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 (parliament.uk)

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 (coe.int)

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) (bailii.org)

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

The-Supreme-Court’s-misunderstanding-in-the-Gerry-Adams-case.pdf (policyexchange.org.uk) - 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 (www.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.'

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