A recent development
The Information Tribunal has rejected an attempt by the Department for Education (DfE) to withhold information, concerning the identity of groups who have proposed to open so-called ‘free schools’ in England, as reported by BBC News.
The Information, including the names, location and religious affiliation of such groups, was requested in an attempt to highlight an alleged lack of transparency inherent in the system of proposing and setting up a free school.
A recent news story about the exercise of criminal law in Saudi Arabia has generated widespread consternation in the UK. This reaction may, in part, reflect unease about the influence of Muslim rulings in this country, given the recent debate on the Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill in the House of Lords, led by Baroness Cox.
The incident was reported by the Daily Mail and concerns the beheading by sword of a Sri Lankan national, Rizana Nafeek, despite claims that she was only 17 years old in 2005 when the alleged crime was committed. Nafeek was executed this Wednesday for causing the death of a four-month-old baby in her care, while working as a housemaid in Saudi Arabia.
Norman Lamb, the Coalition Health Minister, has called for the issue of how to fund care for the elderly to be addressed urgently by the Government. In an interview with the Daily Mail this week, Lamb said that legislation must be brought in to address the principal of capping care costs.
The cap was a key recommendation of the Government-appointed Dilnot Commission, charged with making recommendations on how long-term care for the elderly should be funded in the future. The report, published in July this year, advised that the cap, after which the state would fund care, should be set at between £25,000 and £50,000, with £35,000 as the most reasonable figure.
2012 has been a big year for news; a Presidential election that didn’t result in a legal battle, Apple Vs Everyone, Hillsborough, banking scandals galore, tax avoidance, Jimmy Savile, the Olympics, and of course a royal pregnancy.
These were all interesting (and often shocking) stories, however there were plenty of other interesting and quirky stories we covered this year.
The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has announced this week that children in the UK will be protected by an automatic block regarding online pornography, which parents must choose to have lifted.
This development comes after the Telegraph reported last Friday that the Government had decided against anti-pornography filters for the internet, because such a system “could create a false sense of security”, meaning that parents might stop invigilating their children’s internet usage.
With the end of the year quickly approaching we thought we’d do a round up on the big stories we’ve covered this year relating to the law and social media.
From Twitter users being sued, fined and jailed to Facebook cyber bullying, it’s been a very interesting year in the world of social media.
A gang of metal thieves was sentenced yesterday at Lincoln Crown Court, as reported by the Daily Mail. The six men, originally from Lithuania, had been accused of raiding church roofs for their lead content across the East Midlands last year.
The Church of England (CofE) estimates that, in Lincolnshire alone, the gang was responsible for over £1 million pounds’ worth of damage, inflicted on approximately 20 churches.
The UK Government has been saying it plans to set a minimum price per unit of alcohol in England and Wales since early this year. Those plans are now firming up, and a figure of 45 pence was announced last Wednesday. Moreover, supermarket deals such as multi-buy deals and similar discounts will also be banned.
The Prime Minister, David Cameron, explained to the BBC in March that the plan was to make cheap booze more expensive, so that ‘binge drinkers’, who are responsible for one-million alcohol-related crimes and 1.2 million hospital admissions, would be deterred from the habit.
The long-awaited report by Lord Justice Leveson into the culture, practices and ethics of the press was published yesterday, and almost immediately a division emerged between the main political parties over his core recommendation – a statutory ‘underpinning’ for a new system of press regulation that is entirely independent of newspaper editors and proprietors.
Lord Leveson, an Appeal Court judge, was thoroughly critical of press behaviour in recent years. He cited the cases of people caught up in tragic news stories through no fault of their own who were treated merely as grist to the mill by several newspapers. For example, two families that lost a child in terrible circumstances, the Dowlers and the McCanns.
The case of 37-year-old SAS sergeant, Danny Nightingale, recently given an 18-month jail sentence for illegally possessing a firearm, has sparked a media debate, questions in the Commons and a public exchange of views between the Defence secretary and the Attorney General.
The situation has occasioned concern from commentators and politicians because the sentence, handed to Nightingale just before Remembrance Sunday, appears harsh – given the complex circumstances of the matter.