“Project Restart” or a false start: can professional sports clubs compel their players to return to the pitch and waive health and safety liability? – Littleton Chambers

Posted May 20th, 2020 in chambers articles, coronavirus, employment, health, health & safety, news, sport by sally

‘As elite-level leagues, sporting associations and other stakeholders debate whether competitions can be restarted in an era of physical distancing, it has been reported that some professional football and rugby clubs are proposing to require players to sign disclaimers in relation to the health risks posed by Covid-19 before they resume training.’

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Littleton Chambers, 14th May 2020

Source: littletonchambers.com

Up to 1,500 English primary schools to defy 1 June reopening plan – The Guardian

‘Up to 1,500 primary schools in England are expected to remain closed on 1 June after a rebellion by at least 18 councils forced the government to say it had no plans to sanction them.’

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The Guardian, 19th May 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Personal Protective Equipment and Liability – Thomas More Chambers

‘Prior to the impact of the Covid19 pandemic, the issue of personal protective equipment (“PPE”) at work was a niche health and safety topic for specialists in the field. Today it dominates the media, with report after report of inadequate provision of PPE on the frontline, in hospitals, care homes and other essential places of work.’

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Thomas More Chambers, 13th May 2020

Source: www.thomasmore.co.uk

Presence of shielding QC at in-person hearing “not essential” – Legal Futures

‘The physical presence in a sensitive family case of leading counsel shielding from Covid-19 was desirable but “not essential”, a High Court judge has ruled in ordering an in-person hearing.’

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Legal Futures, 18th May 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Protecting our young – ensuring our future – Counsel

Posted May 18th, 2020 in barristers, coronavirus, courts, health, health & safety, news, young persons by sally

‘Young barristers want to be in court but they do not want this at the expense of their health or the expense of their clients, writes Katherine Duncan.’

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Counsel, May 2020

Source: www.counselmagazine.co.uk

The Return to Work After Lockdown – 39 Essex Chambers

Posted May 15th, 2020 in chambers articles, coronavirus, employment, health, health & safety, news by sally

‘As we enter the second phase of the national battle against Covid-19 it is possible to discern a change in the political climate. The cease-fire that has been in place for the last two months may be coming to an end, with the question of how the non-WFH workforce might resume fruitful economic activity dividing not just the political parties but also the national and devolved administrations. The early indications are that the conservative government’s preferred approach is to hand over to businesses the task of designing the ‘covid-secure’ workplace and then managing the return of their workers. Detailed practical guidance from government and the HSE (https://www.hse.gov.uk/index.htm) is already arriving and there will be extensive consultation with the unions, whose priority will be to prevent a resumption of work in unsafe factories, offices and sites. No doubt much can also be learned from those businesses that have been able to continue operating during lockdown. To ensure safety and consistency, the prime minister has promised the close involvement of the HSE – spot checks of workplaces are even being planned – and returning workers are being encouraged to blow the whistle on unsafe practices and premises.’

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39 Essex Chambers, 13th May 2020

Source: www.39essex.com

Teachers can legally refuse to return over health risk, says union – The Guardian

‘Teachers can legally refuse to return when schools reopen unless they get the same protections against coronavirus as other frontline staff, one of the UK’s leading teaching unions has warned.’

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The Guardian, 14th May 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Murder trial resumes with counsel and jury swapping seats – Legal Futures

‘A jury trial resumed at the Old Bailey yesterday, with barristers in the jury and press boxes, and jurors socially distancing in counsel’s rows after being told there were no face masks for them.’

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Legal Futures, 12th May 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Coronavirus: Young offenders out of cells for 40 minutes a day – BBC News

‘Children at a young offenders institution have been let out of their cells for only 40 minutes a day due to coronavirus, a report has revealed.’

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BBC News, 7th May 2020

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

COVID-19 Deaths and PPE – The Coroner’s Role – Parklane Plowden Chambers

‘Inevitably the COVID-19 pandemic will result in a significant increase in the workload of coroners and the number of inquests being heard. Cases where the virus may have been contracted in the workplace setting including frontline workers because of the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) may be one significant area of potential inquiry.’

