Media By: samueloscarmarch


New criminal record disclosure rules take effect

1 December 2020 by

On the 28th November 2020, The Police Act 1997 (Criminal Record Certificates: Relevant Matters) (Amendment) (England and Wales) Order 2020 (“the Order”) came into force, implementing important changes to the criminal records disclosure rules in England and Wales.

The criminal records disclosure regime provides information through Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificates to employers about an individual’s criminal record. That information is then used by employers when considering the suitability of applicants for eligible roles or work.

The Order removes the requirement for automatic disclosure of youth cautions, reprimands and warnings and removes the ‘multiple conviction’ rule, which required the automatic disclosure of all convictions where a person has more than one conviction, regardless of the nature of their offence or sentence.


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Prosecution of trafficking victim not an abuse of process

2 November 2020 by

Image: Wikipedia

R v A [2020] EWCA Crim 1408

On 29/10/2020, the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal against an aggravated burglary conviction brought by a teenage victim of human trafficking.

The applicant’s personal circumstances, including as a victim of trafficking, were properly reflected by way of mitigation of sentence. But his culpability and criminality were not extinguished or so diminished as to lead to the conclusion that he would or might not have been prosecuted.


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Home Office Removals Policy Unlawful, holds Court of Appeal

27 October 2020 by

Image: Wikipedia

R ((1) FB (Afghanistan) (2) Medical Justice) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWCA Civ 1338

On 21/10/2020, the Court of Appeal ruled that the Home Office’s removal window policy (‘the Policy’) was unlawful. The Policy incorporated an unacceptable risk of interference with the right of access to court by exposing a category of irregular migrants — including those who have claims in respect of their right to life and/or freedom from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment — to the risk of removal without any proper opportunity to challenge a relevant decision in a court or tribunal.


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Courts should consider coronavirus emergency when sentencing, rules Court of Appeal

12 May 2020 by

Manning, R. v (Rev 1) [2020] EWCA Crim 592 (30 April 2020) — judgment here

On 30 April 2019, giving the lead judgment in the Court of Appeal, the Lord Chief Justice considered that the impact of a custodial sentence is likely to be heavier during the coronavirus pandemic than it would otherwise be, and that this was a factor that judges and magistrates can and should keep in mind when sentencing.


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Government successfully appeals in ‘Right to Rent’ case

22 April 2020 by

R (Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWCA Civ 542, judgment here

On 21st April 2020, the Court of Appeal allowed the Home Office’s appeal in the ‘right to rent’ case. The decision below was covered on this blog here.

Notably, the Court of Appeal agreed with the High Court’s view that the scheme does result in landlords discriminating against tenants without British passports on the basis of their actual or perceived nationality. However, the Court held that this discrimination was justified.


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Employment Tribunal provides reasoning in ethical veganism case

29 January 2020 by

ethical vegan

Casamitjana v The League Against Cruel Sports [2020] UKET 3331129/2018 

Following his headline-grabbing finding on 3rd January 2020 that “ethical veganism is a philosophical belief which qualifies as a protected belief within the meaning of section 10 of The Equality Act 2010”, Norwich Employment Tribunal Judge Postle has now provided his full determination.

Background

The judgment was handed down following a preliminary hearing in a matter between the Claimant, Mr Jordi Casamitjana Costa, and his former employer, The League Against Cruel Sports. The facts of the case are set out in more detail in an earlier article from earlier this month.

In short, the Claimant is pursing complaints, inter alia, of indirect discrimination, direct discrimination or harassment and victimisation by reference to his belief in “ethical veganism”. “Ethical veganism”, according to the Vegan Society,it is a philosophy and way of life which

seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.


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Ethical veganism is a protected belief, rules Employment Tribunal

4 January 2020 by

Ethical veganism goes beyond dietary requirements to embrace an entire life philosophy

Casamitjana v The League Against Cruel Sports (judgment pending)

In what multiple commentators have hailed as a landmark legal case, Norwich Employment Tribunal found that the Claimant’s “ethical veganism” is a philosophical belief and therefore a protected characteristic for the purposes of section 10 of the Equality Act 2010 (“s.10”) following a preliminary hearing on 2nd and 3rd January 2020. 

The judgment is unlikely to be available for some time, so it is not yet possible to analyse the Tribunal’s reasoning, but the Hearing Bundle and Claimant’s Written Submissions of Claimant’s Counsel have been made available online by his solicitors which gives a clear indication of how the issue may have been decided.


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