The government and the judges – Counsel

Posted November 19th, 2020 in constitutional law, judiciary, news, parliament, Supreme Court by sally

‘Zealots bent on upsetting the constitutional applecart or the only friends we have? And what is the alternative? Thomas Grant QC takes a look at the Independent Review of Administrative Law, its context and the charges against the senior judiciary.’

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Counsel, November 2020

Source: www.counselmagazine.co.uk

Was Lockdown Lawful? Thoughts of a former Supreme Court Judge. – 33 Bedford Row

‘Lord Sumption has this evening [27 October] in his lecture entitled “Government by decree – Covid-19 and the Constitution” issued a scathing indictment not only of the political motivations and processes behind lockdown measures, but also the underlying legality of the measures, and their impact upon the long term health of our parliamentary democracy.’

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33 Bedford Row, 27th October 2020

Source: www.33bedfordrow.co.uk

Ep 129: Brexit and the Flaws of Delegated Legislation – Law Pod UK

Posted November 9th, 2020 in brexit, constitutional law, news, parliament, podcasts by sally

‘In Episode 129, Emma-Louise Fenelon speaks to Lord Anderson of Ipswich QC, Alexandra Sinclair and Joe Tomlinson about the new Public Law Project report: Plus ca change? Brexit and the flaws of the delegated legislation system, for a fascinating discussion about parliamentary goings-on in a time of Brexit.’

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Law Pod UK, 4th November 2020

Source: audioboom.com

Legal action taken against PM over refusal to investigate Kremlin meddling – The Guardian

‘A cross-party group of MPs and peers including a former national security adviser are taking legal action against Boris Johnson over his government’s refusal to order an inquiry into Russian interference in UK elections.’

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The Guardian, 29th October 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Parliament could get legal powers to summon witnesses, MP says – The Guardian

Posted October 29th, 2020 in news, parliament, privilege, select committees, witnesses by sally

‘Parliament could soon be given legal powers to summon reluctant witnesses such as Dominic Cummings and Rupert Murdoch to answer questions from MPs, according to the chair of a Commons committee.’

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The Guardian, 28th October 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Covid measures will be seen as ‘monument of collective hysteria and folly’ says ex-judge – The Guardian

‘The government has deliberately stoked fear over coronavirus while behaving like an authoritarian regime relying on police state tactics, according to the former supreme court justice Jonathan Sumption.’

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The Guardian, 27th October 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Free School Meals and Governmental Responsibility — Dr Kirsteen Shields – UK Human Rights Blog

‘Questions around government responsibility for food systems, churning away during the Brexit debates, long ignored, sometimes derided, are meeting stark realities in the coronavirus pandemic. This week we are back to free school meals (FSM).’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 22nd October 2020

Source: ukhumanrightsblog.com

UK needs judges to limit government power, says Lord Kerr – The Guardian

‘The last thing the country needs is a government in which ministers exercise “unbridled power”, the UK’s longest serving supreme court justice has said.’

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The Guardian, 19th October 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Nicholas Reed Langen: Is the Supreme Court more interventionist? – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted October 19th, 2020 in constitutional law, judges, judiciary, news, parliament, Supreme Court by sally

‘The global outpouring of grief upon the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in September showed how complete her transfer from justice of the Supreme Court to international icon was. Notorious enough to just be known by her initials, RBG was a judge celebrated in popular culture like no other. Hollywood A-lister Felicity Jones portrayed her in the Hollywood biopic, On the Basis of Sex, the antihero Deadpool considered drafting her for the X-Force, a team of superhero mutants, in Deadpool 2, and even Lego got in on the act, creating a mini-figure of her after the release of The Lego Movie 2.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 14th October 2020

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Report from Public Law Project warns of serious deficiencies in UK law making with huge rise in statutory instruments – Local Government Lawyer

Posted October 14th, 2020 in brexit, EC law, legislation, news, parliament by sally

‘The UK’s withdrawal from the EU has led to a “tsunami” of delegated legislation in the form of statutory instruments (SIs), according to a report by the Public Law Project.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 13th October 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Brexit strategy risks UK ‘dictatorship’, says ex-president of supreme court – The Guardian

Posted October 8th, 2020 in bills, brexit, judges, ministers' powers and duties, news, parliament by tracey

‘Lord Neuberger condemns internal market bill for exempting some of its powers from legal challenge.’

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The Guardian, 7th October 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Boris Johnson undermining courts to consolidate power, retired Supreme Court judge warns – The Independent

‘A former Supreme Court judge has accused Boris Johnson of trying to undermine the courts and legal system in a bid to solidify government power and push through his programme. Lord Sumption, who retired from the court in 2018, told at parliamentary select committee that the government was intent on “doing down the courts as potential sources of impediments for the government’s programme”.’

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The Independent, 6th October 2020

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Why Coronavirus Curbs On Our Liberty Need Better Scrutiny – Each Other

‘In recent months there have been growing media reports of anti-lockdown protests, supported by conspiracy theorists, in which demonstrators have made bizarre and outlandish claims. The conspiracies – unsupported by scientific evidence – are often couched in terms of “civil liberties” and “freedoms”.’

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Each Other, 25th September 2020

Source: eachother.org.uk

Ronan Cormacain: The United Kingdom Internal Market Bill and Breach of Domestic Law – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘Huge controversy has already been generated over provisions in the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill granting Ministers the power to disapply the Withdrawal Agreement. Most of the debate (Elliott, Armstrong) has been focused on the potential breaches of international law. This could severely damage the reputation of the United Kingdom in the world. However, what has been relatively overlooked is that this Bill is also a flagrant attack on the Rule of Law at the UK domestic level. This remains the case even if amendments proposed by Sir Bob Neill MP (and apparently accepted by the Government) pass.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 23rd September 2020

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

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

Coronavirus approach ‘creates risks for the rule of law’ – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted September 21st, 2020 in coronavirus, human rights, news, parliament, rule of law, select committees by sally

‘The government’s approach to the coronavirus is creating risks for the rule of law, politicians have warned in a report looking at the human rights implications of Covid-19.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 21st September 2020

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

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

Tory MP told to apologise after being found guilty of breaching lobbying rules – The Independent

Posted September 17th, 2020 in lobbying, news, parliament, standards by michael

‘A Conservative MP has been told to make an apology in the House of Commons after being found guilty of breaching lobbying rules in relation to a company which gave him £10,000.’

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The Independent, 17th September 2020

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Charlie Elphicke: Ex-MP jailed for sex assaults on women – BBC News

Posted September 15th, 2020 in assault, news, parliament, sentencing, sexual offences by tracey

‘Ex-Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke has been jailed for two years for sexually assaulting two women.’

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BBC News, 15th September 2020

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Government announces independent review of judicial review – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted August 7th, 2020 in government departments, human rights, judicial review, news, parliament by sally

‘On 31 July 2020 the Government launched an independent review to examine whether there is a need to reform the judicial review process in the UK. The terms of reference of the review are available here. The review follows pledges in the Conservative manifesto to ensure judicial review is “not abused to conduct politics by another means or to create endless delays”. The terms of reference make it clear that the review aims to consider whether judicial review has encroached too far into the work of the executive branch of government.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 6th August 2020

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk