A tendency to physical abuse: Upper Tribunal clarifies scope of Equality Act in education context — Katie Ayres

26 November 2018 by

book-2022464_1280.pngThe Upper Tribunal decision in of C&C v Governing Body [2018] UKUT 269 (AAC) has provided important clarification to the scope of the Equality Act 2010 in an education context.

A 13-year-old boy, L, was excluded for physical violence at school. L suffered from autism, anxiety and Pathological Demand Avoidance; it was common ground that the episodes of violence were as a result of these conditions.

It was also common ground that, but for the effect of Reg. 4(1)(c) Equality Act 2010 (Disability) Regulations 2010 (‘the 2010 Regulations’), L would meet the definition of having a ‘disability’ found at section 6 of the Equality Act 2010 (‘EA 2010’), as he had physical or mental impairment which had a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

But section 6 of the EA 2010 must be read in conjunction with the 2010 Regulations. The effect of Reg.4(1)(c) of the 2010 Regulations is to carve out from the definition of ‘disability’ those ‘impairments’ which manifest themselves in:

(a) a tendency to set fires,

(b) a tendency to steal,

(c) a tendency to physical or sexual abuse of other persons,

(d) exhibitionism, and

(e) voyeurism.

In C&C the school argued that L’s violent behaviour amounted to ‘a tendency to physical…abuse of other persons’ for the purposes of the 2010 Regulations, thereby removing the protection from discrimination that he would otherwise be afforded by the EA 2010.

 

The Law

Previous cases had decided that behaviour which amounted to a ‘tendency to physical…abuse’ was not protected under the Equality Act 2010 in the case of children with behavioural difficulties.

However, C&C reversed this line of authority.

The First Tier Tribunal had found, in line with the established case law, that L did not fulfil the definition of ‘disability’ under section 6 EA 2010 by virtue of the operation of Reg. 4(1)(c).

On appeal, Tribunal Judge Rowley was tasked with deciding whether the current interpretation of Reg. 4(1)(c) of the 2010 Regulations was compatible with Article 14 read with Article 2 of Protocol 1 (A2P1).

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The Round up: UAE pardons British spy suspect, Interpol gets a new president, Court of Appeal overturns damages in haemophilia/autism case

26 November 2018 by

KJY

New Interpol President Kim Jong-Yang – credit The Guardian

From Strasbourg to the Strand, this week saw a plethora of judgements delivered in cases with notably interesting facts. However, arguably the most widely reported legal news concerned two stories, neither involving judgements in the UK courts. The case of six-year-old girl sexually assaulted by other pupils at a primary school made headlines after a local authority, whilst not admitting liability, settled her claim following a round table meeting in March this year. The High Court has now approved this settlement to make it binding on the parties (a necessary move when one party is a child to prevent them seeking further damages when they attain a majority) in litigation which some consider may contribute to legal precedent. More on that here. Meanwhile, the case of Matthew Hedges, a British academic jailed for life in the UAE on spying charges widely considered unfounded, appears to be resolved.  Reports this morning indicate Mr Hedges has been unconditionally pardoned and is likely to be released imminently. This case raised profound questions about the rule of law and reliability of the judiciary in a Middle East country considered one of the West’s closest and most reliable partners.
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Law Pod UK races towards 100K mark

23 November 2018 by

This week Law Pod UK, the podcast brought to you by the barristers at 1 Crown Office Row,  surpassed 90 000 listens since our launch in May last year.  Nobody could have predicted the runaway success of the podcast form a couple of years ago. Our short podcasts have proved enormously popular, not least because they provide updates on the latest legal developments with crisp discussion that absorbs the attention but lasts no longer than a short commute.

Rosalind English and Emma-Louise Fenelon present discussions with barristers, solicitors and academics on a wide range of topics including the recent Supreme Court decision in Darnleyhuman traffickingclinical guidelines, and the impact of AI on the legal profession.

Intrigued? Subscribe to Law Pod UK via Apple Podcasts, iTunes, Audioboom or wherever you get your podcasts. And if you like what you hear, please remember to rate and review us. Your support is encouraging and we hope you can help us make 100,000 listens by Christmas.

