Thursday, 20 January 2022

In the news - 20 January


The pandemic:

On 19 January the government announced in the House of Commons that many of the legal restrictions relating to the coronavirus pandemic are to be removed later in January but guidance will continue in place.  See the Prime Minister's statement - Covid-19 Update - Hansard - UK Parliament

BBC News 19 January - Face mask rules and Covid passes to end in England

There are grounds to believe that the Omicron variant may

Friday, 14 January 2022

In the news 14 January 2022


Covid 19:  The pandemic continues with hospital admissions standing at 15,591 in the period 1 January 2022 to 8 January 2022. Data for 12 January showed a welcome fall in the number of positive tests but deaths within 28 days of a positive test had increased - 1724 in the period 5 to 12 January.  83.1% of the UK population aged 12 and over had received two doses of vaccine. 62.5% had received the 3rd (booster) dose which continues to be strongly recommended by the medical profession and the government.

Government data 

Law and Lawyers: Coronavirus Log ~ Part 11 ~ from 19 July 2021 (obiterj.blogspot.com)

On 13 January

Thursday, 13 January 2022

Events at Number 10


Much of the UK news over the last week has been dominated by the political row over an alleged ("bring your own drinks") party in the Downing Street garden on 20 May 2020. That was during the first "lockdown" and was a time when Regulations imposed both restrictions on the activities of individuals and closures on many forms of business. It was also a time of tragedy for many who suffered the loss of family members due to Covid.

The event on 20 May 2020 did not come to public attention until January 2022 and, at the time of writing, is the latest twist in the whole story.

In December 2021, an investigation into 3 events was set up by the Prime Minister. The events

Friday, 7 January 2022

Early Reaction to government's human rights proposals

This post looks at some of the immediate reaction to the government's consultation on the Human Rights Act 1998. At the time of writing (7 January 2022), the reaction has been almost entirely against most of the government's proposals. 

Actually leaving the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) has been ruled out. That may be because renouncing the convention would be a "bad look" for a government which likes to lecture others on human rights (often justifiably) and which has a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council (UK membership expires in 2023). It would also play badly with the Council of Europe which is Europe's leading human rights organisation.  The Council comprises 47 member States and all are signatories to the ECHR. Northern Ireland adds further reason to remain a signatory given that human rights are woven into the peace settlement brought about with the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. Then there is the relationship with the European Union

Thursday, 6 January 2022

In the news 6 January 2022


A miscellany of items in the news at the start of 2022 ....

Grenfell:

The Grenfell Tower Fire Inquiry continues almost 5 years after the devastating fire on 14 June 2017.  The Phase 1 report was issued in 2019 - Phase 1 report - withe government accepting in principle the inquiry's recommendations - Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 Report: government response - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

It has been reported that the Inquiry is to examine some former government Ministers and also the serving Secretary of State - The Guardian 4 January. An important witness is likely to be Lord Pickles who was Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government from 2010 to 2015.

Coronavirus / Omicron:

Omicron continues

Clean Air Zones


London's Low Emission Zone (LEZ) has been in operation since 2008 to encourage the use of less polluting vehicles and penalise the heaviest polluters. It operates within the Greater London Authority's boundaries. 

During 2022, similar schemes are to come into force in several more Clear Air Zones (CAZ).  The government has

Friday, 31 December 2021

The government's consultation on Human Rights Act ~ (4) ~ Reform Proposals


On 14 December, the government published the report of the Independent Review of the Human Rights Act 1998 and also published a consultation containing the government's proposals for change. The consultation is open for responses until 8 March 2022.

Commons Statement 14 December 2021 - Human Rights Legislation - Hansard - UK Parliament

Independent Review of Human Rights Act 1998 - report - (580 pages pdf)

Human Rights Act Reform: A Modern Bill of Rights - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) - with link to consultation document (123 pages pdf)

This post looks at Chapter 4 of the government's consultation - the Reform Proposals. There is a lot in it and what follows is, of necessity, an overview. Several of the topics covered would merit considerably greater analysis - e.g. the proposals on Freedom of Expression.

Even an initial reading of Chapter 4 shows that the proposals go far beyond what the Independent Panel considered to be required and, in some instances, the proposed reforms were not referred to or discussed by the Independent Review. 

