Tuesday 31 July 2018

Supreme Court ~ Enhanced Criminal Record Certificates

On 30 July, the Supreme Court handed down judgment in R(AR) v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester [2018] UKSC 47
The Court of Appeal judgment - [2016] EWCA Civ 490.

A reporting restriction applies so that no one shall publish or reveal the name or address of the appellant - referred to as AR - or publish or reveal any information which would be likely to lead to the identification of the appellant or of any member of his family.

Monday 30 July 2018

Supreme Court ~ A NHS Trust v Y [2018] UKSC 46

On 30 July 2018, the Supreme Court handed down judgment in A NHS Trust v Y (by his litigation friend, the Official Solicitor)  [2018] UKSC 46.
Reporting restrictions apply to this case to protect the identity of the NHS Trust involved, the identity of Y and of others involved in the case.  Full details of the restrictions are set out in the Press Summary.

Sunday 29 July 2018

One for the Wet Towels ~ Scotland's Legal Continuity Bill

Update 13 December 2018:  The Supreme Court held that Scotland's Legal Cotinuity Bill is not generally outside the powers of the Scottish Parliament but certain provisions are.  In particular section 17 was outside the competence of the Scottish Parliament.   See the Court's judgment and Press Summary.


"It's one for the wet towels," said Lady Hale at the conclusion of the oral hearings in the Reference by the Attorney-General and Advocate General for Scotland on the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Legal Continuity)(Scotland) Bill.

Here is a case for lovers of byzantine legal complexity to savour.

Fundamentally, the Scottish Parliament was created by the Scotland Act 1998 and it only has the powers granted to it by the Scotland Act 1998 as amended.  If it is claimed that Scottish legislation is outside the powers of the Scottish Parliament then reference can be made to the Supreme Court of the UK to determine whether the legislation is within devolved legislative powers.

Notes on the Withdrawal Agreement White Paper (24 July)

Pro-EU Rally, London, June 2018
White Paper:

On 24 July, the government published a White Paper - Legislating for the Withdrawal Agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union

The paper sets out the government's current thinking for a European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill to be introduced in the autumn IF there is a Withdrawal Agreement which Parliament has accepted.  The similarly named European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 section 13 specifies the requirements for Parliamentary acceptance of any withdrawal agreement and framework for the future relationship.

Thursday 26 July 2018

247 Days to Brexit ~ Talk of treason !

Clive Dunn as L.Cpl Jones
Updated27 July - see the addendum for Statements of 26 July by Michel Barnier and Dominic Raab.

USA and EU trade:

During his recent visit to the UK, Donald J Trump first claimed that any attempt to keep close ties with the European Union would make a future trade deal with the US unlikely - The Independent 13 July.  Two days later it was reported that the President had insisted the US and UK are “going to end up making a deal” on trade - The Independent 15 July.  All of that is less than two weeks ago and now we see the US President meeting with the President of the European Commission and agreeing to work towards lowering trade barriers with the European Union.  As reported by the BBC 25 July, the two sides would work for zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto goods.  They also agreed to increase trade in services and agriculture, including greater US soy bean exports to the EU.

Tuesday 24 July 2018

Brexit - White Paper on legislation for the Withdrawal Agreement

Further White Paper:

A further Brexit-related White Paper was issued on 24 July 2018 - Legislating for the Withdrawal Agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

The White Paper confirms that the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill will:
  • be the primary means by which the rights of EU citizens will be protected in UK law;
  • legislate for the time-limited implementation period; and
  • create a financial authority to manage the specific payments to be made under the financial settlement, with appropriate Parliamentary oversight
See Hansard Online - Statement to House of Commons 24 July.

Foreign Fighters and the Death Penalty ~ Government policy criticised

On Monday 23 July, an Urgent Question was asked in the House of Commons about "Foreign Fighters and the Death Penalty" - Hansard Online.  It had come to light that the UK government had agreed to provide information to the USA relating to Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee El-Sheikh who were captured in Syria in January 2018.  The men are said to be part of a Jihadi group - referred to as "the Beatles" - and known for its brutality to captives including murder by beheading.  The group included Mohammed Emwazi who was killed by a drone attack in 2015.

