Friday 26 May 2023

Coronavirus Pandemic - Collection of Materials

The UK Covid-19 Inquiry is to begin hearing evidence on 13 June 2023 - Module 1 (Preparedness and Resilience).

The hearings will be available to watch on the Inquiry’s YouTube channel, subject to a three minute delay. A transcript of each hearing will be made available at the end of each day. A recording of the hearing will be published on the Inquiry’s website at a later date. Alternative formats, including a Welsh language translation are available on request.

*** Hearings ***

Resilience and preparedness (Module 1) - Public Hearings - UK Covid-19 Inquiry (

Wednesday 24 May 2023

Law Commission - Sexual Offences - Myths

The Law Commission has set out provisional proposals aimed at countering the effects of rape myths and misconceptions on the trial process, treating complainants humanely, and ensuring that defendants receive a fair trial.

This is essential reading for all criminal law practitioners and important for all of us.

Could this lead to the end of jury trial in these cases? This possibility is included as one option in the Commission's report. If juries disappear in these cases then it is surely likely that there will be pressure to dispense with them altogether.

Views sought on proposals to counter effects of rape myths in sexual offence trials - Law Commission.

FULL reading of the consultation paper is really essential for any reader who wishes to respond - Download the consultation paper - pdf 727 pages.

Evidence in Sexual Offence Prosecutions - Law Commission

Download the summary of the consultation paper - - pdf 56 pages

Download an overview of the key proposals - - pdf 3 pages

Comment - 'Rape myths' consultation floats curbs on barristers' conduct | News | Law Gazette


Leading Scottish lawyers have condemned plans for trials to be conducted by a single judge without a jury as part of landmark reforms to the country’s justice system.

The Victims, Witnesses and Justice Reform (Scotland) Bill published on Wednesday unveiled changes including scrapping the not proven verdict, changing the size of criminal juries from 15 to 12 and creating a new specialist sexual offences court.

Scottish law firms criticise rape trial pilot scheme without juries as 'not in the interests of justice' | STV News.

Tuesday 9 May 2023

Coronation Day arrests - Public Order law

Updated 9, 13, 14 May, 8 June, 13 June, 15 June 2023. 
There was much to admire about the policing of the Coronation Procession of HM King Charles III on 6 May 2023. The Police generally interacted with the public in a friendly manner and their control of the large crowd on The Mall was exemplary. Unfortunately, there were 64 arrests on the day including 32 individuals arrested for conspiracy to cause a public nuisance.

The Coronation was of course a massive and historic event with some 7,000 service personnel participating. They had rehearsed meticulously to put on a splendid show. It was attended by thousands who simply wished to see and enjoy the processions. They were perfectly entitled to do so. The event was also televised to millions across the world.

Earlier in the week, the Metropolitan Police issued a statement which included a paragraph stating - 'Our tolerance for any disruption, whether through protest or otherwise, will be low. We will deal robustly with anyone intent on undermining this celebration.'

The Coronation of His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen Consort | Metropolitan Police

Having said that they would adopt a low tolerance approach, there is every appearance that the Police did exactly that. The government has insisted that the Police acted independently and without pressure from Ministers - PM backs Met Police amid criticism of ‘bid to disrupt protest’ during coronation (

Some of the arrests were of individuals campaigning for

Tuesday 2 May 2023

Topical matters

In the legal (and other) news:

1. The Coronation - to be held on 6 May 2023 - has much of both historical and legal interest. 

The Westminster Abbey website has published information about previous coronations, the ceremony, and the regalia - Coronations at the Abbey  and see the House of Commons publication - The Coronation: history and ceremonial.

A good survey of the Crown and the Constitution is by David Torrance and may be seen at The Crown and the constitution - House of Commons Library (

The Coronation Cases - cases in contract law arising from the cancelled coronation of Edward VII in 1902.

2. Miscarriage of Justice and Compensation - Readers will recall that, back in 2014, the government secured an amendment to the Criminal Justice Act 1988 which has undoubtedly made it much harder to obtain compensation for 'miscarriage of justice.'

In 2019, the UK Supreme Court dismissed appeals by Victor Nealon and Sam Hallam - see the case note available via the ICLR website - R (Hallam) v Secretary of State for Justice - Viewing document - ICLR

At the end of February 2023 their applications to the European Court of Human Rights were 'relinquished' to the Grand Chamber.

Relinquishment in favour of the Grand Chamber Nealon v. UK and Hallam v. UK (

Meanwhile, the High Court in Northern Ireland has held that the Northern Ireland Department of Justice was wrong in law to decide that Gerry Adams (President of Sinn Fein from 1983 to 2018) was not eligible for compensation for his conviction for attempting to escape from detention.

His detention arose from the internment without trial regime created by the Detention of Terrorists (Northern Ireland) Order 1972.. 

The Department must now reconsider the case in accordance with the law.

Adams, Application for Judicial Review [2023] NIKB 53 (28 April 2023) (

Joshua Rozenberg has a full explanation - Why is Gerry Adams owed compensation? - by Joshua Rozenberg (

The-Supreme-Court’s-misunderstanding-in-the-Gerry-Adams-case.pdf ( - where Lord Howell of Guildford argued that the Supreme Court was wrong to quash Adams' conviction for escaping detention - (see the Press Release relating to that judgment).

The Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill - Parliamentary Bills - UK Parliamentis currently passing through the House of Lords. An amendment to the Bill was tabled with a view to preventing the payment of compensation in a case such as that of Gerry Adams.

Internment was considered by the 'Bloody Sunday Inquiry' chaired by Lord Saville - see Volume 1 at para 8.49 - Report of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry - GOV.UK (

3. Tort and claims for psychiatric illness - formerly known as "nervous shock." The Supreme Court is set to hear three conjoined appeals on 16 - 18 May 2023.  The three cases involve the appellants  witnessing a death or attending shortly after a death caused by the respondent's negligence.

Here are the details as set out on the court's website -

Purchase (Appellant) v Ahmed (Respondent) - The Supreme Court

Polmear and another (Appellants) v Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust (Respondent) - The Supreme Court

Paul and another (Appellants) v Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (Respondent) - The Supreme Court

The Law Commission - Liability for Psychiatric Illness - Law Commission - ' The Government decided not to proceed with our recommendations.'