Thank you to everyone who has listened and keep an eye out for the new episodes to be released shortly!

New expenses rules for environmental litigation in Scotland: protective or defective? — Dr Ben Christman

22 November 2018 by

Scottish_Bagpiper_at_Glen_Coe,_Scotland_-_Diliff.jpgThe Scottish Government sets itself apart from its UK counterpart in its approach to protecting human rights. The SNP vocally opposed proposals to withdraw the UK from the ECHR and repeal the Human Rights Act. An expert group appointed by the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will report this year with recommendations on how Scotland “can continue to lead by example in human rights”, and appears to be considering incorporating a range of rights from international human rights law into the Scottish legal system.

In environmental rights however, the lack of progress is conspicuous. As David Hart QC explained, the Aarhus Convention aims to protect the right to live in an environment adequate to health and wellbeing – the foundation on which other human rights are built. It recognises the rights of NGOs and members of the public to access information, participate in decision-making, and access justice. These rights encourage citizens to get involved in environmental decision-making. Article 9 requires that NGOs and members of the public must be able to challenge situations where their Convention rights are denied or national environmental laws are broken. Critically, access to justice must be “not prohibitively expensive”.

Yet environmental litigation (mainly judicial review) in Scotland is extortionate. Litigants face six figure bills if they lose. The Convention’s Meeting of the Parties and Compliance Committee (ACCC) have found Scotland to be non-compliant with the requirements of Article 9 (the latter has done so repeatedly). Instead of recognising this deficiency, recent Scottish Government consultation documents note Scotland’s “ongoing compliance” and disparage the Compliance Committee as “not a judicial body”.

2018 brings a new development. New protective expenses orders rules for environmental litigation in Scotland were created last week. This post examines these rules, and argues that they remain out of line with the Convention.

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Court of Appeal refuses permission to appeal in Article 3 case — Vanessa Long

20 November 2018 by

iraq war human rights compensation civilian Camp Bassa compensation damages conflict of laws international humanitarian lawIn the recent judgement of MM (Malawi) & MK (Sri Lanka) v SSHD [2018] EWCA Civ 2482 the Court of Appeal declined to grant permission to appeal to the Supreme Court for consideration of whether the test under Article 3 for removal of foreign nationals in medical cases, as set out in Paposhvili v Belgium [2017] Imm AR 867 , was correctly interpreted by the Court of Appeal in AM (Zimbabwe) v SSHD [2018] EWCA Civ 64.

 

Background

The issue in this case was whether the removal of a foreign national from the UK would breach their rights under Article 3 not to be subject to inhumane or degrading treatment where they are in receipt of medical treatment in the UK which is not available in their home country.

In 1997 the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) determined in D v UK  (Application no. 30240/96) that, as the applicant was in the advanced stages of AIDS to the extent that he was reliant upon palliative care in the UK and would receive no comfort or moral support in his home country, his removal would constitute a breach of Article 3. This was noted to be a ‘very exceptional’ case.

The current leading domestic authority is N v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2005] UKHL 31. N was also diagnosed with AIDS but owing to the availability of treatment in the UK she was expected to live for decades; however, if returned to Uganda, where such treatment was not available, she would die within one to two years. Lord Hope set out the test for ‘very exceptional’ as follows:

For the circumstances to be […] ‘very exceptional’ it would need to be shown that the applicant’s medical condition had reached such a critical stage that there were compelling humanitarian grounds for not removing him to a place which lacked the medical and social services which he would need to prevent acute suffering while he is dying …” [my emphasis]

Therefore, although N would die much faster in Uganda, as she would not be subject to ‘acute suffering’ whilst dying there was no breach of Article 3. This was held to be the case even though it was accepted that N’s life would be significantly shortened [see Lord Nicholls at para 15]. The issue was declared to be not whether her death would follow removal but whether “there is care available […] to enable [her] to meet that fate with dignity” [Baroness Hale, para. 69]. In N’s case it was considered that such care was available. The Grand Chamber of the ECtHR approved this reasoning in N v UK (Application no. 26565/05).