Friday 20 July 2018

Brexit negotiations - Preparing for No Deal - Reaction to White Paper

19 July:

The EU Commission, in a Press Release 19 July,  has adopted a Communication outlining the ongoing work on the preparation for all outcomes of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union.  The Press Release states -

On 30 March 2019, the United Kingdom will leave the EU and become a third country. This will have repercussions for citizens, businesses and administrations in both the United Kingdom and the EU. These repercussions range from new controls at the EU's outer border with the UK, to the validity of UK-issued licences, certificates and authorisations and to different rules for data transfers.

Today's text calls on Member States and private parties to step up preparations and follows a request by the European Council (Article 50) last month to intensify preparedness at all levels and for all outcomes.

Preparing for the Withdrawal of the UK from the EU

The Commission has also issued Brexit Preparedness Notices addressing numerous sectors.

20 July:

Thursday 19 July 2018

Brexit and Civil Aviation ~ Irish Taoiseach issues warning

The civil aviation sector is a vital part of the UK economy, contributing £52bn to UK GDP in 2016 and supporting close to a million jobs. Flights to or from Europe accounted for 63% of all passengers who passed through UK airports in 2016.

Mr Leo Varadkar is the Taoiseach of Ireland.  Speaking after a cabinet meeting in Derrynane House, Co Kerry, Leo Varadkar claimed Ireland’s airspace may be out of bounds for UK jets if they go down the route of a hard Brexit and ban the EU from fishing in their waters - News Letter 18 July.  This statement was condemned as "shameful blackmail" by Mr David Bannerman MEP  (Conservative) but perhaps we should not be too quick to condemn.

We have been here before - Law and Lawyers January 2018 - What if no deal? EU Commission Notice - Air Transport and see the Air Transport Notice 11th December 2017.  The only sensible conclusion is that "no deal Brexit" poses a massive threat to civil aviation as made clear by the British Airline Pilots Association in October 2017.

See also  Brexit Preparedness Notices addressing numerous sectors including Air Transport and Aviation Safety.

See also Aviation Law Review September 2017 and Getting the Deal Through - Air Transport EU - October 2017

UK Government proposals:

Wednesday 18 July 2018

Two further Brexit-related Bills - Customs/Taxation - Trade

This post looks at two important Brexit-related Bills: the Taxation (Cross-Border) Trade Bill 2017-19 and the Trade Bill 2017-19.

Taxation (Cross-Border) Trade Bill:

Sometimes referred to as "the Customs Bill", the government's Taxation (Cross-Border) Trade Bill 2017-19 allows the creation of a functioning and independent customs, VAT and excise regime after Brexit.  It is a Bill to -

Tuesday 17 July 2018

Electoral Commission - Vote Leave and others

Vote Leave Limited was a designated lead campaigner in the 2016 EU Referendum campaign.

The Electoral Commission has published the conclusions of its investigation into Vote Leave’s EU referendum spending.  The Commission found significant evidence of undeclared joint working between the lead leave campaigner, Vote Leave, and the campaign group BeLeave.  The report (pdf) may be read via -

Monday 16 July 2018

Brexit ~ MPs like rats in a sack ~ A further referendum?

Justine Greening MP - (Wikipedia) - has argued that a second referendum on EU membership is required in order to break the gridlock in Parliament - The Independent 16 July.  Greening, who held the Putney seat by 1554 votes in the 2017 election, branded Theresa May's Brexit plan the "worst of both worlds."

Let's see if Greening's idea is workable ....

Under the Article 50 Notification, the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 - only 257 days from now.

UK-EU Future Relationship - the UK Proposals July 2018 - Number (3)

This is the third and final post looking at the government's Policy White Paper - The future relationship between the UK and the EU.   Previous posts are 12 JulyInstitutional Arrangements and 14 July - Economic Partnership.   The White Paper Chapter 2 contains proposals relating to a post-Brexit Security Partnership and Chapter 3 is entitled - "Cross-cutting and other cooperation."

Saturday 14 July 2018

UK-EU Future Relationship - the UK Proposals July 2018 - Number (2)

The Previous post 12 July considered the important Institutional Arrangements put forward by the UK in the government's Policy White Paper - The future relationship between the UK and the EU.  This post takes an overview of the proposals for an Economic partnership set out in Chapter 1. 

The long-awaited White Paper did not get off to an auspicious start in the House of Commons.  The debate on 12 July - see Hansard - was remarkable in that MPs had not been given copies of the Paper!

