Media By: Thomas Beamont


Tax tribunal rules that Arron Banks suffered political discrimination

14 November 2018 by

Ukipsm.svgBanks v Revenue and Customs Commissioners [2018] UKFTT 617 (TC) – read judgment

Donations made by Arron Banks to the United Kingdom Independence Party (‘UKIP’) are subject to a tax regime which discriminates against the donor on grounds of his political opinion, the First-Tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) has found.

 

Facts

Mr Banks and companies controlled by him donated £976,781.38 to UKIP between 7th October 2014 and 31st March 2015.

As the donations constituted ‘transfers of value’ within s.3 of the Inheritance Tax Act 1984 (‘IHTA’), they attract a payment of inheritance tax unless a relevant exemption applies.

Section 24 of the IHTA provides for an exemption for gifts to political parties where at the last general election preceding the transfer of value in the following circumstances:

(2) …

(a) Two members of that party were elected to the House of Commons, or

(b) One members of that party was elected to the House of Commons and not less than 150,000 votes were given to candidates who were members of that party.

The fact that UKIP failed to have any MPs elected from its ranks on 6th May 2010 meant that, on the face of s.24, Mr Banks’s donations could not fall within the exemption.

 

Article 14

Mr Banks contended that this was discriminatory.

The Judge accepted as a starting point the well-known five-stage approach as set out by Lord Steyn in R (S) v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police [2004] UKHL 39 at [42]:

(1) Do the facts fall within the ambit of one or more of the Convention rights?

(2) Was there a difference in treatment in respect of that right between the complainant and others put forward for comparison?

(3) If so, was the difference in treatment on one or more of the proscribed grounds under article 14?

(4) Were those others in an analogous situation?

(5) Was the difference in treatment objectively justifiable in the sense that it had a legitimate aim and bore a reasonable relationship of proportionality to that aim?

As to (1) and (2), it was agreed that the provision fell within the ambit of Article 1 of the First Protocol (the right to protection of property), and that there was differential treatment.

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The Round-Up: Rights in war, Rights at work, Rights in marriage

20 August 2017 by

Soldiers patrol in a Snatch Land Rover in Helmand, Afghanistan, in 2006

The mother of a British soldier who was killed in a roadside bomb while on duty in Iraq has received an apology from Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon. Sue Smith’s son, Pte Phillip Hewett, died while travelling on patrol in a lightly armoured “snatch” Land Rover in July 2005.

Following a settlement of the case, Sir Michael has written to Ms Smith:

“I would like to express directly to you my deepest sympathies and apologise for the delay, resulting in decisions taken at the time in bringing into service alternative protected vehicles which could have saved lives.”

What did Ms Smith allege?

The circumstances around Pte Hewett’s death have been the subject of litigation for the last 6 years.

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Election Round-Up: Ripping Up the Rulebook on Human Rights?

9 June 2017 by

Image result for polling station

It has been widely reported that Theresa May will stay on as Prime Minister following the election on June 8th. The Conservative PM will seek to form a government with the support of the Democratic Unionist Party (the DUP).

A recent Round-Up by Poppy Rimington-Pounder highlighted some welcome changes in the parties’ approaches to human rights in the pre-election manifestos. With the recent shift in political climate it seems that changes may be on the horizon.

What does the election result mean for human rights?

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The Round-up: Harriet Harman and Liz Truss propose change in rape trials

28 March 2017 by

Harriet Harman

The Labour MP Harriet Harman has proposed a change in the law that would prevent rape complainants from being cross-examined in court about their sexual history.

Harman claims that the introduction of a complainant’s sexual history as evidence has “no evidential value.” Describing the practice as “outdated”, Harman said that “it’s based on the old notion that there were two sorts of women – those who were ‘easy’ and those who were virtuous – and if you were easy, you would have sex with anybody, because you were that sort of woman.”

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The Round Up: Couples in the Courts

27 February 2017 by

Image result for wedding cake guardian

Immigration law featured heavily in courts in the past week, with judgments in two cases handed down by the justices.

The first, MM and others, concerned the Minimum Income Rule, which requires a minimum income of £18,600 to sponsor a foreign spouse’s visa to live in the UK.

The second, R (on the application of Agyarko), saw the Supreme Court uphold the treatment of those unlawfully in the UK who have formed relationships with British citizens.

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The Round Up – ‘Snooper’s Charter’ set to become law

1 December 2016 by

The Investigatory Powers Act 2016

The Investigatory Powers Act 2016 is set to become law in the United Kingdom following its passing of the third stage of legislative scrutiny earlier this month. The Act seeks to consolidate and amend the legislative framework which governs the use of investigatory powers, including the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA). It is expected to receive royal assent by the end of 2016.

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Rights of people with disabilities under the spotlight – the Roundup

21 November 2016 by

bedroom-tax

In the news

The rights of people with disabilities in the UK have come under scrutiny recently by both the Supreme Court and a UN Committee. On 9th November, the Supreme Court handed down judgment in a case concerning the ‘bedroom tax’. This judgment comes days after the UN Committee on Rights of Persons with Disabilities criticised the UK’s treatment of people with disabilities under recent welfare reforms, finding “grave and systematic violations of the rights of persons with disabilities.”

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Developments in the oversight of British Troops abroad – the Roundup

5 October 2016 by

 

https://i0.wp.com/i.guim.co.uk/img/media/d19fc6a2d0ce552588dcf4b500c2116063496673/0_0_2048_1229/master/2048.jpg?resize=620%2C372&ssl=1

In the news

The oversight of the conduct of British soldiers in Iraq has been subject of two recent developments. The first is political, as Prime Minister Theresa May has renewed criticism of investigations into allegations of criminal behaviour of British troops. The second is legal, with the Court of Appeal offering clarification as to the role of the ECHR in conflicts abroad. However, comments by Defence Secretary Michael Fallon have since thrown into doubt the future role of the ECHR in conflicts abroad.

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