Media By: Rosalind English


New podcast from Law Pod UK

10 July 2018 by

20090327_radio_microphone_18Emma-Louise Fenelon recently interviewed Richard Booth QC about a successful injunction application to prevent a gross misconduct disciplinary hearing. You can hear the interview on Episode 39 of Law Pod UK.

The Claimant, represented by Jeremy Hyam QC, was a consultant forensic psychiatrist whose employment duties included working on the healthcare wing at Lewes prison. Following the death in custody of an inmate on the healthcare wing who had been under the Claimant’s care, the Trust initiated an investigation into the Claimant’s conduct and capability. The report of the investigation made a number of findings of failure to meet professional standards in particular with respect to the record keeping of ward reviews, but put them in the context of an under-resourced prison service.  Based on the report, the Trust’s case manager purported to convene a hearing to consider disciplinary action for gross misconduct against the Claimant.

An injunction was sought to prevent such hearing going ahead on the basis that, taken at its highest, the content of the investigation report did not justify a charge of gross misconduct; that the Trust’s policy definition of gross misconduct was lower that normally set by the common law; and that the Case Manager’s management statement of case went beyond the findings in the investigation report. Granting the injunction on an interim basis, the Court concluded that there were serious issues to be tried on all the issues raised by the Claimant and the balance of convenience was clearly in favour of the grant of the injunction.

The judgment can be found here: Bailii. 

Law Pod UK continues to go from strength to strength and has surpassed 55k listens. All episodes are freely available to listen or download from a number of podcast platforms, including iTunes, Audioboom, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts. If you like what you hear, please subscribe, rate and leave a review to support our podcast. 

Law Pod UK latest on Brexit

26 June 2018 by

Two years from the vote to leave the European Union, Catherine Barnard, Professor of EU Law at Cambridge, considers the rocks and hard places of the Brexit negotiations. She speculates on what is meant by what exactly is meant by staying “within the remit of the CJEU”, something that has drawn a lot of fire, but has no legal meaning.

We may all be jaded with Brexit coverage. But do listen to Catherine’s podcast, it is remarkably unpartisan and clear on the facts.

Catherine’s series 2903cb is freely available on soundcloud and our repost is on iTunes and other podcast platforms, Episode 38 of Law Pod UK.

Inquiries and Inquests seminar highlights now available on Law Pod UK

15 June 2018 by

In Episode 35 Matthew Hill discusses the lessons and warnings from the Bloody Sunday inquiry and the Hillsborough inquest in a talk recorded at One Crown Office Row’s 2018 seminar.

In Episode 36 , drawn from the same seminar, Emma-Louise Fenelon discusses the challenges around secrecy, anonymity and public information in major inquests and inquiries

In Episode 37  Gideon Barth considers when public inquiries are established or inquests reopened.

Law Pod UK is available for free download from iTunes, The Podcast App, Overcast, Audioboom and a number of other podcast platforms. Please rate and review us to help Law Pod UK continue to grow. 

New Podcast: Will AI outwit our laws?

7 June 2018 by

In Episode 34 of Law Pod UK, Rosalind English talks to Professor Karen Yeung of Birmingham University about questions of civil liability of algorithm-run systems, the difficulties of regulating something we cannot truly predict, and the so-called “alignment problem” – how to align the utility function of intelligent machines with the values of the human race, which are very difficult to define.

Professor Yeung is Interdisciplinary Fellow in both the Law and Computer Science Schools at Birmingham, and recently gave evidence before the House of Lords Select Committee on AI. We posted on the report ‘AI in the UK: ready, willing and able?’ in April.

Law Pod UK is available for free download from iTunes, Overcast and Audioboom.

Womb for living?

23 May 2018 by

This week Irish voters will decide whether there should be a continuing constitutional protection for the ‘unborn’. Novelist Sally Rooney’s article this week’s edition of the London Review of Books is short, but very well worth the read.

