Mark Elliott: Scotland has voted “no”. What next for the UK constitution? – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted September 19th, 2014 in constitutional reform, devolution, news, parliament, referendums, Scotland by tracey

‘After a very long — and at times electrifying — campaign, a modest but decisive majority of those who participated in the referendum on Scottish independence have voted “no”. In one sense, this is the end of the process — even if, bearing in mind the main UK parties’ still-to-be-fulfilled promises about further devolution, it is only the beginning of the end. In another sense, however, it might turn out to be only the end of the beginning.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 19th September 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org/blog

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Human rights legislation in the UK: a cut-out-and-keep guide – The Guardian

Posted September 1st, 2014 in EC law, elections, human rights, jurisdiction, news, parliament, prisons by sally

‘Ever wondered what the difference is between the human rights convention and the Human Rights Act? This may help.’

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The Guardian, 1st September 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Graham Gee: Do Lord Chancellors defend judicial independence? – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted August 18th, 2014 in inquiries, judiciary, lord chancellor, news, parliament, pensions, statutory duty by tracey

‘As part of its inquiry into the office of Lord Chancellor, the Constitution Committee asks whether “new” (i.e. post-2003) Lord Chancellors have actually defended judicial independence in line with their customary and now statutory duty to do so. I was asked for examples earlier this summer when appearing before the Committee (with Andrew Le Sueur and Patrick O’Brien). I tried to identify some, but rather garbled my answer. Earlier in the year I also sketched some thoughts about Lord Chancellors in Public Law, but struggled to find clear-cut examples. One reason is that collective cabinet responsibility and the confidentiality of exchanges between Lord Chancellors and judges mean that outsiders will seldom have a full picture of what has occurred behind closed doors. This is unfortunate since my impression is that many lawyers assume—mistakenly, I think—that new Lord Chancellors are neither willing nor able to defend judicial independence. This post is hopefully third time lucky in correcting this assumption. By drawing on press reports, public statements and interviews that Robert Hazell, Kate Malleson, Patrick O’Brien and I conducted between 2011-2013, I want to piece together evidence that suggests that new Lord Chancellors can and do defend judicial independence.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 18th August 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org/blog

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School’s out? Peers ask Government to use summer holidays to reflect on controversial judicial review reforms – UK Human Rights Blog

Posted August 1st, 2014 in bills, costs, judicial review, news, parliament by sally

‘As the House of Lords closes its gilded doors for the long recess, the Westminster village enters its equivalent of the school holidays. Yet, as Ministers pack their red boxes and MPs head diligently back to their constituency business, the House of Lords – debating the Committee Stage of controversial judicial review proposals in Part 4 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill – may have suggested that officials and Ministers yet have some homework to do.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 1st August 2014

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

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House of Lords inquiry into social media offences – what the report really says – Halsbury’s Law Exchange

Posted July 29th, 2014 in crime, inquiries, internet, news, parliament, pornography by sally

‘The report is born out of a widely held belief that the law on policing what should be permitted on social media, and determining between the morally unacceptable and the criminal, is woefully inadequate in the current age

[Warning: contains strong language]

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Halsbury’s Law Exchange, 29th July 2014

Source: www.halsburyslawexchange.co.uk

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A bill to abolish chancel repair liability has been successfully introduced into the House of Lords – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted July 18th, 2014 in bills, Church of England, ecclesiastical law, parliament, repairs by tracey

‘The proposed legislation seeks to ‘end the liability of lay rectors for the repair of chancels’ – in other words abolishing the demands for landowners to fund repairs to their parish church.’

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Law Society’s Gazette, 17th July 2014

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

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Peers criticise government over emergency data laws – BBC News

Posted July 17th, 2014 in bills, electronic mail, interception, news, parliament, telecommunications by tracey

‘The government has come under fire in the Lords over emergency legislation giving the security services access to people’s phone and internet records.’

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BBC News, 16th July 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Assisted dying: leading doctors call on Lords to back legalisation – The Guardian

Posted July 16th, 2014 in assisted suicide, bills, doctors, news, parliament by tracey

‘Twenty-seven leading figures write to every peer urging them to back Lord Falconer’s private members bill on assisted dying.’

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The Guardian, 15th July 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Tom Hickman on the DRIP Bill: Plugging Gaps in Surveillance Laws or Authorising the Unlawful? – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘The unveiling last Thursday of a a draft bill on surveillance powers that is to be rushed through Parliament brought to mind the story of the Dutch boy who finds a hole in a dyke on his way to school and puts his finger in it to plug the leak until help arrives to shore it up. The legislation is said to be necessary to plug what the Government regards as holes in the regime of surveillance and investigatory powers pending a full review. The fact that the bill is titled the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill – the “DRIP” bill – may mean I am not the first person to draw the analogy. But the analogy may not be entirely apt. An examination of the DRIP Bill reveals that it is not addressing little holes in the regime but in fact profoundly important and substantial issues.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 14th July 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org/blog

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A life and death question: hopes and fears rise as right to die decision nears – The Guardian

Posted July 14th, 2014 in assisted suicide, bills, criminal justice, doctors, news, parliament by sally

‘The House of Lords is to debate Lord Falconer’s bill aimed at clarifying the law on the right to end one’s life.’