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The Round Up: Use of personal data, the re-detention of foreign criminals, and betting on the National Lottery

20 November 2018 by

Conor Monighan brings us the latest updates in human rights law

Max Hill

Max Hill QC. Credit: The Guardian

In the News:

Max Hill QC, the new Director of Public Prosecutions (‘DPP’), has said that rape victims’ mobile phones will no longer be seized “as a matter of course”.

His comments come in the wake of allegations that prosecutors are increasingly making demands to access victims’ personal data. The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners suggested that the CPS been pushing investigators to make more invasive searches, even if officers are satisfied that they have pursued all reasonable lines of inquiry. This may be part of an effort to improve conviction rates.

Big Brother Watch wrote to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) last week arguing against this trend. The campaigning group said it was becoming ‘routine’ to download the contents of sexual offence victims’ phones, and that the information could legally be stored for 100 years. In response, the ICO is considering widening its investigation into the use of victims’ information. It also spoke out against accessing rape victims’ mobile phone data and personal records.

Max Hill QC says that he aims to boost public confidence in the CPS and would improve the disclosure of evidence in criminal trials. The organisation has been struggling under 25% budget cuts and revelations of recent disclosure failings.
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‘Subsistence’ and modern slavery — David Burrows

19 November 2018 by

iraq war human rights compensation civilian Camp Bassa compensation damages conflict of laws international humanitarian lawIn a week when Professor Philip Alston has so firmly – and publicly – emphasised the failures of the British government to appreciate the depth of poverty in the United Kingdom, it is instructive to have a view from the High Court as to a meaning of ‘subsistence’ in another, important, context, namely modern slavery.

In K & AM, R v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWHC 2951 Mostyn J was concerned with subsistence payments for victims of modern slavery. The case concerned whether the Home Office’s cut to payments made under this country’s internationally agreed obligations to provide support to victims of trafficking constituted a breach of the rights of the victims. The court gave judgment for the claimants, finding that the cut was unlawful.

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Supreme Court rules that immigrants without indefinite leave have “precarious” status in UK

16 November 2018 by

supreme courtOn 14th November 2018 the Supreme Court gave judgment in the case of Rhuppiah v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] UKSC 58. The effect of this decision is that:

(a) A claimant at the Immigration Tribunal who relies on their private (not family) life under Article 8 will be entitled to have only “little weight” placed on that private life if they have been in the UK without indefinite leave to remain, unless there are “particularly strong features of the private life in question”; and

(b) A claimant who is financially dependent on other people but not on the state should not have that fact held against them when assessing the public interest in their removal.

Whilst the result was a victory for the individual claimant in this case, the wider consequences of this decision will be to clarify and tighten the law in a way that will make it even harder than it already was for claimants to succeed on the basis of their private life in the UK.

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EU draft Withdrawal Agreement: what does it say?

15 November 2018 by

The draft Agreement – here – is a mere 585 pages. No harm in trying to read it, or the bits of it which are of particular interest, because in that respect you may be well ahead of some of the rather noisier politicians.

It may seem a bit premature to say too much about it, not least because of the political turmoils, but it promises that

(1) the EU and UK will “use their best endeavours” to have a future trade agreement concluded six months before the end of the transition period in December 2020; this is extensible on agreement thereafter;

(2) but that if this is not the case the EU and the UK could “jointly extend the transition period” for an unspecified period.

Anyway, first thoughts on some of the detail.

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When can a dishonest professional receive a lesser sanction of suspension?

15 November 2018 by

iraq war human rights compensation civilian Camp Bassa compensation damages conflict of laws international humanitarian lawSolicitors Regulation Authority v James, MacGregor and Naylor [2018] EWHC 3058 (Admin) — read judgment here.

In three appeals, the Divisional Court considered the circumstances in which a solicitor might avoid being struck off the Roll after findings of dishonesty in disciplinary proceedings. In short, if you are a dishonest solicitor, striking off will be hard to avoid. The impact on other regulated professions is up for grabs.