Pregnancy, entered into willingly, is an act of generosity, a commitment to share the resources of life with another incipient being. Such generosity is in no other circumstances required by law.

No legal system will force another person to donate living tissue, no matter how needy the recipient. An organ donor is not bound to the world’s needy recipients.  Unless, Rooney points out, the law is concerning itself with a foetus.

If the foetus is a person, it is a person with a vastly expanded set of legal rights, rights available to no other class of citizen: the foetus may make free, non-consensual use of another living person’s uterus and blood supply, and cause permanent, unwanted changes to another person’s body. In the relationship between foetus and woman, the woman is granted fewer rights than a corpse.

The referendum this week concerns the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, introduced in the early eighties, which protects ‘the unborn’.

Continue reading →

Environmental protection after Brexit

16 May 2018 by

“When we leave the EU, we will be able to build on the successes achieved through our membership, and address the failures, to become a world-leading protector of the natural world. We have also published the 25 Year Environment Plan, which sets out this Government’s ambition for this to be the first generation that leaves the environment in a better state than that in which we inherited it. These good intentions must be underpinned by a strengthened governance framework  that supports our environmental protection measures and creates new mechanisms to incentivise environmental improvement.”

Michael Gove has announced his plan for a UK Commission on the environment, for which the consultation paper is out now. The paper sets out the principles laid behind the Environmental Principles and Governance Bill which will be published in November this year.  This proposed law is said to mark the creation of a “new, world-leading, statutory and independent environmental watchdog to hold government to account on our environmental ambitions and obligations once we have left the EU.”

The proposed Bill may not see the light of day, if today’s events are anything to go by.  This afternoon the House of Lords voted (294:244) to include the principles of environmental protection in the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, rather than introducing a separate piece of primary legislation as set out in this consultation document: the successful amendment is first up here.

However things turn out in the Commons, it is worth attending to the plans for maintaining and enhancing environmental protection in a post-Brexit UK.
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Invasive naso-gastric feeding not in the best interests of dementia patient

16 May 2018 by

PW v Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Trust and others (28 April 2018) [2018] EWCA Civ 1067 – read judgment

The Court of Appeal has refused to interfere with the Court of Protection’s decision that it was not in the best interests of a 77-year-old man with end stage dementia to be discharged home with a nasogastric tube inserted for feeding purposes.  The COP judge said that she was not bound to continue life. The sanctity of life is not absolute.” Palliative care “would make [the patient] as comfortable as possible and ensure his dignity and comfort. He will pass away with palliation in a dignified way.”

The applicant applied for permission to appeal against a Court of Protection’s determination of his father’s best interests pursuant to Section 4 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and against a transparency order preventing the publication of any material identifying his father or the family.

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New Podcast: The Right to Be Forgotten

16 May 2018 by

Dominic Ruck-Keene posted earlier on the order from the High Court that Google “delist” links in its search results to articles about the spent conviction of a businessman. You can hear him discussing the so-called “right to be forgotten” with Rosalind English in the latest episode of Law Pod UK.

Law Pod UK is available for free download on iTunes, Audioboom and Overcast.

Win (for now) for app developer against Google

11 May 2018 by

Unlockd Ltd and others  v Google Ireland Limited and others (unreported, Roth J, Chancery Division 9 May 2018) – transcribed judgment awaited

Unlockd, an app developer, sought an interim injunction to prevent Google withdrawing its services. Roth J found that the balance of convenience was in the applicants’ favour. Their claim raised a serious issue to be tried and any action by Google to withdraw their platform would severely damage the applicants’ business. An interim injunction was granted.
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Liability of private hospitals seminar: two new podcasts

27 April 2018 by

Recently the clinical negligence team at 1 Crown Office Row held a seminar debating the liability of private hospitals and clinics. In “Lessons learned from the Paterson litigation” two talks on the topic were given then a case scenario was presented for the panel to discuss. Making up the claimant’s panel are Elizabeth-Anne Gumbel QC and Robert Kellar. For the defendants are John Whitting QC and Jeremy Hyam QC.  The event was chaired by Dame Christina Lambert.

