20 tickets have become available for tonight’s event at the Barbican, at which Leigh Day and 1 Crown Office Row will be collaborating to bring you a stimulating discussion of the potential impact of Brexit on human rights.
If you were previously unable to reserve a place and would like to attend, please email me at Rebecca.King@1cor.com to reserve a place. The 20 remaining spaces will be allocated on a “first come, first served” basis.
If you would like to follow discussions online, please follow the #BREXITrights hashtag on twitter. Please also get in touch by email if you would like to receive a podcast of the event. Hope to see you there!
Sometimes, in law as in life, keeping things simple is the best approach. Unfortunately for the Police Service of Northern Ireland (‘PSNI’), the Supreme Court found in DB v Chief Constable of PSNI  UKSC 7 that the Force had made both the law and its life, in policing parades in Belfast, more complicated than it needed to be.
This appeal from a judicial review decision was all about the PSNI’s powers, and its understanding of its own powers, to police illegal parades in Belfast. Fittingly, the judgement was delivered by Lord Kerr, Northern Ireland’s former Lord Chief Justice, who (as Wikipedia reliably tells me) is an alumni of Queen’s University, Belfast. The underlying facts will be familiar to anyone with a passing interest in the knock-about politics of Northern Ireland and they drew on those most pressing of issues there: parades and flags.
1 Crown Office Row are very pleased to be collaborating with Human Rights specialists Leigh Day on a special event to explore how Brexit will impact the fundamental rights of people based in the UK.
The event will be held at the Barbican on February 2nd 2017.
Joshua Rozenberg QC will chair the event. The speakers are Adam Wagner (Founder of UK Human Rights Blog and the Human Rights media charity, Rights Info), Jeremy Hyam QC, Dominic Ruck Keene and Hannah Noyce.
Spaces are now fully taken up, however if you would like to follow discussions online please follow the #BREXITrights hashtag on twitter.
If you have questions you would like answered in the Q and A session after the talks, or would like to receive a podcast of the event, then please email Rebecca.email@example.com.
The government trumped
Tuesday’s Supreme Court judgment held by a majority of 8 to 3 that an Act of Parliament is required to authorise ministers to give Notice of the decision of the UK to withdraw from the European Union. This blog has covered the case in some detail – see Dominic Ruck-Keene’s post on the central issue in the appeal here, Jim Duffy’s post regarding the court’s findings on the status of the Sewel Convention here, and Rosie Slowe’s guest post on the enduring relevance of the question of the irrevocability or otherwise of an Article 50 notification here.
Trump’s inauguration trumped…but what now?
Donald Trump’s inauguration was met with a rather lukewarm reception on 21st January 2017 when almost 5 million people took to the streets to join the globally organised Women’s March.
The event is estimated to have attracted approximately 4.8 million people across 673 marches. It was organised in support of all those who had been targeted during Trump’s election campaign: not just women, but migrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQ, people of racial minorities, and people with disabilities.
Trump himself seems untroubled by the protests, and responded the following day with a purportedly liberal and tolerant tweet: ‘Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy. Even if I don’t always agree, I recognize the rights of people to express their views’.
Moreover, in no way has he been deterred from his objectives regarding certain women’s rights. Continue reading
In the new age of alternative facts, even Sean Spicer might struggle to spin Tuesday’s Supreme Court judgment as anything other than a comprehensive defeat for the government.
Yet, as my colleague Dominic Ruck Keene’s post alluded to, the ultimate political ramifications of Miller would have made the Article 50 process appreciably more turgid had the Justices accepted the various arguments relating to devolution.
In November 2016, the Government responded in rather disappointing terms (here) to a consultation about amending its costs rules in civil cases to reflect the requirements of the Aarhus Convention.
Article 9 of this Convention says that members of the public should be able to challenge environmental decisions, and the procedures for doing so shall be adequate and effective and “not prohibitively expensive“. Aarhus starters may want to have a look at my bluffers guide to Aarhus – here.
First, the limited bit of good news in the governmental response.
With the Supreme Court having ruled yesterday that Parliament must have a say in the triggering of Article 50 TEU, the ensuing debate regarding the process for exiting the EU will undoubtedly revolve around what is politically considered the most desirable ‘type’ of Brexit, and whether MPs can restrict the government’s negotiation position. This post puts forward the hypothesis that such debates may become irrelevant because, in the event that negotiations fail, the UK has no guaranteed input on the terms of its withdrawal from the EU. At the heart of this problem is the still unanswered question whether an Article 50 notification is revocable.
In R (on the application of Miller and another) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union  UKSC 5, the Supreme Court rejected the government’s appeal and upheld the High Court’s ruling that the royal prerogative cannot be relied on to trigger Article 50 (see yesterday’s post on this blog which summarised the court’s judgment). Rather than reliance on executive power, an Act of Parliament is required to authorise ministers to give notice of the UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU. This is based on the premise that such notification under Article 50(2) would inevitably, and unavoidably, have a direct effect on UK citizens’ rights by ultimately withdrawing the UK from the EU. However, this assumption warrants exploration.