Tuesday 30 April 2024

The Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Act 2023 Part 3 + Report by the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights

On 1 May 2024, Part 3 of the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Act 2023 is fully in force.

Part 3 deals with Investigations, legal proceedings etc and release of prisonersThe Explanatory Notes explain the effect of the legislation. 

Part 2 of the Act created an Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery (ICRIR) and defined its role and powers.

The effect of Part 3 is to bring into force a conditional immunity scheme, allowing those who cooperate with the ICRIR to receive immunity from prosecution for offences resulting in or connected with Troubles-related deaths and serious injuries. The Act also prevents new Troubles-related civil claims and inquests.

Acting on requests from

Saturday 27 April 2024

Amnesty International - Annual Report - critical of UK

Amnesty International, in its annual report for 2023-24, claims that the UK is weakening human rights protections both nationally and globally.

Flagrant rule-breaking by governments and corporate actors (amnesty.org).

The UK section of the report commences at page 390 and contains much that should be of considerable concern to anyone concerned with protection of human rights. 

Will human rights in the UK continue to have the strong protection that currently exists? The UK is a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights and convention rights are woven into domestic law as a result of the Human Rights Act 1998.

There is sound reason

Friday 26 April 2024

A note on the enactment of the Safety of Rwanda Act

'Every decision-maker must conclusively treat the Republic of Rwanda as a safe country.'

So states section 2 of the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Act 2024 (legislation.gov.uk) which received Royal Assent on 25 April 2024.

The passage of the Act was met with a brief statement from No 10 Downing Street - PM statement on Safety of Rwanda Bill: 23 April 2024 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

As a Bill it received considerable criticism both within Parliament (especially the House of Lords) and from international bodies - e.g.

UK: Rwanda Bill threatens to undermine independence of judiciary, UN experts say | OHCHR

Serious human rights concerns about United Kingdom’s Rwanda Bill - Portal (coe.int)

The legislation results from

Friday 19 April 2024

Do juries have an absolute right to acquit a defendant?

Updated Monday 22 April 2024

Do jurors in criminal cases actually have a right to decide a case against the weight of the evidence or, as it is often phrased, "according to conscience" or "jury equity"?

Historically, Bushel's Case (1670) 124 ER 1006  has been thought to have decided that they may


Each juror either swears or affirms an oath to 'faithfully try the defendant and give a true verdict according to the evidence."

Claiming to be protecting the public interest in the administration of justice, the Attorney-General is seeking to bring contempt of court proceedings against Trudi Warner because, outside a Crown Court venue, she held the sign shown above. The Attorney argues

Wednesday 3 April 2024

R v Hayes and Palombo ~ LIBOR banking back in the news

   Almost 12 years ago, this blog discussed the 'LIBOR banking' situation and noted that the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) was then close to bringing criminal charges.

By way of a brief reminder, LIBOR was the abbreviation for the London Interbank Offered Rate. Money market traders found themselves able to earn money for their bank (and, through their personal pay structure, for themselves) by subtle manipulations of the rate.  Very small alterations in the rate equated to considerable sums of money.  The process was well described by Alex Bailin QC (now KC) in The Guardian 4th July 2012 The Law catches up with LIBOR

In 2015,