Responsible and sometimes critical comment on topical legal matters of general interest. This blog does not offer legal advice and should not be used as a substitute for professional legal advice.
Pro Aequitate Dicere
On 12th December 2012, Poppi Worthington died in hospital at the age of 13 months. In late 2017, HM Coroner for Cumbria (Mr David Roberts) conducted a further inquest and announced his determination on Monday 15th January 2018. A report on the inquest is at BBC NEWS 15th January. The BBC has also published a useful timeline of the case.
It is now 8 years since the first post
on this blog. Interesting stories appear almost daily and many lie ahead including those arising from the on-going difficulties and uncertainty created by Brexit. I hope to continue looking at some these stories.
One of the key features of the European Union is that it is also a CUSTOMS Union. Article 28(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU states - "The Union shall comprise a customs union which shall cover all trade in
goods and which shall involve the prohibition between Member States of customs
duties on imports and exports and of all charges having equivalent effect, and
the adoption of a common customs tariff in their relations with third
The picture is the Conservative Party claiming they have banned credit card charges. They are "economical with the truth."
In 2015 the EU enacted a Directive - you can read it HERE. EU Member States are required by the EU Treaties to implement Directives into domestic law. This was done by the UK Parliament enacting The Payment Services Regulations 2017. Those Regulations were, as the jargon goes, "laid before Parliament" on 19th July 2017 and "negative resolution procedure" applied so that a vote was only required if they were "prayed against." There was no such objection.
"Good" things are not invariably started by the EU. In 2017 Regulations were made to tackle "microbeads" (see BBC News) in products such as toothpaste. Read the legislation HERE. Another environmental problem is plastic packaging. See what the EU has to say.
Unless some other date is eventually agreed, the UK leaves the EU on 29th March 2019. That is the undoubted consequence of the notice served under Article 50 TEU.
Nigel Farage is one of the Members of the European Parliament representing SE England and he is a former leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP). During the EU referendum campaign in 2016 he played a very prominent pro-Brexit role and engaged in TV debates with Prime Minister David Cameron - e.g. HERE. Farage and others (e.g. Boris Johnson, Michael Gove) waged an effective "Leave" campaign resulting in an overall result in favour of Brexit - the details are HERE.
Civil aviation is a strategically important sector that makes a vital contribution to the EU's
overall economy and employment. Aviation supports close to 5 million jobs and
contributes €300 billion, or 2.1% to European GDP. Global air transport over the long term
is expected to grow by around 5% annually until 2030. How would a "no deal" Brexit affect this crucial sector?
As mentioned in the previous post, the European Commission has published
its views about the impact of a "no deal" Brexit on various sectors - HERE - and, in particular, see the Air Transport Notice 11th December 2017.
The reluctance of the UK government to share information is, at least in my view, a lamentable state of affairs. Even the "Sectoral Analyses" were only shared with MPs after the 7th November Humble Address and even then they were issued with "Sectoral Views" removed and MPs were allowed to see them only in a private room - BBC News 14th December 2017. On 21st December, the House of Commons Exiting the EU Committee published 39 reports - Parliament 21st December.
Mr Gauke is MP for South West Hertfordshire and he replaces Mr David Lidington MP who has been moved to the Cabinet Office. It was a mere 7 months ago that Mr Lidington was appointed - post 12th June 2017.
As usual, the Bar Council and Law Society have welcomed the new appointment. The Bar Council calls upon the Lord Chancellor to ensure that justice is properly resourced and functioning effectively. On legal aid, the Bar Council states - "Following significant cutbacks in the provision of legal aid
over several years it is vital that the Ministry of Justice
completes the thorough review of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and
Punishment of Offenders Act to which it is already committed, to
ensure that the public interest in the provision of high quality
and efficient legal services is addressed."
"An Act to make provision with respect to the powers of the House of Lords in relation to those of the House of Commons, and to limit the duration of Parliament.
Whereas it is expedient that provision should be made for regulating the relations between the two Houses of Parliament:
And whereas it is intended to substitute for the House of Lords as it at present exists a Second Chamber constituted on a popular instead of hereditary basis, but such substitution cannot be immediately brought into operation ....."
The John Worboys case (previous post) has certainly brought the workings of the Parole Board to the fore. This post notes some key points about the Board's decision making.
1) The Board's jurisdiction now stems from section 239 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 from which it will be seen that the duty of the Board is to advise the Secretary of State with respect to any matter referred to it by him which is to do with the early release or recall of prisoners - s.239(2).
On 13th March 2009, taxi driver John Worboys was convicted of a number of offences, including one count of rape, a number of sexual assaults and 12 counts of administering a substance with intent. The exact legislation for the "administering" offences is not reported by the media but was probably section 61 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. He was sentenced by Mr Justice Penry-Davey to imprisonment for public protection (IPP) and ordered to serve a minimum term of 8 years before his release could be considered by the parole board. It is now reported that the Parole Board has decided that he can be released though he will be subject to a package of licence conditions - BBC News 4th January 2018.
In 2018 there will not be a Queen's Speech in Parliament. In 2017, following the General Election, it was announced that there would be a two year Parliamentary session 2017-19. The reasons publicly given for this were set out by the government' s announcement of Saturday 17th June 2017. A two year session was considered necessary to "give
MPs enough time to fully consider the laws required to make Britain
ready for Brexit" and "the EU exit process and the government’s
domestic agenda mean the new Parliament faces a substantial legislative
programme." The 2 year term appears to have been a decision taken by the government alone.
The Upper Tribunal has decided that the
‘security bodies’ exemption under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
should not have been applied in a blanket fashion to exempt the legal
advice that formed the basis of the lethal drone strike that killed two
British citizens, Reyaad Khan and Ruhul Amin, in August 2015. The
Tribunal refused to order disclosure of the advice, but not before
making a significant ruling narrowing the parameters of the ‘security
bodies’ exemption and criticising the Information Commissioner’s
handling of such cases.
The use by drivers of a "mobile phone" as a Satnav is very common but what is the law? Mr Fraser wrote - "I’ve been
doing so for a while and have been spared hours in needless traffic jams. I’ve
had plenty of cause to give thanks for this technology, until I ended up on
trial in a Magistrates’ Court last week.