Diplomat awarded £300,000 following accusations of inappropriate behaviour – Daily Telegraph

“A former diplomat has won £320,000 from the government after he was accused of behaving ‘inappropriately’ towards a senior politician’s wife.”

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Daily Telegraph, 4th June 2013

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

Councils seek judicial review of Defra decision to withdraw PFI credits from waste projects – OUT-LAW.com

“Three local authorities who were told in February that the Government was withdrawing previously-awarded financial support for waste management projects have launched legal challenges to the decision.”

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OUT-LAW.com, 30th May 2013

Source: www.out-law.com

Leading lawyers criticise plans to restrict legal aid – BBC News

“Ninety leading barristers have urged the government to withdraw ‘unjust proposals’ to restrict legal aid for people demanding judicial reviews.”

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BBC News, 29th May 2013

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Courts may be privatised to save Ministry of Justice £1bn – Daily Telegraph

Posted May 28th, 2013 in charters, courts, government departments, news by sally

“The courts may be privatised in a justice shake-up that could save the Ministry of Justice £1 billion a year.”

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Daily Telegraph, 28th May 2013

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

Workfare placements must be made public, tribunal rules – The Guardian

“The Department for Work and Pensions has lost a major court battle to keep the locations of thousands of workfare placements secret.”

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The Guardian, 19th May 2013

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

Roundtable: immigration – Law Society’s Gazette

“Immigration has proved a toxic issue for recent Home Office ministers. In 2004 home secretary David Blunkett resigned following revelations that a visa application had been fast-tracked. Immigration minister Beverley Hughes resigned after admitting she ‘unwittingly’ misled people about a suspected visa ‘scam’. Charles Clarke resigned as home secretary in 2006 after intense pressure over the release of foreign prisoners who could have been deported at the end of their custodial term.”

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Law Society’s Gazette, 20th May 2013

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Eoin Carolan: An oligarchy of the self-interest or enthusiastic?: Open Public Services in the Big Society – UK Constitutional Law Group

“The coalition government’s programme of public service reform continues apace. The coming into effect of parts of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 on April 1st was the latest in a series of changes to the structure and delivery of public services through measures like the Localism Act 2011 or the Free Schools programme. As the White Paper on Open Public Services indicates, these individual changes form part of a broader plan to fundamental re-model how Britain’s government operates. The White Paper is clear that this reform programme is wide-ranging and ambitious. What is less clear from government pronouncements, however, is whether or how it is intended to ensure the democratic legitimacy and character of the proposed reforms.”

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UK Constitutional Law Group, 29th April 2013

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

Files that may shed light on colonial crimes still kept secret by UK – The Guardian

Posted April 26th, 2013 in confidentiality, crime, documents, government departments, news by tracey

“Secret government files from the final years of the British empire are still being concealed despite a pledge by William Hague, the foreign secretary, that they would be declassified and opened to the public.”

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The Guardian, 26th April 2013

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

Home Office faces legal action unless it reveals details of ‘Snooper’s charter’ – Daily Telegraph

“The Home Office is facing legal action unless it reveals key details of its so-called Snooper’s Charter.”

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Daily Telegraph, 20th April 2013

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

Behind the scenes at the Crown Prosecution Service – BBC News

“The BBC’s Legal Correspondent Clive Coleman went to see Brian Altman QC who is soon to retire, as First Senior Treasury Counsel, a post that that has seen him prosecute some of the biggest and most notorious criminal cases of recent times.”

Listen

BBC News, 4th April 2013

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Will the Public Sector Equality Duty survive the Red Tape Challenge? – UK Human Rights Blog

Posted March 26th, 2013 in equality, government departments, local government, news by sally

“In May 2012, the Home Secretary announced a review of the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), which came into force a year earlier in April 2011, as an outcome of the Red Tape Challenge. The review is focusing in particular on levels of understanding of the PSED and guidance, the costs and benefits of the duty, how organisations are managing legal risk and ensuring compliance with the duty and what changes, if any, would secure better equality outcomes. It is being overseen by a steering group, appointed by Government Ministers, largely drawn from public authorities.”

