Nazir Afzal joins legal fight for new inquiry into Dominic Cummings – The Guardian

‘Nazir Afzal, a former regional chief prosecutor, has joined a legal campaign for a new investigation into Dominic Cummings over alleged breaches of the coronavirus lockdown rules.’

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The Guardian, 14th June 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Director of Public Prosecutions threatened with legal action over failure to investigate Dominic Cummings – The Guardian

‘The director of public prosecutions, Max Hill, is being threatened with legal action over the failure to investigate Dominic Cummings for alleged breaches of the lockdown rules.’

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The Guardian, 10th June 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Mike Gordon: Dominic Cummings and the Accountability of Special Advisers – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘It is far from new for the conduct of Dominic Cummings to be a matter of political controversy. The man who is Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s current chief adviser was the Campaign Director of Vote Leave during the 2016 Brexit referendum, an organisation which was subsequently investigated by the Electoral Commission and fined for breaking electoral spending limits. Cummings has been held in contempt of Parliament, for refusing to attend a session of the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee into ‘Disinformation and “Fake News”’, examining issues raised during the referendum campaign about data use and targeted political advertising. And he is widely believed to have been a key architect of the Prime Minister’s unlawful attempt to prorogue Parliament for five weeks in September 2019, in an undemocratic attempt to subvert an intransigent and hostile legislature at a key moment in the planned process of exiting the EU.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 3rd June 2020

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Did Dominic Cummings act “Responsibly and Legally”? – Doughty Street Chambers

Posted June 2nd, 2020 in civil servants, coronavirus, news, police, regulations by sally

‘Coronavirus has struck in different ways. As well as the devastation it has reaped in taking people’s lives it has exposed an emasculated criminal justice system and political governance clamouring to justify law and guidance applying differently to those close to power from those outside.’

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Doughty Street Chambers, 24th May 2020

Source: insights.doughtystreet.co.uk

Ronan Cormacain: Instinct or rules: making moral decisions in the Cummings scandal – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted May 28th, 2020 in civil servants, coronavirus, news, rule of law by sally

‘How should individuals conduct themselves during a public health emergency, and more specifically how much reliance should we have on “instinct” and “rules”? Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister’s chief adviser, has been accused of breaking the social distancing rules. The allegations revolve around travelling from London to Durham to isolate himself and his family, as well as taking additional trips whilst in that isolation. The specific law he is alleged to have breached is regulation 6 of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020. Regulation 6(1) provides that “During the emergency period, no person may leave or be outside of the place where they are living without reasonable excuse.” In the course of defending his adviser, the Prime Minister argued that “he followed the instincts of every father” in seeking to protect his family. In response, Independent journalist Tom Peck stated that; “There is no guidance in place anymore, none at all. Just do what Dominic Cummings did and ‘follow your instincts’ and you’ll end up in the right place”.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 28th May 2020

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Attorney general faces calls to resign after she defends Dominic Cummings – The Guardian

‘The attorney general, Suella Braverman, is facing calls to resign after she joined the chorus of Downing Street loyalists defending Dominic Cummings’s trip to Durham during lockdown.’

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The Guardian, 25th May 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Top civil servant begins legal case against Priti Patel and Home Office – The Guardian

‘Sir Philip Rutnam, the senior civil servant who resigned on Saturday claiming he was bullied and forced from office, has begun legal action against the government over his treatment by Priti Patel, his union has told the Guardian.’

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The Guardian, 3rd February 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Stephen Tierney: Governing Northern Ireland without an Executive: Quick Fix or Constitutional Minefield? – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted October 31st, 2018 in bills, civil servants, constitutional law, news, Northern Ireland, public interest by sally

‘The Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Bill, which arrives in the House of Lords today, is set to be enacted by way of fast-track legislative procedure this week. The Bill intends to facilitate the formation of an Executive in Northern Ireland while providing for the exercise of executive functions by civil servants in the interim. In effect, the Bill suspends the statutory duty on the Secretary of State to call a Northern Ireland Assembly election. This is little more than a continuation of the present situation in which the UK Government has kept administration in Northern Ireland ticking over since March 2017. Much more controversially, the Bill gives civil servants within Northern Ireland departments general powers for the administration of Northern Ireland, introducing a public interest test for the exercise of these powers.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 30th October 2018

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Concerns raised over 59-page handbook on Brexit ‘settled status’ scheme – The Guardian

Posted September 5th, 2018 in brexit, civil servants, immigration, news by sally

‘The Home Office has issued 59 pages of guidance notes to help staff register EU citizens for a post-Brexit scheme that the former home secretary Amber Rudd said would be as easy to apply for as an online account with the clothes retailer LK Bennett.’

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The Guardian, 4th September 2018

Source: www.theguardian.com

Civil service unions start legal case after government fails to consult on pay – The Guardian

Posted August 9th, 2018 in civil servants, consultations, judicial review, news, remuneration, trade unions by tracey

‘Civil service unions are seeking a judicial review over the government’s failure to consult on pay. Three unions, representing 200,000 public employees, have accused ministers of never intending to consult staff before offering a new pay cap of 1.5%.’

