Tuesday 30 November 2021

Coronavirus legislation ~ Omicron variant ~ face coverings and self-isolation

In response to the Omicron variant of Coronavirus (Covid-19), the government has made new Regulations relating to the wearing of face coverings and self-isolation. 

The Regulations came into force at 4 am on 30 November.

18 July 2021 saw the removal of most of the Coronavirus secondary legislation although Regulations relating to international travel remained in place and, since July, have been the subject of numerous further amendments. (The travel Regulations are not considered further here).

The new Regulations may be seen at -

Sunday 28 November 2021

Tragedy in the Channel

Tragedy in the Channel:

The poet Matthew Arnold in his poem Dover Beach wrote of the "turbid ebb and flow of human misery". Those words seem apt to describe the only too predictable tragedy of Wednesday 24 November when at least 27 lives were lost as people attempted to cross the Channel in a flimsy inflatable dinghy.

Tragedy at sea claims dozens of lives in deadliest day of Channel crisis | Immigration and asylum | The Guardian

Needless to say this would be a particularly dangerous crossing at the best of times and even more so in a completely inadequate vessel. The Straits of Dover is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world with around 400 commercial vessels per day -

The Strait of Dover (nasa.gov)

The numbers attempting this perilous journey

Thursday 25 November 2021

Diktats and denial of democracy

The eminent legal commentator Joshua Rozenberg has drawn attention to two reports from House of Lords committees

Government by diktat? - by Joshua Rozenberg - A Lawyer Writes (substack.com)

The reports are from the Secondary legislation scrutiny committee and the Delegated powers and Regulatory Reform Committee

Two Lords reports published on the balance of power between Parliament and the Executive - Committees - UK Parliament#

The reports are

Will the UK rejoin the EU?

Will the UK rejoin the European Union (EU)?

This post looks at the essentially political question of whether the UK might rejoin the EU in the foreseeable future. There are those who hope that it might do so but are such aspirations realistic? A further question is what would be the process for rejoining.

It is probably unwise to say that rejoining will never happen but, as things stand in late 2021, it is highly unlikely.  That is, of course, my personal view but let's look at the situation.

Political situation -

The Conservative Party forms the current government and was elected in 2019 on a manifesto of Getting Brexit Done - Conservative Party Manifesto 2019 (conservatives.com)#

Now that Brexit has taken place, there is not a even the slightest change of mind on the government's part.  

As for the Labour Party,

Tuesday 16 November 2021

Barbados - the change to parliamentary republic

"The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind" - Governor General Sandra Mason reading speech prepared by the Prime Minister of Barbados.

The Caribbean island of Barbados is 21 miles long and 14 miles wide with a population of around 285,000. 

On 30 November 2021 it will become a Republic and HM The Queen will therefore cease to be its Head of State. Former judge Sandra Mason is to be its first President. Economically, the island is very dependent on tourism.

Barbados - Wikipedia

Visit Barbados - The Official Barbados Tourism Guide 2021

Some of the reasons behind

Monday 8 November 2021

Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol

The post Brexit relationship between the UK government and the EU is marked by continual tension including numerous issues arising in connection with the Northern Ireland Protocol (NIP). The NIP is an integral part of the Withdrawal Agreement entered into between the UK and EU in 2019 - 

Law and Lawyers: Withdrawal Agreement ~ The Ireland / Northern Ireland Protocol

The purpose of the NIP is to prevent a hard border between Ireland (a member State of the EU) and Northern Ireland (part of the UK). The protocol requires Northern Ireland to align with EU law in some areas in order to maintain frictionless access to the EU. Goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain have to prove that they comply with EU law in those areas.

In July 2021

Saturday 6 November 2021

The Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Act 2021 - background and overview

This post looks at the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Act 2021. The Act is the result of long-standing dislike within the British government of legal actions brought as a result of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The majority of those who served in the Armed Forces in those theatres did so with bravery, professionalism and honour. Sadly, there is ample evidence from various inquiries and other proceedings that some did not live up to the high standard expected of the Armed Forces of the Crown.

The Conservative Party's 2019 manifesto stated that, if elected, the Party would "introduce new legislation to tackle the vexatious claims that undermine our Armed Forces."  Having won the 2019 election, the Party duly introduced the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill - Armed Forces protected from vexatious claims in important step - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).  Various amendments to the Bill occurred during its passage through Parliament. The resulting Act received Royal Assent on 29 April 2021 - 

Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Act 2021 (legislation.gov.uk)


Explanatory notes were

Monday 1 November 2021

Criminal conduct authorisations within the UK

The European Convention on Human Rights Article 2 requires that everyone's life shall be protected by law. The article continues - "Deprivation of life shall not be regarded as inflicted in contravention of this Article when it results from the use of force which is no more than absolutely necessary: (a) in defence of any person from unlawful violence; (b) in order to effect a lawful arrest or to prevent the escape of a person lawfully detained; (c) in action lawfully taken for the purpose of quelling a riot or insurrection."

The Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Act 2021 (legislation.gov.uk) - fully in force since 30 September 2021 - is lawful authority for a Police Force, the National Crime Agency, the Intelligence Services, the Armed Forces, Revenue and Customs. the Home Office and several other bodies - to approve a Covert Human Intelligence Source (a CHIS) to commit ANY criminal offence. If the CHIS acts in accordance with the authorisation then it will be lawful for all purposes.

I have put the word ANY in upper case / bold because