Sunday 27 February 2022

Conflict in Ukraine (4) - Russia and the UK

"If we are to truly act with the robust moral authority that is required, we must get our own house in order. London has become the destination of choice for the crooks and thieves who run Russia" - Mr Stephen Kinnock MP (Aberavon, Labour) in the House of Commons 23 February 2022

As shown by a Foreign Affairs Committee report published in May 2018 (pdf), serious concern has existed for a considerable time about possible Russian influence in the UK including potentially undue influence over UK government activity.  

Further concern is how certain wealthy individuals have used the legal system to deter criticism of their activities - 

Putin has used British rich man’s law to avoid scrutiny, at a crippling cost to us all | Nick Cohen | The Guardian 26 February

Cohen goes so far as to say - "As Russian tanks

Saturday 26 February 2022

Conflict in Ukraine (3) - Reaction - UN, Council of Europe, EU, ICC, ICJ

Reaction of international bodies to the Russian military action in Ukraine:

United Nations:

UN Charter 

UN Security Council

Security Council fails to adopt draft resolution on ending Ukraine crisis, as Russian Federation wields veto

The Five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council - WorldAtlas

General Assembly resolution demands end to Russian offensive in Ukraine | | UN News

UN resolution against Ukraine invasion: Full text (

United Nations Security Council veto power - Wikipedia 

Presidency of the United Nations Security Council - Wikipedia

In February 2022, Russia held the Presidency of the UN Security Council. In March 2022 it is held by United Arab Emirates and, after that, UK (April 2022) and USA (May 2022).

7 April 2022 - UN General Assembly votes to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council | | UN News

Council of Europe:

Situation in Ukraine: Decisions by Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers

Council of Europe suspends Russia's rights of representation

The European Court of Human Rights operates under the aegis of the Council of Europe. The court has announced interim measures concerning the Russian Federation (1 March 2022), Measures taken in cases concerning Ukraine (2 March), Interim measures concerning Russian military operations (4 March). Details are on the court's website - European Court of Human Rights - ECHR, CEDH, news, information, press releases (

Law and Lawyers: Conflict in the Ukraine (7) - Russia excluded from Council of Europe (

An Aggression Chamber for Ukraine Supported by the Council of Europe - Opinio Juris

European Union:

Friday 25 February 2022

Conflict in Ukraine (2) - NATO

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) owes its existence to the North Atlantic Treaty of 1949 (sometimes referred to as the Washington Treaty).

The Treaty was signed on 4 April 1949 by 12 founding members. The Treaty derives its authority from Article 51 of the UN Charter which reaffirmed the inherent right of independent States to individual or collective defence. 

Collective defence is at the heart of the Treaty and is enshrined in Article 5 - NATO - Topic: Collective defence - Article 5

Conflict in Ukraine (1) - Sanctions

Updates at the end ...

On 24 February 2022, Russia sent its military forces into Ukraine. This was preceded by a lengthy build up of Russian forces. 

Russia has come under international condemnation because of its actions in Ukraine. As shown by this timeline, there has been a turbulent history since Ukraine became independent in 1991.

Sanctions have formed a part of the response by the UK Conservative government.

The imposition of sanctions is authorised

Tuesday 22 February 2022

Article 50 and its implementation

On 4 February, the EU Parliament held a public hearing looking at how Article 50 TEU was implemented.

AFCO Public Hearing on the Assessment of the Implementation of Article 50 TEU | Hearings | Events | AFCO | Committees | European Parliament (

Also, on 16 February 2022, the EU Parliament issued an assessment of the Article 50 process - 

Assessment of the implementation of Article 50 (pdf) and Assessment of the implementation of Article 50 (html version)

This post notes some of the salient points in the assessment.

As always, the document has to be read in full. It identifies a number of problems with Article 50 and examines

Monday 21 February 2022

Counsellors of State

Privy Council:

Most actions of the the Privy Council do not attract a great deal of public attention but that was not the case when, on 28 August 2019, the Privy Council held a meeting at Balmoral and decided to prorogue Parliament from a date between 9 and 12 September 2019 until 14 October 2019 - see Privy Council 28.8.2019

That meeting was attended by HM The Queen and three Privy Counsellors - Rt. Hon Jacob Rees-Mogg, Rt. Hon Baroness Evans of Bowes Park, and Rt. Hon Mark Spencer. Jacob Rees-Mogg was then Lord President of the Council. That post is now held by Mark Spencer.

The prorogation was, in law, a decision

Saturday 19 February 2022

Privacy for those under investigation? The Bloomberg case.

43 years ago in Malone v Metropolitan Police Commisioner [1979] Ch 344 (Megarry V-C) it was noted that there was no general right to privacy recognised by English law.  That case led, via Mr Malone's journey to Strasbourg, to the Interception of Communications Act 1985 (as enacted) - now replaced by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA).  The 1985 legislation addressed the European Court of Human Rights judgment that the UK has breached Mr Malone's Article 8 Rights.

