The second in Professor Catherine Barnard’s series on the legal milestones of the Brexit process is now up on iTunes and Audioboom. And today we have posted Isabel McArdle talking to Rosalind English about the Supreme Court ruling on police liability in Robinson v West Yorkshire Police. All episodes are freely available for download to your devices.
ABC v Thomson Medical Pte Ltd and others, Singapore Civil Court of Appeal  SGCA 20 – read judgment
It is a trite reflection that law should change with the times but every so often we see the hair-pin bends in law’s pursuit of modern technology. This case from Singapore about reproductive rights and negligence in an IVF clinic is just such an example. As the judge said at the outset, the need for the law to adjust itself to the changing circumstances of life is clearest in the area of medical science,
where scientific advancement has made it possible for us to do things today which would previously have been unimaginable a few decades ago. This has brought untold prosperity to many, and hope to those who previously had none; but it has also given us greater capacity for harm.
The Appellant, a Chinese Singaporean, and her husband, a German of Caucasian descent, sought to conceive a child through in-vitro fertilisation . The Appellant underwent IVF treatment and delivered a daughter, referred to in the judgment as “Baby P”. After the birth of Baby P, it was discovered that a serious mistake had been made: the Appellant’s ovum had been fertilised using sperm from an unknown Indian third party instead of sperm from the Appellant’s husband. It turned out that the clinic had processed two semen specimens inside one laminar hood at the same time and failed to discard the disposable pipettes that had been used after each step of the IVF process. This had resulted in a baby being born on 1 October 2010, whose DNA did not match her father’s. Continue reading
On 6th February 2018, the Court of Appeal in AM (Zimbabwe) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 64 gave authoritative guidance on how Paposhvili v Belgium (Application no. 41738/10), which was decided last year by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, should be applied by English courts.
The issue in AM (Zimbabwe) concerned the applicable test for when removal of seriously ill people to their country of origin would raise an issue under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (prohibition on inhuman or degrading treatment). Sales LJ, giving the judgment of the Court of Appeal, decided that removal would only violate Article 3 if intense suffering or death would be imminent in the receiving state as a result of the non-availability of treatment which would have been available in the UK (AM para 38).
This ‘extended look’ analysis piece will call into question whether the Court of Appeal’s interpretation of Paposhvili into English law is correct.
On 8th February 2018, the Supreme Court held that the power to grant bail and impose bail conditions in respect of a person pending deportation ceases to be lawful if there is no legal basis for detaining that person. The power to impose bail conditions is inextricably linked to the power of detention. Once the Home Secretary ceases to have the power to detain a person under immigration law, she can’t then impose conditions on that person’s freedom through bail conditions.
Update – Isabel McArdle talks to Rosalind English about this case in the latest episode from Law Pod UK, available for free download from iTunes and Audioboom.
The Supreme Court has made a significant decision on the question of the scope of the common law duty of care owed by police when their activities lead to injuries being sustained by members of the public. It has long been the case that a claim cannot be brought in negligence against the police, where the danger is created by someone else, except in certain unusual circumstances such as where there has been an assumption of responsibility.
This case, however, was focussed on the question of injuries resulting from activities of the police, where the danger was created by their own conduct. The answer is that the police did owe a duty of care to avoid causing an injury to a member of the public in those circumstances.
Conor Monighan brings us the latest updates in human rights law.
In the News:
Covered by the Blog here
There is no general immunity for police officers investigating or preventing crime. In this case, Mrs Robinson suffered injuries when two police officers fell on top of her, along with a suspected drug dealer resisting arrest. The officers had foreseen Williams would attempt to escape but had not noticed Mrs Robinson (who was represented by 1 Crown Office Row’s academic consultant Duncan Fairgrieve).
The recorder found that, although the officers were negligent, Hill v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire  gave them immunity from negligence claims. The Court of Appeal ruled the police officers owed no duty of care, and even if they did they had not broken it. It also found most claims against the police would fail the third stage of the Caparo test (i.e. it would not be fair, just and reasonable to impose a duty of care upon the police in these situations). The Court found Williams had caused the harm, not the police, so the issue was based on omission rather than a positive act. Finally, even if officers had owed the Appellant a duty of care, they had not breached it.
Mrs Robinson appealed successfully to the Supreme Court.
It held: Continue reading
On 5th February 2018 the Divisional Court gave judgment in Love v USA  EWHC 172 (Admin), holding that the forum bar operated against the extradition of Lauri Love to the United States to face charges of making a series of cyber-attacks on the computer networks of private companies and US Government agencies.
This is the first reported case in which the ‘forum bar’ has been applied to block an extradition.