Changes to gender recognition laws ruled out – BBC News

‘Ministers have ruled out changes to make it easier for transgender people in England and Wales to have their gender legally recognised.’

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BBC News, 22nd September 2020

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

The impact of digitalisation on the immigration process – EIN Blog

‘The coronavirus pandemic created an impetus for the legal world to finally begin accepting digitalisation of processes, moving away from the traditional paper process to an online version. The immigration process is already faced with a myriad of concerns which leaves the applicant in a weak position, and most often, with a lack of funds to cover their costs. The Home Office’s inability to train and effectively manage applications, outsource services to dubious third-party contractors has been exacerbated further by the haphazard application of online processes which do not match the needs of the immigration process. Despite the fact that online applications are easier to complete for legal representatives a number of issues have arisen as a result of this sudden change.’

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EIN Blog, 21st September 2020

Source: www.ein.org.uk

Leah Trueblood: ‘Following the Science:’ a Legal and Democratic Challenge – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘During a pandemic, it seems like a good idea for politicians to “follow the science.” But what does this actually mean? The claim that the Government is “following the science” is in many respects laudable, but is it also a convenient way to avoid or limit accountability? Due to a lack of transparency, it is unclear whether and to what extent substantive decisions are being made by scientists, or if this is just a politically helpful turn of phrase. A recent Institute for Government report Decision Making in a Crisis: First Responses to the Coronavirus Pandemic potentially provides some insight into this question. The report says that when deciding whether to lockdown the country in March, the Government looked to science for “answers” for what to do, rather than as part of a range of inputs into a decision-making process. Is the Government delegating decisions for which, under statute, it is exclusively responsible? Possibly. It is necessary to consider how decision-making and accountability mechanisms for decision-makers must be modified to reflect this change in who exercises power in the United Kingdom and how. It is often argued that scientists should be “on tap but not on top.” This post asks if this “on tap not on top” relationship is possible during a pandemic, and to assess the challenges for legal and democratic accountability if it is not.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 21st September 2020

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Infected blood scandal: Treasury refuses to publish key documents – The Guardian

‘The Treasury is refusing to publish key documents about the treatment of haemophiliacs infected by the NHS with HIV on the grounds that it would be “disruptive” and material might be “distorted” by the media.’

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The Guardian, 21st September 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Judge refuses to stand aside amid row over UK Covid trial delays – The Guardian

‘A senior judge has refused to step down from a case involving custody time limits after she replaced another judge who criticised the government over delays in delivering justice.’

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The Guardian, 18th September 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Parliament surrendered role over Covid emergency laws, says Lady Hale – The Guardian

‘The former president of the supreme court says parliament “surrendered” its role over emergency laws restricting freedoms amid the coronavirus pandemic, in an intervention expected to embolden MPs threatening a Commons revolt.’

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The Guardian, 20th September 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Home Office’s £400m immigration unit bases policies on ‘assumptions and prejudice’, MPs warn – The Independent

Posted September 18th, 2020 in diversity, enforcement, equality, government departments, immigration, news by tracey

‘The Home Office appears to be formulating its immigration policies on “anecdote, assumption and prejudice” rather than evidence, MPs have warned.’

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The Independent, 18th September 2020

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Commercial chambers offers £20k to fund withdrawn pupillage at crime set – Legal Futures

Posted September 16th, 2020 in barristers, budgets, coronavirus, criminal justice, government departments, news, pupillage by michael

‘A London commercial chambers has put up £20,000 to fund a pupillage that a criminal set has had to withdraw because of the impact of Covid-19.’

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Legal Futures, 16th September 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Brexit: barristers question selection of legal team leading UK drive to override deal – The Guardian

Posted September 16th, 2020 in attorney general, barristers, bills, brexit, EC law, government departments, news by michael

‘The government is facing increasing scrutiny over its decision to use “committed Brexiteer” lawyers to provide advice on the legality of breaching the EU withdrawal agreement.’

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The Guardian, 15th September 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Data protection representative actions consultation opened – OUT-LAW.com

‘The UK government is considering whether to allow non-profit organisations to make data protection regulatory complaints and bring court claims on behalf of individuals without their consent.’

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OUT-LAW.com, 14th September 2020

Source: www.pinsentmasons.com

Kenneth Armstrong: Can the UK Breach the Withdrawal Agreement and Get Away With It? – the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘Can the UK Breach the Withdrawal Agreement and Get Away With It? – the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 9th September 2020

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

New stop and search powers for convicted knife criminals – Home Office

‘Serious Violence Reduction Orders (SVROs) are designed to ensure repeat offenders are more likely to be caught and put in prison.’

Full press release

Home Office, 14th September 2010

Source: www.gov.uk/home-office

Stop and search: Ministers launch consultation on extending powers for known knife offenders – The Independent

‘Ministers have launched a consultation to give police greater powers to stop and search individuals with prior knife convictions.’

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The Independent, 14th September 2020

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Senior government lawyer quits over Brexit plans – BBC News

‘The government’s most senior lawyer is to quit his post over plans which could modify the Brexit withdrawal agreement.’

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BBC News, 8th September 2020

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Rodney Brazier: Why is Her Majesty’s Government so big? – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted September 7th, 2020 in constitutional law, government departments, news by sally

‘Before they entered government, both Dominic Cummings and Dominic Raab called for massive cuts in the size of the British Government. Raab suggested in 2013 that half of all government departments should be scrapped in order to save money; Cummings argued the following year that the Cabinet should consist of only six or seven people. I agree with them – at least to the extent that consideration is long overdue of whether there are too many government departments and too many Ministers.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 7th September 2020

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Campaigners start legal challenge to UK’s $1bn grant to Mozambique gas project – The Guardian

‘Environmentalists at Friends of the Earth will mount a legal challenge against the government’s decision to offer $1bn in financial support to a major fossil fuel project in Mozambique that they say is “incompatible” with the Paris climate agreement.’

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The Guardian, 7th September 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Government spends £120m in taxpayer money fighting disability benefit claims in two years, figures show – The Independent

Posted September 2nd, 2020 in appeals, benefits, disabled persons, government departments, news, statistics, tribunals by tracey

‘The government has spent more than £120m in taxpayers’ money fighting disability benefit claims in the last two years – despite losing three-quarters of tribunal appeals, The Independent can reveal.’

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The Independent, 1st September 2020

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Ban on evictions and notice periods extended in Government u-turn – St Ives Chambers

‘The stay imposed on possession proceedings was due to expire on Sunday 23 August 2020. However, in an 11th hour u-turn, Robert Jenrick announced on Friday afternoon that the ban on evictions would be extended for a further 4 weeks (taking the total ban to 6 months) in England and Wales. In a further, unforeseen twist, it was announced that a new 6 month notice period would be in place until at least 31 March 2021 (this applies to England only) in all matters save for “serious cases”, examples of which are anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse.’

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St Ives Chambers, 21st August 2020

Source: www.stiveschambers.co.uk

Government pledges post-Brexit qualifications recognition – Legal Futures

‘The UK government will put in place a temporary system to recognise the professional qualifications of EU lawyers post 1 January 2021 if no agreement is reached before Brexit, it has confirmed.’

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Legal Futures, 28th August 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

A Conflict at the Heart of the Planning White Paper (And Some Skateboarding References)- Guildhall Chambers

‘Whilst much could be (and most of it has already been) written about the Government’s recent white paper on planning, two things struck me in particular.

First, how generous of Whitehall to offer such fertile ground to article-writing lawyers and other commentators searching for occupation during Covid-enforced idleness. There is only so much nourishment available via Zoom, and anyway, in terms of professional development, thanks to my planning bar colleagues and their prodigious supply of webinars (manifestly exceeding the need, whether assessed on a 5 year supply, standardised, or any other basis of your choice) all of us now know literally everything about the current policy and legislative regime that there is to know. Or at least, most of us do. Others have employed the unexpected gift of time more imaginatively: my two young sons and I, for example, are on the verge of perfecting the Frontside 180, which I reckon isn’t at all bad for three pre-lockdown non-skateboarders.’

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Guildhall Chambers, 25th August 2020

Source: www.guildhallchambers.co.uk