Chapter 4 is lengthy and results in 29 Questions to which any organisation or individual may respond either in full or in part.

* The basic plan *

This is to be found at paras 182 to 188. 

Wednesday, 29 December 2021

The government's consultation on Human Rights Act ~ (3)


 On 14 December, the government published the report of the Independent Review of the Human Rights Act 1998 and also published a consultation containing the government's proposals for change. The consultation is open for responses until 8 March 2022.

Commons Statement 14 December 2021 - Human Rights Legislation - Hansard - UK Parliament

Independent Review of Human Rights Act 1998 - report - (580 pages pdf)

Human Rights Act Reform: A Modern Bill of Rights - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) - with link to consultation document (123 pages pdf)

This post looks at Chapter 3 of the government's consultation - The Case for Reforming UK human rights law.

A further post will be required to consider the government's actual proposals which are set out in Chapter 4 of the consultation.

* The government's case *

Chapter 3 begins

Tuesday, 28 December 2021

The Government's consultation on Human Rights Act ~ (2)



On 14 December, the government published the report of the Independent Review of the Human Rights Act 1998 and also published a consultation containing the government's proposals for change. The consultation is open for responses until 8 March 2022.

Commons Statement 14 December 2021 - Human Rights Legislation - Hansard - UK Parliament

Independent Review of Human Rights Act 1998 - report - (580 pages pdf)

Human Rights Act Reform: A Modern Bill of Rights - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) - with link to consultation document (123 pages pdf)

The consultation:

Chapter 1 The Legacy of Rights in the UK - Chapter 1 starts with

Sunday, 26 December 2021

The Government's consultation on Human Rights Act ~ (1)

On 14 December, the government published the report of the Independent Review of the Human Rights Act 1998 and also published a consultation containing the government's proposals for change. The consultation is open for responses until 8 March 2022.

Commons Statement 14 December 2021 - Human Rights Legislation - Hansard - UK Parliament

Human Rights Act Reform: A Modern Bill of Rights - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) - with link to consultation document (123 pages pdf)

The Independent Review:

Independent Review of Human Rights Act 1998 - report - (580 pages pdf). The review was

Friday, 24 December 2021

Christmas 2021

 

*** Wishing you all the happiness possible at Christmas and for New Year 2022 ***

The little picture illustrates a man and his faithful dog walking home on a snowy Christmas Eve. The holly leaves depict the famous carol - The Holly and the Ivy - and the red berries suggest the Twelve Days of Christmas.

May Christmas bring you joy, peace and happiness. Here is the beauty of "Away in a Manger" played in an excellent arrangement by the famous Black Dyke Band - Away in a Manger (arr. Peter Graham) and a cheerful, lively arrangement of the old English melody Gaudete.


----- ooooooo -----

Independent Review of the Human Rights Act 1998 ~ Post 5

 


This post is the fifth in my look at the Independent Review of the Human Rights Act 1998. 

The review was commissioned by the Secretary of State for Justice (then Robert Buckland QC MP) on 7 December 2020 and was conducted by a panel of 8 including the Chair - former Lord Justice of Appeal, Sir Peter Gross. Their report - finally revealed by the Secretary of State for Justice (now Dominic Raab MP) on 14 December 2021 - extends to 580 pages.

Independent Review of Human Rights Act 1998 - report - (580 pages pdf)

This post looks at Chapter 6 (Designated derogation orders made under section 14 of the Human Rights Act 1998) and Chapter 8 (Extra-territorial and Temporal Scope). 

Thursday, 23 December 2021

Independent Review of the Human Rights Act 1998 ~ Post 4


This post is the fourth in my look at the Independent Review of the Human Rights Act 1998. 

The review was commissioned by the Secretary of State for Justice (then Robert Buckland QC MP) on 7 December 2020 and was conducted by a panel of 8 including the Chair - former Lord Justice of Appeal, Sir Peter Gross. Their report - finally revealed by the Secretary of State for Justice (now Dominic Raab MP) on 14 December 2021 - extends to 580 pages.

Independent Review of Human Rights Act 1998 - report - (580 pages pdf)

This post looks at Chapter 9 of the report - Remedial Orders. This appears to logically follow on from consideration of the topics in Post 3 - (i.e. Sections 3 and 4 of the Human Rights Act 1998 ).