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UK Human Rights Blog, 22nd March 2013

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

‘Not good’: Ofsted gives a mixed verdict on education reforms in major setback for Michael Gove – The Independent

Posted March 18th, 2013 in education, government departments, news, ombudsmen, reports by sally

“Michael Gove’s flagship education project has been dealt an embarrassing blow after inspectors demanded that three of the new wave of ‘free schools’ must improve their teaching, leadership and pupil performance. In the first official verdict on the Education Secretary’s free schools programme, Ofsted inspectors have ruled that three of the first nine institutions to be examined are “not good” schools.”

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The Independent, 17th March 2013

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Public bodies ‘spending millions to snoop’ – BBC News

“A wide range of public bodies are using private detectives to do their surveillance work, with many using security firms to dodge legal restrictions, a campaign group says.”

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BBC News, 17th March 2013

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Hudson v Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions – WLR Daily

Hudson v Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions [2012] EWCA Civ 1416; [2012] WLR (D) 312

“Fixed-term contracts by which an employee worked on a government scheme regardless of when the scheme began or ended could not be included in any calculation of four years’ continuous employment which would otherwise allow a fixed-term employee to become a permanent employee.”

WLR Daily, 7th November 2012

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

Only smarties have the answer – collective cabinet responsibility and the sale of Rowntree Mackintosh – Panopticon

Posted October 24th, 2012 in freedom of information, government departments, news, takeovers by sally

“The question of whether the convention on collective cabinet responsibility operates, in effect, as a trump card in the FOIA context has been considered in a number of tribunal cases (see further for example the Lamb case concerning a request for disclosure of the Iraq war cabinet minutes and the Cabinet Office case concerning cabinet discussions over the Westland takeover (‘the Westland case’)). Last week, in Cabinet Office v IC, the First-Tier Tribunal handed down a decision in which it reconfirmed the principle that the convention, whilst undoubtedly an important consideration in the FOIA context, does not create any absolute bar against disclosure.”

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Panopticon, 23rd October 2012

Source: www.panopticonblog.com

Blame game: when legal aid gets political – LegalVoice

Posted October 24th, 2012 in government departments, legal aid, news by sally

“Political interference in the granting of legal aid – whether actual or suspected by members of the public – could become a genuine concern for the government after next April. Should public money be denied cases brought against government departments or that involve unpopular characters or controversial issues, ministers’ impartiality in the decision-making process may come under fire, writes Elizabeth Davidson.”

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LegalVoice, 23rd October 2012

Source: www.legalvoice.org.uk

Data protection laws breached by Government over public consultation security flaw, says ICO – OUT-LAW.com

“The Department for Education (DfE) was guilty of a breach of UK data protection laws when a ‘temporary security flaw’ meant that personal information belonging to respondents to one of its consultations were ‘compromised’, the UK’s data protection watchdog has said.”

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OUT-LAW.com, 19th October 2012

Source: www.out-law.com

Information stored in electronic recycle bins is held for purposes of FOI disclosure, says watchdog – OUT-LAW.com

“Public sector bodies will generally be required to disclose information even if it is stored in computer ‘recycle bins’, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has said.”

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OUT-LAW.com, 12th October 2012

Source: www.out-law.com

Freedom of Information to include ministers’ private texts – BBC News

“Emails from private accounts and texts sent by the prime minister and cabinet members could be accessible under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI).”

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BBC News, 30th September 2012

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

A Chagossian double bill: an environmental information contest, and a touch of Wikileaks – UK Human Rights Blog

“The manoevres by which the Chagossians were evicted from their islands in the Indian Ocean, the late 1960s and early 1970s, so to enable the US to operate an air base on Diego Garcia, do not show the UK Foreign Office in its best light. Indeed, after a severe rebuke from the courts in 2000, the FCO accepted that the original law underlying their departure was unlawful, and agreed to investigate their possible resettlement on some of their islands. The first of these new cases is an environmental information appeal concerning the next phase of the story – how the FCO decided that it was not feasible to resettle the islanders in 2002-2004.”

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UK Human Rights Blog, 20th September 2012

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com