We have recorded the case scenarios for Law Pod UK which are now available for download: tune in to Episode 30 (part 1) and Episode 31 part 2).

Law Pod UK is available for free download from iTunes, Audioboom and Overcast.

Musicians and hearing loss: New podcast

26 April 2018 by

We posted previously about the case of Goldscheider v Royal Opera House. There was a lot of interesting material in the judgment, not all of it to do with the law, so we decided to invite a musician on to Law Pod UK to explore the player’s perspective. Tune in to Episode 29 to hear Rosalind English in discussion with opera singer and composer Susie Self about the realities of orchestral placement, ear defenders, hearing loss and the hazards faced by musicians on the performing stage.

 

Law Pod UK is available for free download from iTunes, Audioboom and Overcast.

 

Can we build AI that doesn’t turn on us? Is it already too late?

18 April 2018 by

A report from the UK House of Lords Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence has made a number of recommendations for the UK’s approach to the rise of algorithms. The report ‘AI in the UK: ready, willing and able?’ suggests the creation of a cross-sector AI Code to help mitigate the risks of AI outstripping human intelligence.

The main recommendation in the report is that  autonomous power to hurt, destroy or deceive human beings should never be vested in artificial intelligence. The committee calls for the Law Commission to clarify existing liability law and considers whether it will be sufficient when AI systems malfunction or cause harm to users. The authors predict a situation where it is possible to foresee a scenario where AI systems may

malfunction, underperform or otherwise make erroneous decisions which cause harm. In particular, this might happen when an algorithm learns and evolves of its own accord.

The authors of the report confess that it was “not clear” to them or their witnesses whether “new mechanisms for legal liability and redress in such situations are required, or whether existing mechanisms are sufficient”.  Their proposals, for securing some sort of prospective safety, echo Isaac Asimov’s three laws for robotics.

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

But these elaborations of principle may turn out to be merely semantic.  The safety regime is not just a question of a few governments  and tech companies agreeing on various principles. This is a global problem – and indeed even if Google were to get together with all the other giants in this field, Alibaba, Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Tencent, it may not be able to anticipate the consequences of building machines that can self-improve. 
Continue reading →

Violist wins against Royal Opera House for hearing loss

2 April 2018 by

Goldscheider v The Royal Opera House [2018] EWHC 687 (QB) – read judgment

The ROH has been found liable for failing to protect the hearing of its musicians and for causing acoustic shock to former viola player Chris Goldscheider. This is the first time a musical institution has been found responsible for damage to the hearing of musicians, and the first time that acoustic shock as been recognised as an injury sounding in damages. As the Media release on the judgement observed,

The decision leaves insurers for the ROH responsible for a £750,000 compensation claim, and legal costs in addition, an urgent need to re-think its policies and procedures, a possible re-design of “The Pit”, and probably claims against them by other musicians.

But the issues in this judgment were limited to breach of duty and causation of the claimant’s injury, with damages to be assessed later.

Mr Goldscheider said he had sustained acoustic shock during the course of his employment at the ROH on Saturday 1 September 2012 when the orchestra was in the pit rehearsing Wagner’s ‘Die Walküre’. As a result of the way that the conductor arranged the orchestra, the Claimant was positioned immediately in front of a group of about 18 to 20 brass players. 
Continue reading →

Two New Podcasts: Private Hospital Liability

23 March 2018 by

We have posted two new episodes of Law Pod UK today.

Episodes 25  and 27 feature extracts from the seminar given by 1 Crown Office Row in February 2018 on the lessons learned from the Paterson litigation. These are free and available for download.

Episode 26  Law Pod UK: Hannah Noyce discusses vicarious liability in private hospitals and clinics

Episode 27 Law Pod UK: Dominic Ruck Keene summarises non-delegable duty in private hospitals and clinics

Seminar handout

Subscribe to Law Pod UK on  iTunes or on Audioboom.

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