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The Guardian, 12th July 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Surveillance law wins cross-party support but critics claim stitch-up – The Guardian

‘David Cameron and his Liberal Democrat deputy, Nick Clegg, have unveiled emergency surveillance legislation that will shore up government powers to require phone and internet companies to retain and hand over data to the security services.

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The Guardian, 10th July 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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MPs call for anniversary debate on ‘new Magna Carta’ – BBC News

‘The 800th anniversary of Magna Carta next year is the right time for a fresh debate on the pros and cons of a written constitution, MPs have said.’

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BBC News, 10th July 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Ex-senior judge Butler-Sloss to head child sex abuse inquiry – BBC News

Posted July 8th, 2014 in child abuse, documents, inquiries, judges, news, parliament, sexual offences by tracey

‘Retired senior judge Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, 80, has been named as the chairman of a wide-ranging review into historical child sex abuse.’

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BBC News, 8th July 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Home Secretary oral statement on child abuse – Home Office

Posted July 8th, 2014 in child abuse, documents, inquiries, parliament, press releases by tracey

‘Theresa May oral statement to Parliament on child abuse investigations.’

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Home Office, 7th July 2014

Source: www.gov.uk/home-office

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Female genital mutilation: Prosecute health professionals who fail to report signs of FGM, MPs say – The Independent

‘Doctors and nurses who fail to report that girls in their care have suffered female genital mutilation (FGM) should be prosecuted in an effort to tackle the scandal of “this horrific abuse”, MPs say in a report published today.’

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The Independent, 3rd July 2014

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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Launch formal investigation into the lost paedophile dossier, says former DPP – Daily Telegraph

Posted July 3rd, 2014 in documents, government departments, news, parliament by sally

‘Disappearance of 1980s papers handed to Leon Brittan naming senior politicians as part of Westminster child-abuse ring merits full investigation, says Lord Macdonald.’

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Daily Telegraph, 2nd July 2014

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

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You cannot be serious! Peers call ‘out’ on Government’s judicial review reforms – UK Human Rights Blog

‘Last night saw the House of Lords’ first reaction to the Government’s proposed changes to judicial review as the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill had its second reading. Already dissected at some length in this blog, the proposals have been roundly criticised by both the senior judiciary and the Joint Committee on Human Rights. Consultations responses, including from JUSTICE, expressed concern that the measures appear, by design or coincidence, to undermine the rule of law, inhibit transparency and shield the Government from judicial scrutiny. Two key concerns arise from the Government proposals: restricting access for individuals without substantial means and limiting the courts’ discretion to do justice in the public interest. Yesterday’s debate was robust and eloquent, with former Law Lords joined by bishops and backbenchers alike to condemn the new measures.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 1st July 2014

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

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Graham Gee: The Lord Chief Justice and Section 5 of the Constitutional Reform Act – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted April 14th, 2014 in constitutional reform, judiciary, news, parliament by sally

‘The Constitutional Reform Act redrew relationships between the senior judiciary and Parliament in a number of ways. Amongst the most significant was removing the right of the LCJ to speak in the Lords. Earlier this month, the new LCJ Lord Thomas repeated the lament of his immediate predecessors that it was a mistake to deprive the LCJ of the right to address Parliament on the floor of the House on important matters relating to the administration of justice. In this context, some have read the LCJ’s suggestion of a new approach to s5 of the CRA as significant. Drawing on interviews conducted between 2011-13 as part of an AHRC-funded project on The Politics of Judicial Independence, I want to shed some light on tensions that have arisen about the use of s5.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 14th April 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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Maria Miller expenses report: minister must repay expenses and apologise – Daily Telegraph

Posted April 3rd, 2014 in expenses, news, parliament, repayment, reports by tracey

‘Maria Miller must pay back £5,800 worth of expenses and apologise for her behaviour in a personal statement in the House of Commons, says report.’

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Daily Telegraph, 3rd April 2014

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

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Alexander Horne: Is there a case for greater legislative involvement in the judicial appointments process? – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted March 28th, 2014 in constitutional law, constitutional reform, judiciary, news, parliament by sally

‘The dramatic increase in public law and human rights cases coming before the UK Supreme Court (and the Appellate Committee before it) means that the UK’s top court is more frequently determining essentially socio-political questions. In addition, in recent years, the judiciary has pressed for a rather more expansive definition of judicial independence, with a greater emphasis on the institutional independence of the judiciary. This has tended to lead to more powerful leadership roles, for senior judges in particular.

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 27th March 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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