UK government considers classifying Google and Facebook as publishers – The Guardian

Posted October 12th, 2017 in freedom of expression, intellectual property, internet, media, news, publishing by sally

‘Karen Bradley, the culture secretary, has said the government is considering changing the legal status of Google, Facebook and other internet companies amid growing concerns about copyright infringement and the spread of extremist material online.’

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The Guardian, 11th October 2017

Source: www.theguardian.com

Landmark appeal judgment dents libel threshold hopes – Law Society’s Gazette

‘A Court of Appeal ruling has dealt a blow to hopes that the 2013 Defamation Act would raise the bar to libel actions in England and Wales courts. In Bruno Lachaux v Independent Print Limited and Evening Standard Limited, and Bruno Lachaux v AOL (UK) Limited, the court dismissed an appeal by publishers against a High Court finding that a French national living in Dubai had been caused “serious harm” by the publication of allegations by his former wife.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 12th September 2017

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Police in Aberaeron investigate carnival float ‘considered racist’ – The Guardian

Posted August 31st, 2017 in artistic works, complaints, freedom of expression, news, racism, Wales by tracey

‘Police are investigating allegations of racism against a group of men who wore black face paint when they dressed as members of the Jamaican bobsleigh team for a carnival parade.’

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The Guardian, 30th August 2017

Source: www.theguardian.com

Palestinian cartoonist’s 1987 murder reinvestigated – BBC News

Posted August 29th, 2017 in freedom of expression, murder, news by tracey

‘The murder of a Palestinian cartoonist who was shot dead in the street is being reinvestigated 30 years on.’

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BBC News, 29th August 2017

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Discrimination Update – 11KBW

‘Almost everyone has an immediate intuitive understanding of direct discrimination. That is not to say that there are no difficult cases, but the core concept is easily grasped. Imagine an employer with an express policy of refusing to employ women. In a case of that sort the discrimination is obvious. To use the language of Equality Act 2010, s. 13, the employer treats women less favourably because of their sex. The reason for the simplicity of direct discrimination is that it usually needs no context for the discriminatory impact of the criterion to be apparent. The criterion is inherently discriminatory.’

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11KBW, 10th August 2017

Source: www.11kbw.com

‘Worrying trend’ of freedom of the press in the UK as country ranks 40 in latest Reporters Without Borders index – The Independent

Posted August 15th, 2017 in freedom of expression, media, news, reports by sally

‘A “heavy handed approach” often in the name of national security has seen the UK slip in the rankings of countries with the world’s freest press, according to a new report by Reporters Without Borders.’

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The Independent, 14th August 2017

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Publishing salacious material as public interest besmirches press freedom – The Guardian

‘Seedy legal plea to name couple filmed having sex by police officer Adrian Pogmore is anything but a matter of high principle.’

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The Guardian, 13th August 2017

Source: www.theguardian.com

Prevent Duty Guidance withstands “clamorous” criticism – Marina Wheeler QC – UK Human Rights Blog

‘In the wake of the London and Manchester attacks, the government’s counter-terrorism strategy is increasingly in the news and under scrutiny. Radicalisation is a difficult concept to map on to a system like ours, which separates the definition of criminal behaviour and punishment from civil sanctions. In this week’s podcast, Marina Wheeler discusses some of the ways the law is trying to cope (Law Pod UK Episode 8, available on Monday 7 August). She and others from 1 Crown Office Row will be discussing this and related issues at a seminar on Monday 11 September. You will find full details at the end of this post.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 5th August 2017

Source: ukhumanrightsblog.com

Extremists on campus – UK Human Rights Blog

Posted August 4th, 2017 in freedom of expression, hate crime, Islam, news, terrorism, universities by sally

‘The High Court has thrown out a number of challenges to the government’s efforts to prevent extremism on university platforms.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 4th August 2017

Source: ukhumanrightsblog.com

Four fold increase in fines under ‘busybody charter’ – Daily Telegraph

‘A four-fold increase in the number of fines issued under the “busybody charter” has been described as “utterly alarming”, with councils cracking down on activities such as feeding birds, walking dogs and playing loud bhangra music.’

