kerala to Syria show that the problem has not fallen away and is truly international.

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New podcast: Damages claim over IVF baby

ARB v IVF Hammersmith Ltd [2017] EWHC 2438read judgment

The claim for over £1 million taken by a father against an IVF clinic for failing to notice that his signature on the consent form had been forged has been widely reported in the press. In the latest Law Pod UK podcast Rosalind English discusses the case with David Prest. Whilst the McFarlane principle defeated the financial claim, Jay J had some stern words to say about the actions of the mother and the procedures of the clinic.

Episode 12 of Law Pod UK is available for free download from iTunes.

High Court rejects motor neurone sufferer’s application to overturn prohibition on assisted suicide

Conway, R (On the application of) v The Secretary of State for Justice [2017] EWHC 2447 (Admin) – read judgment

This case concerns the issue of provision of assistance to a person with a serious wasting disease who wishes to commit suicide, so as to be able to exercise control over the time of his death as the disease reaches its final stages. See our previous post on it here and here. It follows a line of cases which have addressed that or similar issues, in particular R (Pretty) v Director of Public Prosecutions [2001] UKHL 61; [2002] 1 AC 800 (“Pretty“), R (Purdy) v Director of Public Prosecutions [2009] UKHL 54; [2010] 1 AC 345 (“Purdy“) and R (Nicklinson) v Ministry of Justice [2014] UKSC 38; [2015] AC 657(“Nicklinson“). Permission to bring this judicial review was granted by the Court of Appeal (McFarlane and Beatson LJJ, see [2017] EWCA Civ 275), having earlier been refused by the Divisional Court (Burnett LJ, Charles and Jay JJ) at [2017] EWHC 640 (Admin

Section 1 of the Suicide Act 1961 abrogated the rule of law whereby it was a crime for a person to commit suicide. In this hearing Mr Conway sought a claim for a declaration of incompatibility pursuant to section 4 of the Human Rights Act 1998  in respect of the prohibition in the criminal law against provision of assistance for a person to commit suicide. That prohibition is contained in section 2 of the Suicide Act 1961. Continue reading