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The Guardian, 8th August 2018

Source: www.theguardian.com

What’s in a Junior Civil Servant’s Name? Personal Data Stoopid – Panopticon

Posted April 24th, 2018 in civil servants, data protection, disclosure, news, tribunals by sally

‘If there is one thing everyone using FOIA is used to, it is the idea that the personal data (names, contact details) of ‘junior civil servants’ will be redacted out of the disclosed information, applying the section 40(2) personal data exemption. Unless there is a good reason not to. But what if everyone is wrong? Is redacting junior civil servants just a personal data shibboleth?’

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Panopticon, 23rd April 2018

Source: panopticonblog.com

Home Office agencies at heart of Windrush scandal rife with discrimination and harassment, employees say – The Independent

‘The government immigration agencies at the centre of the Windrush scandal are “rife” with discrimination and harassment, a survey of their own employees reveals.
Official documents show staff at Border Force reporting high levels of discrimination, with almost one in four (23 per cent) saying they had experienced it.’

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The Independent, 23rd April 2018

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Ministry of Justice staff lay out their complaints, with significant levels of discrimination and bullying – Legal Futures

Posted December 11th, 2017 in bullying, civil servants, employment, harassment, Ministry of Justice, news, statistics by sally

‘One in seven civil servants at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) claim that they have faced discrimination in their job, and one in eight say they have been bullied or harassed.’

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Legal Futures, 8th December 2017

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Robert Craig: The Fall-out from Evans: Positioning Roszkowski and Privacy International in a Post-Evans Constitutional Landscape (Part 1) – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘Two recent Court of Appeal decisions raise some interesting constitutional questions about the status of Tribunals in the UK legal system. This post (in two parts) seeks to explore some of the implications and suggests that a key constitutional principle, the separation of powers, has once again been neglected. The two cases are Roszkowski v Secretary State for the Home Department (‘Roszkowski’) and R (Privacy International) v Investigatory Powers Tribunal (‘Privacy International’). Privacy International has received considerably more coverage than Roszkowski and is rumoured to be on the way to the Supreme Court. It has already been addressed on this blog by Thomas Fairclough and elsewhere by Mark Elliott. Roszkowski explores the implications of an important and controversial Supreme Court case, R (Evans) v Attorney General (‘Evans’) and contains some critical comment on the reasoning of Lord Neuberger in that case.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 8th December 2017

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

A Guide to using Statistics in Employment and Equality Litigation – Cloisters

‘Numbers can be anathema to many lawyers. Yet statistics are a useful weapon in the litigation armoury. This week the Government released its Race Disparity Audit which provides a wealth of such statistics and is a timely reminder of the role that they can play in litigation. Tom Gillie discusses three recent examples of how statistics can be used to advance successful arguments in employment litigation and broader equality context, for example, in relation to the provision of goods, facilities and services.’

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Cloisters, 12th October 2017

Source: www.cloisters.com

Can marriage officers refuse to marry same-sex couples? – OUP Blog

Posted October 9th, 2017 in civil servants, equality, human rights, marriage, news by sally

‘Freedom of religion and same-sex equality are not inherently incompatible. But sometimes they do seem to be on a collision course. This happens, for instance, when religiously devout marriage officers refuse to marry same-sex couples. In the wake of legal recognition of same-sex marriage around the world, states have grappled with civil servants who cannot reconcile their legal duties with their religious beliefs.’

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OUP Blog, 9th October 2017

Source: blog.oup.com

Civil servant kept woman from Nigeria in ‘domestic servitude’ – The Guardian

Posted August 22nd, 2017 in civil servants, news, trafficking in human beings by sally

‘A civil servant and her husband kept an African woman in servitude at their home, a judge has concluded.’

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The Guardian, 21st August 2017

Source: www.theguardian.com

Online trolling laws under consideration following abuse of MPs – The Independent

‘An investigation into the abuse of MPs and parliamentary candidates is considering whether new laws are needed to protect public servants because of the rise of social media.’

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The Independent, 24th July 2017

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Whistleblowers and journalists ‘at risk of prison’ in secrets law reform – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted May 17th, 2017 in civil servants, media, news, official secrets act, whistleblowers by sally

‘Proposals by the Law Commission to reform the 1989 Official Secrets Act (OSA) could lead to the imprisonment of civil servants and journalists for disclosing information that would be available to anyone asking for it under the Freedom of Information Act, a leading campaigner for freedom of information has said.’

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Law Society’s Gazette, 15th May 2017

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Purdah: Government should obey the law in the run-up to an election – UK Human Rights Blog

‘Last November the judge decided that the UK’s air pollution plans under EU and domestic laws were not good enough. The case has a long, and unedifying back-story of Government not doing what the law says it should do.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 16th May 2017

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com