‘Blame-free divorces and fairer property rights for cohabiting couples should be introduced as a matter of urgency, a leading family law organisation has urged.’
The Guardian, 23rd February 2015
‘There must be times when Court of Appeal judges think that they have bit parts in an ongoing drama – they have a walk on role. And that must be how the Court felt in Sanneh v SSWP and others  EWCA Civ 49, which concerns the eligibility rules for Zambrano carers of a raft of social assistance benefits. Leading QCs and junior barristers appeared on all sides in a right ding dong that is bound to end up at the Supreme Court, which almost certainly will refer the issues to the CJEU. It also provides a glimpse of how the recent, potentially contradictory, judgments of the CJEU in Brey and Dano are, or might be, treated (although it looks like the UKSC will have the next bite of those rather earlier, in the Mirga and Samin appeals in March) and the question of the ambit of “social assistance”, which in itself is not uninteresting, is also raised, but parked by the CA, in these appeals ( – note: this is an important point for the future).’
NearlyLegal, 12th February 2015
‘Marc Willers QC explores the recent High Court judgment in which it was found that the conduct of Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, constituted indirect discrimination against Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers.’
Garden Court Chambers, 12th February 2015
‘“[T]here is force in the observation attributed to Václav Havel, no doubt informed by the dire experience of central Europe: “The Gipsies are a litmus test not of democracy but of civil society”.” So said Lord Bingham of Cornhill in the House of Lords in South Buckinghamshire DC v Porter (No 1).’
No. 5 Chambers, 18th December 2014
‘In 2006, it was estimated that 35% of all GP consultations involved a mental health problem and by 2011 stress had become the most common cause of long-term sickness absence for both manual and non-manual workers. If these figures are not reason enough for employers to address their employees’ mental health issues, there are plenty more statistics that may convince them:
It is estimated that three in ten people will experience a mental health problem in any one year, and this figure is likely to increase.
Work-related stress costs Britain 10.4 million working days per annum, with a disconcerting 91 million days per year lost to mental health problems generally.
The Centre for Mental Health estimates that the total cost of mental health problems at work is over £30 billion a year.
When working long hours, more than a quarter of employees feel depressed (27%), one third feel anxious (34%) and more than half feel irritable (58%).’
Hardwicke Chambers, 11th December 2014
‘Mr White, a retired circuit judge, brought claims against the MoJ for age discrimination.
By an amendment, he added claims for breaches under the Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 and an allegation that the decision not to appoint him to the position of deputy circuit judge after his retirement was an act of age discrimination. These two additional claims were subsequently dismissed on the basis that they were out of time.
The tribunal therefore only considered one issue: is the requirement for a judge to retire on his or her 70th birthday an act of age discrimination?’
Cloisters, 9th December 2014
‘The future of civil partnerships is again in the news. In October, Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan tried to register a Civil Partnership at Chelsea Town Hall but were rebuffed on the grounds that the Civil Partnership Act 2004 reserves that status strictly for same sex couples. Their lawyer, Louise Whitfield of Deighton Pierce Glynn Solicitors has announced their intention to seek a judicial review and the couple have also started a petition.’
UK Human Rights Blog, 9th December 2014
‘Black and minority ethnic lawyers are nearly four times less likely to be appointed as judges than white candidates, according to the latest statistics from the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC), prompting calls for targets to be introduced.’
The Independent, 7th December 2014
‘Regulation 11(c) of the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2011 contravened the provisions of section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 by reason of a lack of regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity for disabled people.’
WLR Daily, 5th November 2014
‘At a time when the UK’s membership of the European Convention of Human Rights (“ECHR”) and our domestic Human Rights Act 1998 (“HRA”) is a hot political topic, it is timely that the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) has handed down a judgment considering Article 6 ECHR in relation to special time limit provisions for discrimination complaints brought by those in the Armed Forces: Duncan v Ministry of Defence.’
Cloisters, 23rd October 2014
‘In April 2014 Sadiq Khan, Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, asked Karon Monaghan QC and Geoffrey Bindman QC to review the options for a future Labour Government to improve diversity in the judiciary. On November 6th their report, entitled “Judicial Diversity: Accelerating change”, was published. Starting from the premise that “[t]he near absence of women and Black, Asian and minority ethnic judges in the senior judiciary is no longer tolerable”, it proposes a range of recommendations designed to speed up the glacial pace of change. Perhaps the most controversial of these is for the introduction of a quota system for women and BAME candidates. The report reviews the use of quotas in other UK institutions as well as their use in judicial appointments processes around the world, before addressing the question of whether such quotas would be lawful under EU law. This is a key question: EU law casts a long shadow in this context, as the Monaghan and Bindman report makes clear, given that any legislation enacted in Westminster to give effect to a quota system in the process of judicial appointments must conform to the requirements of EU law.’
UK Constitutional Law Association, 12th November 2014
‘A woman’s refusal to move a pushchair with a sleeping baby from a bay on a bus used by wheelchair passengers – causing a disabled man to have to leave the vehicle – is at the centre of a test-case legal battle in the court of appeal.’
The Guardian, 11th November 2014