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Daily Telegraph, 31st July 2017

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

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

Number of far-right extremists flagged to Government terror unit soars 30% in a year – The Independent

‘The number of suspected far-right extremists referred to the Government’s key anti-terror programme soared by 30 per cent in the past year, The Independent has learnt.’

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The Independent, 19th June 2017

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Free speech and e-media – Counsel

‘Google, Facebook, Twitter and other intermediaries increasingly face a broadly united front of protest. Is it time to regulate? asks Richard Spearman QC.’

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Counsel, June 2017

Source: www.counselmagazine.co.uk

Charities say ‘gag law’ stops them speaking out on Tory social care plans – The Guardian

‘Charities have been silenced from speaking out about the Conservative social care plans despite believing they will be hugely damaging to elderly and disabled people across the country, it has been claimed.’

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The Guardian, 29th May 2017

Source: www.theguardian.com

Free speech groups call for public interest defence for whistleblowers – The Guardian

Posted May 3rd, 2017 in freedom of expression, news, public interest, whistleblowers by tracey

‘A public interest defence should be created to protect journalists and whistleblowers who disclose secret information that reveals serious criminal activity or widespread breaches of human rights, an alliance of free speech organisations has said.’

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The Guardian, 2nd May 2017

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

‘Downward spiral’: UK slips to 40th place in press freedom rankings – The Guardian

Posted April 27th, 2017 in freedom of expression, investigatory powers, media, news by sally

‘Journalists in the UK are less free to hold power to account than those working in South Africa, Chile or Lithuania, according to an index of press freedom around the world.’

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The Guardian, 26th April 2017

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

UKIP, niqabs, burqas – and bans – Law & Religion UK

‘UKIP has made a commitment in its Manifesto to ban the public wearing of the burqa and niqab. Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, UKIP’s leader, Paul Nuttall, said wearing a burqa or niqab in public was a barrier to integration and a security risk and that Muslim women who defied the ban would face a fine. Somewhat counter-intuitively, he also told Andrew Marr that “Manfred Weber, who’s the leader of the biggest group in the European Parliament, is now talking about an EU-wide ban. We can either be on the curve on this or behind the curve.” UKIP also proposes to outlaw sharia in the UK, though Nuttall told Marr that there were no proposals to ban Jewish religious courts because the Jewish population was smaller than the Muslim population.’

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Law & Religion UK, 24th April 2017

Source: www.lawandreligionuk.com

Court rules woman can keep her red and white striped townhouse – The Guardian

Posted April 25th, 2017 in appeals, freedom of expression, housing, London, news, planning by sally

‘A woman who angered her neighbours by decorating her multimillion-pound townhouse with red and white stripes can ignore a planning order to repaint the property, the high court has ruled.’

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The Guardian, 24th April 2017

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

Supreme Court dismisses media publishers’ appeals against costs awards – OUT-LAW.com

‘The UK’s highest court has dismissed the appeals of three media publishers against costs orders made against them by High Court judges in separate libel and privacy cases.’

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OUT-LAW.com, 18th April 2017

Source: www.out-law.com

Freedom of speech, the Prevent duty and higher education – Law & Religion UK

‘S 43 Education (No. 2) Act 1986 (Freedom of speech in universities, polytechnics and colleges) requires “Every individual and body of persons concerned in the government” of further and higher education institutions to “take such steps as are reasonably practicable to ensure that freedom of speech within the law is secured” for staff, students and visiting speakers. The institutions must ensure, “so far as is reasonably practicable”, that use of the premises is not denied to anyone on any ground connected with their beliefs, views, policy or objectives. On the other hand, the Prevent duty in s 26 Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 requires specified authorities – including relevant higher education bodies – to have due regard in the exercise of their functions to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.’

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Law & Religion UK, 5th April 2017

Source: www.lawandreligionuk.com