Tuesday 25 June 2019

Lord Sumption - Reith Lectures 2019

In January 2012, Lord Sumption was appointed as a Justice of the Supreme Court directly from the Bar.  In December 2018 he reached the compulsory retirement age of 70 years and had to retire even though he can be invited to sit as a member of the court until he reaches age 75 - See his Valedictory via the Supreme Court website.  In May 2017, Lord Neuberger said - “ ... the situation is demonstrably illogical as judges who must retire at 70 are able to sit as part-time judges until reaching 75, and people can be jurors until 75.”

Lord Sumption has delivered the BBC's annual Reith Lectures

Monday 24 June 2019

Human Rights in the UK

European Convention on Human Rights
An overview of the position regarding "human rights" in the UK.

Rights in general - a basic note:

There appears to be no universally agreed definition of  the terms "right" (or "rights") but the concept of rights is important and there is an abundance of literature in which numerous legal thinkers have sought to analyse and explain rights.

At a basic level. a right appears

Friday 21 June 2019

Choosing the Prime Minister

Theresa May announces intention to resign
Updated 30 June - see Articles below

Some thoughts on the process of choosing the Prime Minister.

On 24 May 2019, battered and broken by the stormy waters of Brexit, the Prime Minister (Rt. Hon. Theresa May MP) announced that she would resign from the leadership of the Conservative and Unionist Party.  Mrs May had been forced into this position by her party's MPs - (see the media articles - links below). 

The resignation duly took place on 7 June and the party began the process of electing their new leader. At the time of writing,  two candidates remain in the race - Rt. Hon Boris Johnson MP and Rt. Hon. Jeremy Hunt MP.  Their names

Wednesday 19 June 2019

The concept of Rule of Law

In R (Unison) v Lord Chancellor [2017] UKSC 51, Lord Reed said at para 68 - "At the heart of the concept of the rule of law is the idea that society is governed by law."

The important concept of "the Rule of Law" is much more than one of the clich├ęs of modern life. The rule of law is invoked by lawyers and politicians but there is no precise definition to which one can turn.  Nonetheless, authoritative sources contain references to the rule of law and offer descriptions of the concept.

References to rule of law:

The rule of law is mentioned

Wednesday 12 June 2019

Prorogation of Parliament to achieve "no deal" Brexit

Let's take back control
The destructive testing of the UK's uncodified constitution continues as the possibility of a Prorogation of Parliament is suggested to enable a new Prime Minister to push through a 31 October "no deal" Brexit.   The new PM will be the winner of the Conservative Party leadership contest - selected by 313 Conservative MPs and, in the region of, 160,000 party members.  The party does not have a majority in the House of Commons and governs with a confidence and supply arrangement with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

Removing Parliament

Tuesday 11 June 2019

Justice Report ~ Prosecuting sexual offences

Justice Report:

Justice has published the report of Working Party - Prosecuting Sexual Offences

"Recent years have seen a surge in sexual offence allegations. The uncovering of non-recent crimes, a rise in reporting, shifting cultural attitudes and the internet have all contributed to a large increase of cases entering the criminal justice system. In turn, this increase has thrown into the spotlight the complexities of prosecuting sexual offences. The report calls for important reforms to protect complainants and vulnerable individuals and recommends stronger obligations on internet companies to safeguard children and stop online sexual offences from taking place."

Friday 7 June 2019

Dennis Hutchings ~ Application for Judicial Review

"Trial by jury is a hallowed principle of the administration of justice ..." - per Lord Judge CJ in R v Twomey [2010] 1 WLR 630.

A previous post looked at the on-going case of former soldier Dennis Hutchings - Northern Ireland - talking Points (30 October 2018)

Mr Dennis Hutchings (now aged 78) served with the Life Guards Regiment in Northern Ireland.  He is facing trial

Thursday 6 June 2019

As the Brexit Clock ticks

Updated 11 June - 14 June:

The Brexit clock is ticking.  It is now 56 days since the Article 50 "flexible" extension to 31 October was agreed on 10 April 2019 - read the Council Conclusions and Council Decision 10 April.   147 days are left until 31 October.  The 56 days have seen the elections for the European Parliament, the announcement by Theresa May that she is to resign as Conservative Party leader on 7 June, and the commencement of a Conservative Party leadership election.   The seemingly intractable problem of Brexit remains.

Leadership election:

In the leadership election