Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Is the criminal trial jury under threat ?


"Our justice system is built on the principle that the law will be applied impartially. In the cases that involve the greatest harm to victims and the longest sentences for offenders, juries are the guardians of this principle. Our jury system may be centuries old, but it is still fit for purpose today" - Report by David Lammy (2017).  

I suspect that many people within the criminal justice system and elsewhere fully expected calls for removal of jury trial as a means of dealing with the backlog of criminal cases which actually developed long before coronavirus (Covid-19) arrived.

The Law Society Gazette (27 March 2020) commented- "The backlog of Crown court cases in England and Wales has reached its highest level in

Monday, 29 June 2020

EU and UK ~ Where are we now?

 The transition period will end 31 December 2020:

The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020 and entered into a transition (or implementation) period until the end of 2020.

The Withdrawal Agreement was formally agreed on 29 January just as coronavirus was starting to emerge as a major threat to life, health and the economy.

The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 gives force, within the domestic legal systems of the UK, to the Withdrawal Agreement.

The Withdrawal Agreement

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Looking back - Ruth Ellis

On 13 July 1955 the execution took place of Ruth Ellis (RE). She was the last woman to be hanged in the United Kingdom.

Background:

RE's family moved to London in 1943 when she was 17. She met a Canadian soldier at a dance and their subsequent relationship resulted in a baby boy being born. The father, a married man, returned to Canada. RE entered the world of escorting and London nightclubs. Various relationships with men took place over a number of years.

RE got a job at the 'Camera Club' where she posed in the nude so that men could photograph her. Later, she moved on to become

Monday, 22 June 2020

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Lessons from the past ~ Statues and Memorials

June 2020
Protesters:

Some people detest the very existence of particular statues and are prepared to protest about them, damage them or even forcibly remove them.  The recent Black Lives Matter protests have seen the words "was a racist" paint-sprayed on to the Churchill statue near Parliament - iNews 14 June. A statue to Edward Colston (1636-1721) was removed in Bristol and thrown into the harbour. It was subsequently "fished out" and taken into storage. I will return to Mr Colston later.

Others purported to be on the streets to protect particular statues. CBS News  reported on 13 June that "far right activists" had "descended on" London "claiming they were protecting statues from anti-racism activists."

Action was taken to ptotect  several prominent statues or memorials from protesters. The picture shows the cenotaph in

Monday, 15 June 2020

14 days for Mr Andrew Banks

There was considerable disorder in central London (and elsewhere) over the weekend of 13  and 14 June 2020. One man urinated just to the right of the memorial in Parliament Square to Police Constable Keith Palmer who was killed by Khalid Masood in March 2017 - see BBC News 15 June 2020 and ITV News 15 June.

The man in question was Andrew Banks (28) from Stansted, Essex. He was charged with the common law offence of outraging public decency and was sentenced to 14 days imprisonment when he appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court and entered a guilty plea.

The BBC report tells us that

Sunday, 14 June 2020

Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings on Public Transport) (England) Regulations 2020

The Secretary of State for Transport (Mr Grant Shapps MP) has made The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings on Public Transport) (England) Regulations 2020 - SI 2020/592. An Explanatory Memorandum is available.

The legal basis for the Regulations is the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984. The "emergency procedure" in section 45R has been used, yet again, to make these Regulations which were laid before Parliament on Sunday 14 June and come into force on 15 June. The Regulations apply to England.

Regulation 1 (Citation, commencement and application) states

"Linked households" - or "bubbles"

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
From 4 July 2020 the Regulations referred to in this post are replaced by new Regulations - see here. This post has been retained for record purposes.

Regulation 6 of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions)(England) Regulations 2020 (as amended) states:

6.—(1) No person may, without reasonable excuse, stay overnight at any place other than the place where they are living or where their linked household is living.

Regulation 6(1) prohibits persons staying overnight other than at home or in a linked household or if one of the other exceptions in Regulation 6 applies.  (The list in Regulation 6 is non-exhaustive).

Regulation 7 of

Friday, 12 June 2020

Coronavirus Restrictions legislation ~ further amendments

From 4 July 2020 the Regulations referred to in this post are replaced by new Regulations - see here. This post has been retained for record purposes.
 
The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 have been amended for the fourth time. The amending legislation is The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2020 -SI 2020/588. This was, yet again, made using the "emergency procedure" in section 45R of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984.

