Dinah Rose QC: “Give MPs a constitution crash course” – The Lawyer

Posted October 30th, 2014 in barristers, constitutional law, human rights, news, parliament, rule of law, speeches by sally

‘New Members of Parliament should be given training on the constitution and the rule of law, one of the UK’s most prominent barristers has suggested.’

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The Lawyer, 29th October 2014

Source: www.thelawyer.com

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Patrick O’Brien: How active were pre-2009 judges as parliamentarians? – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted October 28th, 2014 in constitutional reform, judges, judiciary, news, parliament by sally

‘Is the question of anything more than historical interest? The Constitutional Reform Act 2005 precluded judicial peers from contributing to parliamentary debate from 1 October 2009. Many of the Law Lords were opposed to the change, and many judges are at least nostalgic for the past arrangements. The current Lord Chief Justice (LCJ) of England and Wales, Lord Thomas, and his immediate predecessor, Lord Judge, have both publicly regretted the fact that they cannot speak in Parliament on matters of importance to the judiciary. To the extent that the outlook of judges today is shaped partly by the feeling that they have lost a valuable platform, the issue is worth exploring. In fact judges were very infrequent contributors to parliamentary debate. Whilst past Lord Chief Justices – and other judicial peers – may have occasionally used the chamber of the Lords as a platform for articulating judicial viewpoints, all things considered they did so rarely.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 28th October 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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Three strikes and out? Major defeats for Government Judicial Review reform plans in the Lords – UK Human Rights Blog

Posted October 28th, 2014 in bills, judicial review, news, parliament by sally

‘Last night saw the important Report Stage consideration of Part 4 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill in the House of Lords. Angela Patrick, Director of Human Rights Policy at JUSTICE provides a summary.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 28th October 2014

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

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House of Lords votes against Grayling’s plans to restrict judicial review access – The Guardian

Posted October 28th, 2014 in bills, judicial review, news, parliament by sally

‘The justice secretary, Chris Grayling, has suffered a defeat in a key House of Lords vote on his plans to curtail access to judicial review, which would have made it harder to challenge government decisions in court.’

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The Guardian, 27th October 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Lord Chancellor should be “very senior lawyer” – Legal Futures

Posted October 17th, 2014 in barristers, judiciary, lord chancellor, news, parliament, rule of law by tracey

‘The Lord Chancellor should be a “very senior lawyer”, Nicholas Lavender QC, chairman of the Bar Council, has said. Justice secretary Chris Grayling told the House of Lords constitution committee this week that there were “no disadvantages” to the Lord Chancellor being, like him, a non-lawyer.’

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Legal Futures, 17th October 2014

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

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Bar Council Statement on the role of the Lord Chancellor – The Bar Council

Posted October 17th, 2014 in barristers, inquiries, judiciary, lord chancellor, parliament, press releases by tracey

‘Following the Lord Chancellor’s evidence on October 15 2014 to the House of Lords
Constitution Committee’s inquiry into the role of the Lord Chancellor, Nicholas Lavender QC, chairman of the Bar Council, said: “Justice is not a service that governments can choose to provide or not. It is a vital part of our constitutional arrangements. It needs to be defended and promoted to make the separation of powers a continuing reality and thereby to safeguard our democratic way of life for the future.” ‘

Full press release

The Bar Council, 16th October 2014

Source: www.barcouncil.org.uk

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Lord Neuberger on the Supreme Court: Five key cases from its first five years – The Independent

‘From euthanasia to high-speed rail, the highest in the land has an almost limitless remit.’

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The Independent, 12th October 2014

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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Tories ‘would curb human rights rulings’ from Europe – BBC News

Posted October 3rd, 2014 in human rights, news, parliament, political parties, veto by tracey

‘Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said if the Tories won the election, a new Bill of Rights would give UK courts and Parliament the “final say”.’

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BBC news, 3rd Ocotber 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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MP refers Sunday Mirror to police and press regulator over sex sting – The Guardian

‘One of the Conservative MPs who was contacted by a Sunday Mirror reporter posing as a woman interested in sex is to write to the Metropolitan police over the tabloid sting. Mark Pritchard said he would contact Scotland Yard and make a formal complaint to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) over accusations of entrapment.’

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The Guardian, 29th September 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Q&A: How would ‘English votes for English laws’ work? – The Independent

Posted September 23rd, 2014 in constitutional reform, devolution issues, news, parliament by sally

‘Q) What is the concept of English votes for English laws?

A) Basically it’s a smart way of politically packaging the conundrum known as the “West Lothian question” that has been ignored by politicians of all persuasions since it was first posed in the 1970s and Westminster began devolving powers to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. At its heart is this question: Why should Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs be able to make laws that will not affect the people they represent. For example why should they decide how NHS money is spent when it won’t have any impact on their own constituents?’

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The Independent, 22nd September 2014

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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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.’

Full text

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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