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[ 3 Apr 2014 | One Comment ]
Mr Grayling: why he’s wrong about the Human Rights Act

By Stephen Hockman QC
The recent debates between Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg highlight once again how difficult it is to persuade the British public to embrace anything European. In his appearance on 26 March 2014 before the House of Lords Constitution Committee, the Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling MP showed clearly that the Conservatives intend to capitalise on this at the next general election.
Mr Grayling stated that “My position has been very clear all along, I have no issue with the (European Human Rights) Convention, which I regard as a laudable …

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[ 28 Mar 2014 | 2 Comments ]
Bar calls off action – views from the profession

By Rebecca Carter
In a turbulent week for criminal lawyers, the profession, until recently so united in protest against legal aid fee cuts, has voiced strong and mixed reaction to the Criminal Bar Association’s (CBA) decision to call off the imminent two days of action and their no returns policy.
The announcement from CBA Chairman Nigel Lithman QC came following a deal reached with the Ministry of Justice in which they agreed to suspend all fee cuts for graduated fee cases until the next general election in summer 2015: “This gives 89% …

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[ 27 Mar 2014 | No Comment ]
Litvinenko inquiry: what next for the Home Secretary?

By Louis Flannery
An extended version of this article appeared on New Law Journal here.
Few reading this will fail to recall the well-publicised circumstances of Mr Litvinenko’s death from radiation poisoning in London in late 2006.
The conspiracy theories still abound, but the prime suspects are Russian agents who remain at large in Moscow.
Inquest
A week after Mr Litvinenko passed away, an inquest began into the cause of death. The coroner ruled (on a provisional basis) that the scope of the inquest would include the possible culpability of:
(a) the Russian state; and
(b) the …

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[ 26 Mar 2014 | No Comment ]
No maternity rights for surrogate parents?

By Samantha Ellaby
In the recent cases of CD v ST and Z v A Government Department and the Board of Management of a Community School, the ECJ clarified the EU position regarding the protections and benefits that should be afforded to mothers having children through surrogacy arrangements.
Current EU law
EU law sets minimum standards of protection for pregnant workers and those on maternity leave. However, it does not specifically govern the protections to be afforded to surrogate parents. Recent debate has questioned whether the Pregnant Workers Directive entitles commissioning mothers (that …

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[ 25 Mar 2014 | One Comment ]
Deprivation of liberty – time to rip up the DOLS regime and start again

By Alexander Ruck Keene
The dust is now beginning to settle, slightly, after the earthquake that was the decision of the Supreme Court in the conjoined appeals of Cheshire West and P and Q, which extends the criteria for determining whether living arrangements made for mentally incapacitated individuals amount to a deprivation of liberty.
Art 5 ECHR gives people deprived of their liberty important procedural safeguards to ensure that the deprivation is lawful. A deprivation of liberty should either be authorised by a court or by the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) regime …