An Explanatory Memorandum is available. This states - "This instrument makes a number of changes to the Restrictions Regulations to enable and support gradual relaxation of restriction measures whilst amending, but crucially, keeping in place public health measures to continue to reduce public health risks posed by the incidence and spread SARS-CoV-2. The relaxations will facilitate the country's economic recovery by opening non-essential retail premises. The relaxations will also enable certain important aspects of public and private life to continue in a controlled manner."

The amendments are a further easing of the "lockdown" in a number of areas - e.g. relating to certain businesses or activities and there is

Sunday, 7 June 2020

Quarantine Regulations ~ an overview

Update - From 10 July the law has been amended by The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel and Public Health Information) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 - SI 2020/691 and see Explanatory Memorandum.

The amendments exempt people from the requirement to self-isolate where, during the 14 days preceding their arrival in England, they have only been in “exempt countries or territories”. Such countries and territories have been added to a list in the new Schedule 1A where the public health risk has been deemed sufficiently low. The list in Schedule 1A will be subject to on-going review and further countries will be added or removed informed by their risk status when it is appropriate and proportionate to do so.


Original Post:


Commencing on Monday 8 June, "quarantine" is to be imposed on international travellers arriving in England.

The relevant legislation is The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (England) Regulations 2020 - SI 2020/568 and see the Explanatory Memorandum

The quarantine regulations should be read in conjunction with The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Public Health Information for Passengers Travelling to England) Regulations 2020 - SI 2020/567and see the Explanatory Memorandum

These "quarantine regulations" are in force from 8 June 2020 and apply to England only. They must be reviewed by the Minister every

Ministers and their law-making powers for public health

Part 2A of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 ("the 1984 Act") contains extensive powers enabling Ministers to make public health regulations. The powers are exercisable by statutory instrument to which the Statutory Instruments Act 1946 applies.

As part of the response to the coronavirus pandemic, a  number of statutory instruments have been made using the 1984 Act powers. In most instances, this subordinate legislation has been made without any prior parliamentary scrutiny.

This post considers briefly the regulation-making powers for health protection as they have been used for England. I other parts of the UK, similar powers have been used to make regulations.

This may seem to be

Friday, 5 June 2020

Quarantine

From 8 June, "Quarantine" is to be imposed on indivduals arriving in ENGLAND. Two Statutory Instruments have been made to implement this.

The Health Protection (Coronanvirus, International Travel) (England) Regulations 2020 - SI 2020/568 and see the Explanatory Memorandum

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Public Health Information for Passengers Travelling to England) Regulations 2020 - SI 2020/567and see the Explanatory Memorandum

Both sets of Regulations come into legal force on 8 June and will expire after 12 months (unless revoked earlier).

The purpose

Thursday, 4 June 2020

The latest "lockdown" regulations and the individual's home

From 4 July 2020 the Regulations referred to in this post are replaced by new Regulations - see here. This post has been retained for record purposes.
 
My previous post looked at the latest "lockdown" regulations which came into force on 1 June 2020. Here is a link to the up to date version  of the legislation.

Whether the public realise it or not, the latest legislation has the potential for serious impact on what individuals may do within the privacy of their homes. Here is a closer look ....

New Regulation 6 (Restrictions on Movement):

An entirely new Regulation 6 replaced the earlier version.  

"No person may,

Monday, 1 June 2020

Amended "lockdown" Regulations ~ in force 1 June 2020


'Lockdown' - Bournemouth 31 May
From 4 July 2020 the Regulations referred to in this post are replaced by new Regulations - see here. This post has been retained for record purposes.
 
On 12 June 2020 a further amendment was issued to the Regulations. This post is retained for historical purposes.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (Regulations) 2020 - (the "lockdown" Regulations) - have been amended for the third time. The latest amendment is in force from 1 June 2020. The government again used the regulation-making power in the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 (as amended).

The amended Regulations reflect the government's view that it is safe to ease the restrictions further. This view is not universally held - for example, see BBC News 30 May and Financial Times 30 May 2020. Concern also exists because of the numbers of people who went to beaches and beauty spots - (see picture of Bournemouth beach).

The lockdown Regulations are different across the four nations of the UK. Links to the legislation are set out at the end of this post.

Under the amended English Regulations, the "emergency period" is still in force. There is an entirely  new Regulation 6 (Restrictions on Movement) and Regulation 7 (Restrictions on Gatherings). Schedule 2 (Businesses subject to Restrictions or Closure) is amended.

Throughout the pandemic the government has issued guidance on COVID-19. The guidance is updated as the government considers necessary and it is advisable to check for the updates.

NHS Information and advice about coronavirus is available at NHS.UK/Coronavirus