This post then looks at Chapter 7 of the report - Subordinate Legislation.

Wednesday, 22 December 2021

Indepdendent Review of the Human Rights Act 1998 ~ Post 3


This post is the third in my look at the Independent Review of the Human Rights Act 1998. 

The review was commissioned by the Secretary of State for Justice (then Robert Buckland QC MP) on 7 December 2020 and was conducted by a panel of 8 including the Chair - former Lord Justice of Appeal, Sir Peter Gross. Their report - finally revealed by the Secretary of State for Justice (now Dominic Raab MP) on 14 December 2021 - extends to 580 pages.

Independent Review of Human Rights Act 1998 - report - (580 pages pdf)

The post is an overview of Chapter 5 of the report - Sections 3 and 4 of the Human Rights Act 1998 

Tuesday, 21 December 2021

Independent Review of the Human Rights Act 1998 ~ Post 2

This post is the second in my look at the Independent Review of the Human Rights Act 1998. 

The review was commissioned by the Secretary of State for Justice (then Robert Buckland QC MP) on 7 December 2020 and was conducted by a panel of 8 including the Chair - former Lord Justice of Appeal, Sir Peter Gross. Their report - finally revealed by the Secretary of State for Justice (now Dominic Raab MP) on 14 December 2021 - extends to 580 pages.

Independent Review of Human Rights Act 1998 - report - (580 pages pdf)

The post is an overview of Chapters 2 to 4 of the report - Chapter 2 Section 2 of the Human Rights Act 1998 - Chapter 3 The Margin of Appreciation - Chapter 4 Judicial Dialogue.

The 3 Chapters offer a particularly informative analysis of these important topics.

Sunday, 19 December 2021

Independent Review of the Human Rights Act 1998 ~ Post 1


This post is the first in my look at the Independent Review of the Human Rights Act 1998. 

The review was commissioned by the Secretary of State for Justice (then Robert Buckland QC MP) on 7 December 2020 and was conducted by a panel of 8 including the Chair - former Lord Justice of Appeal, Sir Peter Gross. Their report - finally revealed by the Secretary of State for Justice (now Dominic Raab MP) on 14 December 2021 - extends to 580 pages.

Independent Review of Human Rights Act 1998 - report - (580 pages pdf)

The review

Wednesday, 15 December 2021

Coronavirus Inquiry - Chair appointed

Baroness Heather Hallett - a former Lady Justice of Appeal - has been appointed Chair of the planned inquiry into the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Here is the Downing Street announcement -

Prime Minister announces Covid-19 Inquiry Chair - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

As indicated by the announcement, Terms of Reference will be set in early 2022.

In May 2021 the Prime Minister announced that there would be an inquiry - previous post 12 May 2021.

For a joint report by Parliament's Science and Technology Committee / Health and Social Care Committee please see the previous post of 12 October 2021

Monday, 13 December 2021

Human Rights Act ~ government plans for reform



On 14 December the Secretary of State for Justice (Dominic Raab MP) announced the long-awaited consultation on reform of the Human Rights Act 1998.  Also published was the report of the Independent Review of the Human Rights Act 1998.

Commons Statement - Human Rights Legislation - Hansard - UK Parliament

Human Rights Act Reform: A Modern Bill of Rights - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) - with link to consultation document (123 pages pdf)

Independent Review of Human Rights Act 1998 - report - (580 pages pdf)

Below the page break is the text of my blogpost of 13 December - i.e. prior to the government's announcement.

Sunday, 12 December 2021

Armed Forces Bill ~ some notes and on-going concerns

The Armed Forces Bill is now in its final stage in Parliament.  This post notes a number of features of the Bill.

The Bill addresses the duration of the Armed Forces Act 2006 (Clause 1); Service Courts - summary hearings and jurisdiction (Clauses 2 to 7); Service in the Armed Forces Clauses 8 to 10); Service Police (Clauses 11 to 12); Sentencing and Rehabilitation (Clauses 13 to 18); Posthumous pardons (Clause 19); Miscellaneous (Clauses 20 to 22) and General (Clauses 23 to 27). There are 6 Schedules.

Armed Forces Bill - Parliamentary Bills - UK Parliament

Clause 1 amends the expiry date of the Armed Forces Act 2006 which sets out the discipline system for the three Armed Forces.  Under the amendment,