Tuesday 26 October 2021

Environment Bill ~ Storm Overflows and Sewage Discharge

Parliament has been considering the Environment Bill.

Environment Bill - Parliamentary Bills - UK Parliament

The Bill passed the House of Commons, went to the House of Lords which proposed a number of amendments. The Bill then returned to the Commons for consideration of Lords amendments. 

The Commons considered the amendments on 20 October and returned them to the Lords with disagreements - the beginning of the so-called "ping pong" process.

The Commons debate

Friday 22 October 2021

Some weekend reading

First, the speech by the Attorney General to the 2021 Public Law Project Conference - 

Professor Mark Elliott offered an early response to the speech - see Youtube 20 October.

Secondly, the Supreme Court decision

Wednesday 20 October 2021

Legal aid - "Westminister Commission" report

"The legal aid system as it stands is not sufficient. Nor is it sustainable."

That is the summary by the Westminster Commission on legal aid set out in a 177 page report issued on 19 October 2021 (pdf).

The Commission is an All Party Parliamentary Group - see its website

The report sets out the significant changes made to legal aid in the 8 years since the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) and provides a useful as well as detailed analysis of the current position.

The Foreword to the report notes -

Sunday 17 October 2021

Dominic Raab MP - the Lord Chancellor - on judicial review and human rights

On 15 September 2021, the Prime Minister moved Dominic Raab MP from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the Ministry of Justice to replace Robert Buckland QC MP as Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor. Raab was "sworn in" as Lord Chancellor on 23 September 2021. 

The reasons for moving Raab to Justice were not made entirely clear but we might surmise that Buckland was considered to be not going far enough with his reforms to judicial review which I wrote about earlier.

Raab was at Justice previously. He was Parliamentary

Tuesday 12 October 2021

Coronavirus - lessons learned - Parliamentary report

The House of Commons and Science and Technology Committee and Health and Social Care Committee have published their Report, Coronavirus: lessons learned to date, examining the initial UK response to the Covid pandemic.

 Coronavirus: lessons learned to date report published - Committees - UK Parliament

Covid vaccine programme “one of most effective initiatives in UK history” but delay to first lockdown a “serious error” that should have been challenged.

Monday 4 October 2021

Arrest - some basic notes on a difficult topic

"You have eroded the confidence that the public are entitled to have in the police forces of England and Wales. It is critical that every subject in this country can trust police officers when they encounter them and submit to their authority, which they are entitled to believe is being exercised in good faith"
- Sentencing remarks - Lord Justice Fulford - 30 September 2021 - R v Couzens. 

Powers of arrest are a difficult legal topic but they have come to greater public prominence due to the actions of Wayne Couzens who kidnapped, raped and murdered Sarah Everard. Couzens was a serving Police Officer who purported to arrest Sarah as she was walking home having visited a friend. 

What does the law say about arrest and use of force?

Arrest with a warrant

An arrest may be authorised by the warrant of a Justice of the Peace - Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 section 1 which enables a JP to issue either a summons or issue a warrant to arrest an individual and bring him before a Magistrates' Court.. 

Arrest without warrant:

The Police