Stemming migration flows from Turkey has been set as “a priority” at the 7 March emergency summit of EU and Turkish leaders in Brussels. EU officials are seeking to persuade Turkey to enforce the ‘action plan’ signed in November, under which Ankara agreed to curb the number of refugees crossing into Greece in return for three billion euros in aid and the speeding up of its EU membership bid.
However, human rights groups have been critical of the EU focus on ensuring refugees remain in Turkey. Amnesty International warned ahead of the meeting that is was “unacceptable” to expect that responsibility should be carried by a country already hosting three million refugees.
“Using Turkey as a ‘safe third country’ is absurd. Many refugees still live in terrible conditions, some have been deported back to Syria and security forces have even shot at Syrians trying to cross the border,” said Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty’s Deputy Director for Europe and Central Asia. Continue reading →
The Mayor of London v Hall & Ors  EWHC 1613 (QB) (29 June 2010) – Read judgment
The Mayor of London has won a court order to evict a camp of protesters from Parliamentary Square, with the High Court stating that his response to the protest was proportionate and not a breach of the protesters’ human rights.
The protesters have gained a temporary reprieve by appealing the decision, and according to their website have therefore delayed their eviction until at least 4pm on Friday 2 July
As we posted earlier this month, during the build-up to the General Election a number of protesters erected tents and flags in Parliament Square, a green outside the Houses of Parliament. The protesters named the site “Democracy Village”. Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, launched an action for possession against the protestors, who he claimed were trespassing on Parliament Square.
Last Wednesday, the European Court of Justice issued a flurry of judgments just before the Christmas break. Indeed, there were so many interesting and important decisions amongst the twenty or so handed down that seems foolish to consider any of them the ‘most important’. Nonetheless the judgment in NS and Others v SSHD(C-411/10) must be a contender for the title.
The case concerns an asylum seeker in Britain who first entered the EU through Greece. The Dublin Regulation, which governs this aspect of EU asylum law, would ordinarily dictate that the applicant should be sent to Greece to have his asylum claim considered there. However, Mr Saeedi challenged his transfer to Greece, claiming that his human rights would be infringed by such a transfer as Greece would be unable to process his application. NS was joined with an Irish case, ME & Others v Refugee Applications Commissioner & MEJLR (C-493/10), which raised similar questions for EU law.
The following post was written on the morning of 26 of March 2020. Today, 27th of March, the Chief Coroner brought out Guidance 35 on hearings during the pandemic (no. 35), with the proviso that all these issues will be kept under review.
On the 26th of March the Chief Coroner published Guidance Note 34 (“GN34”) on COVID-19 which can be found here. The Guidance Note addresses many of the issues relating to the impact of COVID-19 on the coronial service. We set out below some answers to questions those involved with the coronial system may currently have in mind, taken from the Guidance Note and other sources (“GN34#(No.)” refers to paragraph numbers in the Guidance Note).
1) Are Coroners’ Courts conducting hearings at the moment?
GN34#10 provides that “no physical hearing should take place unless it is urgent and essential business and that it is safe for those involved for the hearing to take place. A particular concern is to ensure social distancing in court and in the court building.”
It is also noted that
All hearings that can possibly take place remotely (via whatever means) should do so, and other hearings should continue only if suitable arrangements can be made to ensure distancing although the Chief Coroner accepts that in many jurisdictions this may be difficult. Hearings which must continue should be those considered essential business
“I believe that it should be a matter for parliament to decide, not a foreign court.”
Welcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your weekly bulletin of human rights news. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here.
The biggest news of the week this week was the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in the Scoppola v Italy case; the latest in the long-running prisoner voting saga. The Court refused to overrule its 2005 decision in Hirst No. 2but also found that proportionality does not require individual determination by a judge on a case by case basis. There was predictable anger from the tabloid press plus some more cogent articles, some of which have been set out below.
Welcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your regular smorgasbord of human rights news. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here.
There was a lot of reaction this week to the proposed Royal Charter on press regulation and the auxiliary legislation upon which it relies. Commentators are divided on whether the move will work or not, with most controversy surrounding the concept of a ‘relevant publisher’ and how this will affect small, online media. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has declared that it does have the power to read closed judgments of courts below, and therefore could, too, issue closed judgments. Debate continues about the shape of human rights in the UK, especially after the next election; whilst the ECHR slowly evolves with a new protocol ready for ratification.
It’s time for the human rights roundup, a regular bulletin of all the law we haven’t quite managed to feature in full blog posts. The full list of links, updated each day, can be found here.
by Graeme Hall
In the news:
Although prisoner voting appears to have taken a back seat this week, the Daily Mail has reported that the UK government has asked the European Court of Human Rights to refer the decision of Greens and MT v UK to the Grand Chamber. This judgment gave compensation to two prisoners because the UK had failed to implement the court’s decision in Hirst v UK (No. 2). According to the article, the government wants to refer this decision to the court’s appeal chamber because the issue of prisoner voting rights has now been debated in Parliament. See our previous post on Greens and MT v UK, as well as our most recent summary of the ongoing prisoner voting issue. A BBC programme about the Strasbourg court can be accessed via the ECHR blog.
Welcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your recommended weekly dose of human rights news. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here.
Commentary on the Eweida Christian cross case continued to dominate legal commentary this week, some of it critical of the European Court of Human Rights. Bloggers have also welcomed the go-live of the Supreme Court’s online archive of judgment summaries. Some interesting cases in the courts this week this week relating to attempts to use the European Convention on Human Rights in a housing dispute, as well as (in a similar vein) a local council’s ability to withhold details of vacant properties from potential squatters. Keep an eye out next week for the publication of the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust Public Inquiry on 5th February.
by Daniel Isenberg
If you would like your or your organisation’s response to the Government’s Judicial Review consultation, please email it to Adam Wagner by the end of Monday.
The Secretary of State for the Home Department has lost an appeal against a ruling of 7/7 inquests coroner that secret evidence must be heard in public.
Lords Justice Maurice Kay and Stanley Burnton upheld Lady Justice Hallett’s ruling of 3 November. The judges will provide their full reasoning at a future date. In the meantime, the government may appeal. This represents another in a series of recent court rulings which have emphasised the importance of open justice.
The Court of Appeal last week partially granted an application for judicial review of the cuts to Legal Aid in certain categories of prison law. The judgment may change the face of legal representation for prisoners across the UK.
Welcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your regular non-silly season of human rights news and views. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here. Links compiled by Adam Wagner, post by Daniel Isenberg.
The end of the legal term seemingly does not mean a let-up in immigration news, with a number of Home Office, asylum and immigration-related stories making the headlines. Also, the back-and-forth on legal aid cuts continues, as well as some interesting perspectives on the Mental Capacity Act, sexual offences trials and the FOIA veto. Some interesting judgments too, particularly on secret trials.
Immigration and migrant rights have been at the forefront of the news this week. An investigation has revealed that many undocumented migrants in the UK are being denied access to a vaccine, even though NHS England policy states that ID is not required to register with a GP (needed to book a jab). The vaccines minister, Nadhim Zahawi, confirmed that the vaccine was available to everyone, regardless of immigration status, but the report suggests that in reality, the majority of GPs are refusing registration, and are providing inaccurate information about the necessity of identity documents. The report highlights the danger this practice poses to the health of migrants and the general population in aiding the spread of the virus.
The Home Office has been forced to pay out £9.3 million in compensation this year in response to over 300 cases of unlawful detention. This amounts to a 35% rise in a year. Bella Sankey, Charity Detention Action’s director, has warned that these figures are likely to increase considerably with the Home Secretary’s proposed Nationality and Borders Bill, which aims to process asylum seekers in offshore centres. However, the Home Office stated that it was ‘committed to learning lessons from any case where we concede or the courts deem unlawful’ to reduce the number of unlawful detentions in the future.
Welcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your regular grape and strawberry fondu of human rights news. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here. Links compiled by Adam Wagner, post by Sarina Kidd.
This week, important figures criticise the legal aid reforms, the MoD may have to watch their back, surveillance activities threaten to challenge a number of laws and secret ‘justice’ is slammed once again.
C-115/09 Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland, Landesverband Nordrhein-Westfalen eVvBezirksregierung Arnsberg Trianel Kohlekraftwerk Lünen (intervening) – read judgment
The German system of judicial review involves a “careful and detailed” scrutiny of administrative decisions. However, admissibility criteria are such that few are able to access this system, particularly groups bringing actions alleging environmental harm.
At the centre of this case is the highly topical matter, relevant to one of the discussion threads on this site, of the trend towards a new system of environmental justice, heralded by Aarhus and the accompanying EU Directives, where national courts to are required to recognise claims brought by pressure groups alleging infringement of environmental provisions, even where there is no individual legal interest involved. The Trianel case puts into sharp focus the debate as to whether the environment should be protected not as an expression of an individual’s interest, but as a general public interest, enforceable in the courts. Continue reading →
Islamic Investment Co v. Symphony Gems & Mehta, 19 November 2014, Hamblen J – judgment here
Hamblen J observed that “the facts…are so extraordinary that they could have come from one of A.P. Herbert’s “Misleading Cases”. Yes indeed. A solicitor decided to make up three years of litigation, writing some fake judgments, pretending to instruct barristers, and churning out fictitious correspondence.
Why? It is not clear from the judgment, though one or two clues are given.
The fraud surfaced in a long-running dispute between a claimant finance company seeking repayment of a loan, and the first defendant, diamond traders, and the second and third defendant guarantors. The defendants now owe the claimant $14m. The defendants do not want to pay $14m, and have taken every point in resisting the claimant’s attempts to secure its money – so much so that in October 2010 David Steel J decided that the second defendant, Mr Rajesh Mehta go to prison for his refusal to explain where his assets were, by activating a previously suspended committal order.
The current application was Mr Mehta’s application to set aside all adverse court orders. His reasons – my solicitor had acted against me, and was deliberately trying to prejudice me in my affairs in making up all this litigation.
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