Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Thank you and a few final thoughts

Just over a year ago I posted what I intended to be my final post on this blog - Last Post and Cheerio

 After publishing it, I was persuaded by some friends to continue blogging for a while longer but it is now time to call it a day.

The blog commenced on 14 January 2010 - (A new blog) and, over the last twelve years, many stories of legal interest have been covered. Preparing the posts has been interesting, at times challenging, and time-consuming.

2357 posts have been published with, at the time of writing, just over 3,018,000 pageviews. I am grateful to the many who have shown interest and comment.

Our nation - the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - faces

Sunday, 18 September 2022

Friday, 16 September 2022

The 'dignified' constitution and where State power lies

A right to be consulted, to encourage, and to warn.

Walter Bagehot lived from 1826 to 1877. In 1867, his book "The English Constitution" was published.

Bagehot examined the British system of government and offered his answer to the question of where real power was exercised.

Bagehot pointed to a difference between what he called the 'dignified' aspects of the constitution and its 'efficient' aspects. 

The 'dignified' part - essentially the Crown - did not exercise true power because it was the 'efficient' part which, in practice, exercised such power. The 'efficient' part was, of course, the government.

After the Reform Act 1832, the House of Commons was elected

Friday, 9 September 2022

HM Queen Elizabeth II - Events of 8 to 19 September 2022

"The Queen devoted her life to us" - Australian High Commission, London

On 8 September 2022, at Balmoral, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II died. 

Only two days previously, Her Majesty appointed Elizabeth Truss as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. 

The Queen's long life was marked by her unparalleled sense of duty earning her respect across the world.

A brief statement issued by the Royal Family marked the end of a reign lasting over 70 years - Announcement of the death of The Queen | The Royal Family

Her Majesty became Queen on 6 February 1952 upon the death of her father King George VI - 70 years since the accession of the Queen

Her coronation

Thursday, 8 September 2022

Custody Time Limits ~ extensions being refused


It is reported that a number of judges in the Crown Court have refused to extend Custody Time Limits (CTL).

It is further reported that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is to appeal some of those decisions - see Crimeline via Twitter.

What are CTLs and why is this happening?

CTL:

Basically, CTL are a safeguard for unconvicted defendants. The limits

Wednesday, 7 September 2022

Bill of Rights Bill "unlikely to proceed in its current form" - but be cautious

With updates:

There is some welcome news for anyone interested in having strong legal protections in the UK for human rights but let us be wary. 

The government - now under Prime Minister Elizabeth Truss - has announced that the Bill of Rights Bill is "unlikely to progress in its current form." - Truss government abandons Bill of Rights | Scottish Legal News

The Secretary of State for Justice is now Brandan Lewis MP. He has replaced Dominic Raab MP, the architect of this shameful Bill - Law and Lawyers: Appointments ~ Lord Chancellor, Attorney General, Home Secretary, Northern Ireland (obiterj.blogspot.com)

The Bill was presented to Parliament by Raab even though

Appointments ~ Lord Chancellor, Attorney General, Home Secretary, Northern Ireland

Updated 26 October 2022

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6 December 2022 - Balmoral, Scotland. 

Boris Johnson tendered his resignation as Prime Minister and Elizabeth Truss was appointed by HM The Queen.

The new Prime Minister returned to London and began making Ministerial and other appointments -

 Liz Truss new cabinet in full: who is in and who is out? | Liz Truss | The Guardian

Justice / Lord Chancellor:

Brandon Lewis became Secretary of State for Justice and

Monday, 5 September 2022

Elizabeth Truss chosen appointed PM on 6 September / Resigned 24 October 2022 and Rishi Sunak appointed


Updated 25 October 2022 - Sunak appointed PM

Updated 20 October 2022 - Truss resignation

6 September - some links added at the end.

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The long, warm, dry summer is fading. Daylight is shortening. Schools are returning.

As I write, the sky is cobalt blue. It is cooler after heavy rain. There is a pleasant and gentle breeze.

On the votes of members of the Conservative Party the Rt. Hon. Elizabeth Mary Truss MP has been chosen as their new leader. Truss obtained 81,326 votes and Sunak 60,399 - i.e. 57.4% to 42.6%. The turnout was 82.6%. 654 papers were rejected.

Truss will therefore be duly appointed

Saturday, 3 September 2022

Winsor Commission ~ Cressida Dick ~ Due process is important

Cressida Dick resigned as Metropolitan Police Commissioner on 10 February 2022. A previous post looked at the resignation - Law and Lawyers: Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (obiterj.blogspot.com)

On 8 July, Sir Mark Rowley was appointed as Commissioner - Sir Mark Rowley announced as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

By a special commission from the Secretary of State for the Home Department (“the Home Secretary”) of 25 March 2022, Sir Tom Winsor was appointed to review the circumstances and implications of the stepping aside of the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis. 

The Home Secretary set terms of reference - 

Establish and assess the full facts, timeline of events and circumstances which resulted in the stepping aside of Dame Cressida Dick as Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis; 

Establish and assess

Friday, 2 September 2022

Boris Johnson and the Committee of Privileges ~ a legal opinion

 

A joint legal opinion by Lord Pannick QC and Jason Pobjoy has been published by No 10 Downing Street

Legal Opinion by Lord Pannick QC relating to the Privileges Committee - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The opinion begins by stating - "We are asked to advise the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, in relation to the inquiry being conducted by the House of Commons Committee of Privileges."

The actual "Instructions to Counsel" have not been released. Therefore, we do not know the precise questions asked by those instructing Pannick.

It is also unclear why the government's own legal service was not asked to provide an opinion rather than an opinion requested, at significant public expense, from barristers.

As noted in the previous post, Boris Johnson faces an investigation by the House of Commons Privileges Committee - The details of this may be seen at Committee of Privileges - Summary - Committees - UK Parliament

Events to date:

The referral to the Committee

Next week

Next week should be interesting. 

Assuming all goes to plan, a new Prime Minister will be appointed by HM The Queen. 

The Queen is currently at Balmoral in Scotland and it is reported that Boris Johnson will go there to tender his resignation. After that, his successor will attend Balmoral to be duly appointed.

Traditionally, there is always a face-to-face meeting and this has usually required just a short trip from Downing Street to Buckingham Palace.  Occasionally, a longer journey has been required. Herbert Henry Asquith (1852-1928) became PM in April 1908 and was summoned by King Edward VII to Biarritz where the King was on holiday. 

The full detail