Friday 22 December 2023

Murder of Brianna Ghey ~ "excepting direction" regarding anonymity of Defendants

Update 2 February 2024:

Two defendants (under age 18) have been convicted of the murder of Brianna Ghey (age 16). Sentencing is to take place on 2 February 2024.

Due to the age of the defendants, an order has been in place throughout the proceedings under section 45 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 (“the Act”) restricting publication of any information that would be likely to identify them as the defendants in these proceedings.

This Order remains in force but the judge - Mrs Justice Yip - has decided that X and Y will be named but not until the sentencing hearing when the judge will give clarity as to the point at which the restrictions cease to apply.

The reasons for the decision are set out at R-v-X-and-Y-Ruling-on-reporting-restrictions.pdf (

Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 (

For the principles of law involved see the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) decision in KL v R. [2021] EWCA Crim 200 (19 February 2021) (

2 February 2024 - Sentencing:

R -v- Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe - Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

Thursday 21 December 2023

Could the terms of the Covid 19 Inquiry be changed?

The Telegraph reports that MPs and peers fear the Covid Inquiry has already decided lockdowns were not hard enough (

According to the article, a group of MPs and Peers have the opinion that the Inquiry seems to have already decided that lockdown was necessary and that the inquiry has been focused on whether  pandemic interventions should have been implemented “harder, sooner and for longer”.

It is reported that - 'The scathing comments come in a letter sent to Mr Sunak on Wednesday and signed by more than 20 MPs, peers and scientific experts, demanding he intervenes to change the official scope of the inquiry.'

Would it be possible to change the official scope of the inquiry? The simplistic answer

Wednesday 20 December 2023

Furore over PPE


'Shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) at the front-line in the first wave of the pandemic was one of the biggest concerns in March and April 2020. As well as NHS front line workers there were others front-line workers who required high grade PPE – particularly in social care settings, which were mainly private businesses.

That statement of well-known facts is from the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee 42nd report of Session 2019-21 - COVID-19: Government procurement and supply of personal protective equipment (

The report continues - 'At each stage the Department for Health and Social Care maintain that no setting actually ran out of PPE. We heard compelling evidence from organisations representing front-line workers that stocks ran perilously low; single use items were reused; some was not fit for purpose and staff were in fear that they would run out. 

Government thought it was well-placed

Tuesday 12 December 2023

Parliamentary Sovereignty ~ legal rule or assumption ~ either way it is unsatisfactory

There has been considerable debate about the government's "Rwanda Bill" - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Draft Bill - GOV.UK ( In particular, there is discussion within legal circles about whether the courts could somehow "disapply" this if it were to actually become an Act of Parliament (i.e. pass both Houses of Parliament and receive Royal Assent).

The legal discussion has arisen because of a letter published by the Daily Telegraph - Back the Rwanda Bill or risk the sovereignty of Parliament, say KCs ( - in which former Attorney-General Sir Geoffrey Cox KC and three other leading barristers comment that - "[T]he assumption that Parliament is entirely sovereign is only that — an assumption, which the courts have long indicated could be revisited in the event that Parliament did the unthinkable."

The word "assumption" certainly caused constitutional lawyers to go to their keyboards

Wednesday 6 December 2023

Rwanda ~ Now there is a treaty and a Bill

Updated 18 January 2024 (after House of Commons Third Reading).

Updated 20 March 2024 - note on Lords amendments

Following the judgment of the Supreme Court on 15 November 2023 (previous post), the governments of the UK and Rwanda have acted "at pace" to turn what was a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in to what is now described as an "agreement." The text may be seen at -

Agreement between UK and Rwanda for the provision of an asylum partnership to strengthen international commitments on the protection of refugees and migrants (

In international law, the agreement is a treaty and, as such, will be legally binding on both States once it is ratified. The word "treaty" is used in other material published by the government - Treaty signed to strengthen UK-Rwanda migration partnership - GOV.UK (

The UK Foreign Secretary (James Cleverley MP) has said that -