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Parklane Plowden Chambers, 4th May 2020

Source: www.parklaneplowden.co.uk

COVID-19 and Immigration Detention – UK Human Rights Blog

Posted May 1st, 2020 in coronavirus, detention, health, health & safety, immigration, news by sally

‘At the start of the year, some 1,200 immigrants were being held in immigration detention in the UK. The power to detain immigrants is separate from detention of individuals as part of a criminal sentence. There is a presumption against detention of immigrants and immigration detention, which can only be in accordance with one of the statutory powers (the majority of which are contained in the Immigration Act 1971 and the Immigration and Asylum Act 2002), and is allowed in the interests of maintaining effective immigration control, for example, to effect removal; to establish a person’s identity or the basis of their immigration claim; or where there is reason to believe that the person will fail to comply with any conditions attached to a grant of immigration bail.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 30th April 2020

Source: ukhumanrightsblog.com

Coronavirus: Jury trials face ‘biggest change since WW2’ – BBC News

‘Coronavirus could prompt the biggest changes to jury trials since World War Two, the head of judiciary in England and Wales has told the BBC.’

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BBC News, 30th April 2020

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

‘One of the most controversial questions which the law of human rights can generate’: Supreme Court alters approach to Article 3 in medical cases – an extended look – UK Human Rights Blog

‘Unlike some of the rights protected by the European Convention on Human Rights, the prohibition on torture or inhuman or degrading treatment under Article 3 is absolute. There is no question of striking a balance between Article 3 and other considerations: the state simply may not act in a way which would breach this prohibition.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 29th April 2020

Source: ukhumanrightsblog.com

The Frontline Doctors Challenging The Government’s Handling Of Covid-19 – Each Other

‘On Thursday (23 April), the couple launched a legal challenge against the government’s guidance on personal protective equipment (PPE), which they argue exposes them to coronavirus infections.’

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Each Other, 28th April 2020

Source: eachother.org.uk

Doctor couple challenge UK government on PPE risks to BAME staff – The Guardian

‘Two doctors are launching a legal challenge over government guidance on personal protective equipment which they say exposes them to coronavirus infections.’

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The Guardian, 24th April 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Has the government broken the law by putting NHS staff in harm’s way? – The Guardian

‘If there have been systemic flaws over PPE, ministers could be in breach of the European convention on human rights.’

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The Guardian, 25th April 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

If ministers fail to reveal 2016 flu study they ‘will face court’ – The Guardian

‘The government faces being taken to court if it refuses to disclose the findings of an exercise confirming the UK could not cope with a flu pandemic.’

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The Guardian, 26th April 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

COVID-19 and Immigration Bail Applications – One Pump Court

‘Whilst the current pandemic has affected us all, those in detention are impacted in particularly harmful ways. Visits to immigration removal centres have been suspended, and those with COVID-19 symptoms are effectively placed in solitary confinement. The Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights has called for immigration detainees to be released, as many States have had to suspend removals and it is unclear when these might be resumed. The primary goal of immigration detention is to effect removal, and so continued detention as such may seem arbitrary.’

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One Pump Court, 21st April 2020

Source: onepumpcourt.co.uk

Do business tenants prevented from trading have a remedy under the Human Rights Act 1998? – Falcon Chambers

‘On 20 April 2020, the Hospitality Union wrote a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer asking for a “National Time Out” under which there would be a nine-month national payment pause granted to business tenants. This would be “a crucial period of payment postponement when commercial rents, and the debt and interest payments secured on those premises, are pushed to the back end of leases and term loans.”’

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Falcon Chambers, 23rd April 2020

Source: www.falcon-chambers.com

COVID-19 and Prisons: The Coronavirus Restricted Temporary Release Scheme, Pregnant Prisoners and Children in Custody – One Pump Court

‘COVID-19 is a dangerous reality for prisoners. As of 18 April 2020, confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in over half of prisons in England and Wales. There have been 13 suspected COVID-19 deaths among prisoners[1]. Amongst this wider concern, those who are pregnant and children in custody may be particularly anxious during this unprecedented time.’

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One Pump Court, 21st April 2020

Source: onepumpcourt.co.uk