The White Paper is, in reality, the only proposal on the negotiating table and, as such, has to be examined seriously and not dismissed out of hand.

At the heart

Thursday 12 July 2018

UK-EU Future Relationship - the UK Proposals July 2018 - Number (1)

The government has published its Policy White Paper - The future relationship between the UK and the EU.

Unless there is some major political development, Brexit takes place on 29 March 2019 and, at present, there is to be an implementation or transition period lasting until the end of 2020.

The paper is lengthy (104 pages) and lacks elegance.  "Cakeism" is a word used by some to describe the government's "cake and eat it" approach to Brexit and here we see a half-baked cake riddled with serious problems. 

Tuesday 10 July 2018

Brexit - post-Chequers

The stakes are high - the pace is fast - where are we with Brexit?

Friday 6 July - the Cabinet agreed a collective proposal for Brexit and there was a reassertion of the need for collective responsibility - Previous post 7 July.

On 8 July, the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU (Mr David Davis MP) resigned from the government - see his letter of resignation and the Prime Minister's reply.  He has been replaced by Mr Dominic Raab MP and see his voting record.  The Foreign Secretary, Mr Boris Johnson MP, resigned on Monday 9 July - resignation letter and PM's reply.  He has been replaced by Mr Jeremy Hunt MP.

Saturday 7 July 2018

Brexit ~ Chequers talks 6 July ~ Cards on the table

Mr Donald Tusk - the President of the European Council - noted in his remarks at the end of the recent European Council meeting that - "On Brexit. The EU27 has taken note of what has been achieved so far. However, there is a great deal of work ahead, and the most difficult tasks are still unresolved. If we want to reach a deal in October we need quick progress. This is the last call to lay the cards on the table."

After an all day session at Chequers on Friday 6 July, the Cabinet agreed a "collective position" on the future relationship of the UK with the EU - BBC News 6 July.

A White Paper is to be published on 12 July.  Talks with the EU resume on Monday 16 July.

It is remarkable

Thursday 5 July 2018

Tommy Robinson appeal ~ observations

Update 18 July - Mr Robinson' appeal was heard by the Lord Chief Justice (Lord Burnett) sitting with Mr Justice Turner and Mrs Justice McGowan.  In the event, the appeal seeks to have both the Canterbury and Leeds contempt findings quashed because of procedural errors.  The court reserved judgment and said it hoped to give its decision by the end of July.  A report on the day's proceedings is at The Independent 18 July.  The reporting restriction relating to trials at Leeds remains in force.

Update 12 July - The appeal by Tommy Robinson (Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon) will now be heard by the Court of Appeal next Wednesday, 18 July.  It appears that he is challenging the length of his committal (13 months in all) for contempt of court.  Lord Burnett, the Lord Chief Justice, will preside.


Mr Yaxley-Lennon - aka Tommy Robinson - remains in prison following his committal on 25th May for contempt of court - Previous post 1st June.  It was reported by supporters of Mr Robinson (HERE) that 10th July was set for an appeal  to be heard but the date was cancelled because "the government's lawyers say they're not ready."  Unsurprisingly, that has been contrasted with the fact that Mr Robinson was arrested in Leeds and imprisoned within the space of around 5 hours.  I have not been able to find any official statement as to why the appeal date was cancelled.

The conduct:

Tuesday 3 July 2018

Out of the Shadows

The Law Society Gazette 2 July 2018 published an article by Rachel Rothwell - "Out of the Shadows."  The article notes the alarming number of recorded sexual offences against children under 16 - 43,522 offences in 2016-17 and goes on to consider a number of developments.  This post offers some additional material / links.

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is an area of abuse that

Sunday 1 July 2018

European Council - June 2018

The European Council met in Brussels on Thursday / Friday 28 and 29 June.  This post looks primarily at the Brexit-related part of the council meeting.

Council Conclusions 28 June:

 The conclusions of 28 June are set out HERE under five principal headings: (I) Migration, (II) Security and Defence; (III) Jobs, growth and competitiveness, (IV) Innovation and Digital and (V) Other issues.  The main results are summarised HERE.  The Press Briefing may be viewed here.

On Monday 2nd July, the Prime Minister made a statement about the Council meeting - House of Commons Hansard 2nd July.