We have two new podcasts up on iTunes Law Pod UK.
Charlotte Gilmartin if you remember recently unpacked the planning dust-up over the Eagle Wharf redevelopment in Regent’s Canal in her recent post on the High Court judgment. More on this important decision and its implications for planners in her discussion here.
And the case of the Islamic state school of Al-Hijrah in Birmingham which attracted so much attention when the High Court ruled in favour of Ofsted’s critical report continues to make waves. Rajkiran Bahey analysed it here and ponders the many issues involved in discussion with Rosalind English here.
One Crown Office Row’s podcast series Law Pod UK are available from iTunes and Audioboom
R (on the application of Black) v The Secretary of State for Justice  UKSC 81
Is the Crown is bound by the prohibition of smoking in most enclosed public places and workplaces, contained in Chapter 1 of Part 1 of the Health Act 2006 (“the smoking ban”)?
This was the question asked of the Supreme Court by a prisoner serving an indeterminate sentence at HMP Wymott. As Lady Hale noted in the judgment: this issue affects all premises occupied by the Crown, including central government departments, and that it is important to determine whether the ban can be properly enforced in these places.
The answer the court gave is ‘no’, as this provision does not bind the Crown, of which HMP Wymott is an institution.
Dover District Council v. CPRE Kent  UKSC 79, 6 December 2016, read judgment
The Supreme Court has just confirmed that this local authority should have given reasons if it wished to grant permission against the advice of its own planning officers for a controversial development to the west of Dover.
The interest is in the breadth of the decision – how far does it extend?
Aseran and others v Ministry of Defence  EWHC 3289 (QB) 14 December 2017 – read judgment
The High Court has upheld claims by four Iraqi civilians that their human rights had been breached by the British army. Their claims in tort were rejected as time-barred.
These were four claims in the large scale action known as the Iraqi civilian litigation. This judgment follows the first full trials of civil compensation claims in which the claimants themselves and other witnesses testified in an English courtroom. The introduction given by Leggatt J best explains the picture.
The claimants in these cases are Iraqi citizens who allege that they were unlawfully imprisoned and ill-treated …by British armed forces and who are claiming compensation from the Ministry of Defence. Questions of law raised by the conflict in Iraq, some of them novel and very hard questions, have been argued in the English courts and on applications to the European Court of Human Rights since soon after the conflict began. Until now, however, such arguments have taken place on the basis of assumed facts or limited written evidence.
The four claims were tried as lead cases out of more than six hundred remaining cases. All the claims were advanced on two legal bases. The first was the general law of tort under which a person who has suffered injury as a result of a civil wrong can claim damages from the wrongdoer. Because the relevant events occurred in Iraq, the Iraqi law of tort was applicable. But the claims were subject to a doctrine known as Crown act of state which precludes the court from passing judgment on a claim in tort arising out of an act done with the authority of the British government in the conduct of a military operation abroad. Continue reading
R (On the Application of Gureckis) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 3298 (Admin)
Read the judgment here: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2017/3298.html
Recent years have seen a significant increase in the number of people sleeping on the streets in Greater London — the figure has more than doubled since 2017. This includes people of all nationalities, and a significant number of EEA nationals.
The High Court has quashed policy guidance which set out the circumstances in which “rough sleeping” would be treated as an abuse of EU Treaty rights, rendering an EEA national liable to removal if this would be proportionate .
The Claimants were two Polish nationals and one Latvian national against whom removal notices had been served. They challenged the legality of the policy on the basis that it was contrary to EU law.
On 5th December 2017, the Divisional Court gave judgment in Power v HM Senior Coroner for Inner London  EWHC 3117 (Admin), directing that an inquest held in 1998 into a road traffic accident following a police chase had been insufficient and a fresh inquest needed to be held.
On 1 December 2017 an event in Temple Church with the Bar Council in collaboration with Refugee Tales, an outreach project whose aim is to see the end of indefinite immigration detention, saw an announcement of new recommendations for reform of the system of immigration detention.
This followed from the publication on 30 November 2017 of ‘Injustice in Immigration Detention, Perspectives from Legal Professionals’, an independent report by Dr Anna Lindley of SOAS. Read the report here: http://www.barcouncil.org.uk/media/623583/171130_injustice_in_immigration_detention_dr_anna_lindley.pdf
The Bar Council, led by Andrew Langdon QC, is making a series of recommendations in light of the report, as follows:
- A 28-day time limit for administrative detention;
- Automatic judicial oversight of the arrangements for holding people in administrative detention;
- Adequate legal aid for advice and representation for those held in immigration detention to challenge the loss of their liberty;
- A ban on the use of prisons for the purposes of administrative detention;
- Special care for vulnerable people and victims of torture held in administrative detention; and
- Review and clarification of the criteria for administrative detention. The relevant policy and rules need to be accessible and intelligible so that all those who are affected by the exercise of powers to detain understand the reasons for the exercise of those powers and can challenge decisions where appropriate.