 

Facts

In three separate cases the Solicitors Regulation Authority (the ‘SRA’) appealed against the sanction decision of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (the ‘SDT’). In each case the SDT made findings of dishonesty against a solicitor but then found exceptional circumstances that justified a lesser sanction of suspension rather than striking off. In fact, in all three cases the suspension imposed was itself suspended. The SRA argued that there were no exceptional circumstances and the sanctions were unduly lenient.

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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 Weekly Round-up: Rehana Popal, discrimination and deportation

12 November 2018 by

31A3xHwmN9L._SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_As the international media has become full of whispers as to just where Asia Bibi might be offered asylum, discrimination has once again been to the forefront of legal bulletins at home. Most notably, the story of Rehana Popal’s treatment at the hands of solicitors who requested that she return her papers after their client demanded a ‘white, male barrister’, has made waves in the news. Whilst this runs entirely against the solicitors’ code of conduct and, indeed, the Equality Act 2010, Ms Popal, the English Bar’s only Afghan-born female barrister, has stated that this has not been the first occasion upon which she has been subjected to such discriminatory treatment.
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Blasphemy in Pakistan, Arron Banks investigated by the NCA and immigration cases dominate…

4 November 2018 by

Bibi1

After the flurry of excitement we were treated to earlier in October, last week afforded observers of the Supreme Court and legal news an opportunity to relax and catch their breath. However, the Court of Appeal proved to be a bountiful source of judgements, and reliable as always, Brexit continued to occupy the minds of journalists, politicians and lawyers alike.

However, perhaps the biggest story of the week originated in Pakistan. The case of Asia Bibi raises not only profound questions regarding the protection of human rights in the country, but also more substantial concerns about the rule of law, constitutional balance and ability of the government and courts to impose their will in a nuclear armed state at the forefront of some of the world’s most acute geo-political challenges.

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Philip Green and non-disclosure agreements: do we have a right to know?

30 October 2018 by

The circumstances in which a court should prevent the press from reporting information about famous people has long provoked debate. The decision of the Court of Appeal in ABC & Ors v Telegraph Media Group Ltd [2018] EWCA Civ 2329 is no exception, attracting extensive press coverage and comment from the #MeToo movement.

iraq war human rights compensation civilian Camp Bassa compensation damages conflict of laws international humanitarian law

In a unanimous judgment, the Court of Appeal overturned the decision of Mr Justice Haddon-Cave in the High Court and granted an interim injunction to the Appellants/Claimants.

The decision had the effect of temporarily restraining publication of certain information which was alleged by the Claimants to be confidential and disclosed in breach of non-disclosure agreements – namely allegations of sexual and racial harassment made against a well-known (and at the time unidentified) leading businessman – pending a full trial.

However, Lord Hain then went on to disclose under Parliamentary privilege that the accused businessman was Sir Philip Green. He said that given the “serious and repeated” nature of the allegations he felt under a “duty” to name him, and publication of this information was “clearly in the public interest”.
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Supreme Court rules that parental misconduct irrelevant to whether child should leave UK — an extended look

29 October 2018 by

supreme courtOn 24th October 2018 the Supreme Court gave its judgment in the conjoined cases of KO (Nigeria); IT (Jamaica); NS (Sri Lanka) and others; Pereira v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] UKSC 53 — read judgment.

This is a major decision which clarifies the approach that the Immigration Tribunal should take to the question of whether a child and/or their parents should be removed from the UK in circumstances where it is claimed that this would constitute a disproportionate interference in their rights to private and family life.

In summary, the Court held that misconduct by the parents — be it criminal offending or immigration-related misdemeanours such as overstaying a visa — should not form part of the assessment of whether a child should be removed from the UK. As a result, it should also not form part of the assessment of whether Article 8 requires that the parent remain in the UK with the child.

However, the judgment is complicated and leaves some questions without clear answers. In this extended article, we will explore the reasoning of the Court and have a look at what has been clarified but also at what might now be plunged into confusion.

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