Article 8 provides that everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence. It is a qualified right - "There shall be no interference

Wednesday 16 February 2022

Litigation between Virginia Giuffre and Prince Andrew - settlement in principle

The amounts of money involved continue to be unknown. Also, it is not known exactly HOW the Prince will find the necessary funds.

Original post:

A document filed with the United States District Court in New York states that a settlement in principle has been reached in the civil litigation brought in New York by Virginia Giuffre against Prince Andrew. 

Prince Andrew settles Virginia Giuffre sexual assault case in US | Prince Andrew | The Guardian

The document states that - "The parties

Tuesday 15 February 2022

Inquiries ~ update February 2022

On-going inquiries - here is a brief résumé. The post ends with a look at progress with the promised Covid-19 inquiry.

Independent Inquiry Child Sexual Abuse website - set up 7 July 2014 but reconstituted in February 2015 as a statutory inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005.

Since 11 August 2016, chaired by Professor Alexis Jay. Public hearings concluded in late 2020 but reports continue to be issued - see February 2022 report on Child Sexual Exploitation by Organised Networks. The inquiry conducted 15 separate investigations, heard 725 witnesses and held 325 days of public hearings. A final report remains to be issued.

Undercover Policing - website - set up 12 March 2015 - first Chairman 

Sunday 13 February 2022

Events at No 10 - a sad and damaging time (No.4) - Police questionnaires


The likelihood is that the conflict in Ukraine has "saved" the Prime Minister politically.

Original post:

The Metropolitan Police belatedly started to investigate alleged offences (under Coronavirus Restrictions Regulations) said to have been committed in premises in Downing Street. 

It is reported that "questionnaires" have been sent to around 50 individuals, including the Prime Minister, seeking information about any involvement in any gatherings allegedly in breach of the Regulations - PM sent Downing Street lockdown party questionnaire by Met police | Boris Johnson | The Guardian.

The sending of questionnaires

Friday 11 February 2022

Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis

On Thursday 10 February, Dame Cressida Dick (Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis) resigned "following contact with" the Mayor of London (Sadiq Khan) - see the Statement by Dame Cressida Dick. Earlier the same day, the Commissioner said that she had no intention of resigning - BBC News 10 February.

See the statement by Mayor Sadiq Khan - Video: Sadiq Khan makes a statement about Cressida Dick's resignation | Daily Mail Online

On 1 February, the Independent Office for Police Complaints (IOPC) published details of recommendations to tackle "bullying and harassment in the ranks" of the Metropolitan Police Service - IOPC recommendations to tackle Met culture after investigation uncovers bullying and harassment in the ranks | Independent Office for Police Conduct

Following the IOPC recommendations it was reported

Monday 7 February 2022

70 years since the accession of the Queen

Sunday 6 February 2022 marked 70 years since the accession of HM Queen Elizabeth II and the Queen is therefore by far the longest reigning monarch in British history. 

Queen Victoria reigned for 63 years 216 days and George III for 59 years 96 days.. The day was marked by the Queen's Accession Day message

The Queen is Head of the Commonwealth and also Head of State in a considerable number of nations and territories.

Many events will take place to mark the Platinum Jubilee including a holiday weekend from Thursday 2 June to Sunday 5 June.  The Coronation took place on 2 June 1953.

The Crown:

"The Crown" is a frequently used term.

Saturday 5 February 2022

Events in Northern Ireland

Elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly are due on 5 May 2022. The Assembly comprises 90 Members, referred to as Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA).  

Northern Ireland's Agriculture Minister (Edwin Poots MLA), ordered a halt to post-Brexit checks on food and farming products entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK. The Minister's order was to take effect from midnight on Wednesday 2 February 2022 and Mr Poots stated that he had taken legal advice as to the legality of his order.

The UK government Secretary of State for

Thursday 3 February 2022

The future of human rights in the UK

With updates at the end ...

Responses to the consultation to the government's consultation on the future of protection for human rights in the UK must be in by 8 March 2022.

The government's proposals go well beyond the minimal recommendations of the Independent Review. The proposals seek to weaken the ability of individuals to enforce their human rights. The hand of the State against the individual will be strengthened. These regressive proposals ought to be rejected by Parliament.

My look at the Independent Panel's report commences HERE (5 posts) and the Government's Consultation is considered from HERE (3 posts).

This post sets out further links to

Tuesday 1 February 2022

Johnson's unworthy jibe at Starmer

Monday 31 January 2022 saw the release of an update produced by civil servant Sue Gray who had undertaken an internal investigation into various gatherings at Number 10 Downing Street between May 2020 and April 2021. 

Law and Lawyers: Events at No 10 - a sad and damaging time (No.3) (

The Prime Minister made a brief statement in Parliament to which the Leader of the Opposition - Sir Keir Starmer - responded.

Hansard House of Commons 31 January 2022

After Starmer spoke, Johnson referred to Starmer as a "former Director of Public Prosecutions"