It is just seven weeks since the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar, who was denied an abortion at University Hospital Galway even though she was suffering a miscarriage at 17 weeks gestation. Halappanavar died of septicaemia after the incident.
Since then, there have been protests and vigils in the Republic and abroad. Campaigners have been highlighting the ambiguous nature of Irish abortion law, which appears to have contributed to the young Indian woman’s death.
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 Prime Minister, David Cameron, marking the occasion of World Aids Day on December 1st, highlighted figures from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) suggesting a quarter of all those carrying the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the UK are unaware of the fact.
As the BBC News report reminds us, HIV can develop into the deadly acquired immune deficiency syndrome or AIDS after approximately ten years of the initial infection, if left untreated. Thus, around 600 people will die needlessly each year.
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.
According to a report by the BBC, the Law Commission has begun a consultation into the effectiveness of England and Wales’ contempt of court rules.
The current law was introduced in 1981, long before the ‘information superhighway’ became a part of our day-to-day lives.
A report commissioned by Royal Mail suggests that the law in England and Wales is inadequate when it comes to protecting postal workers who are attacked by dogs, according to the BBC.
The report recommends a change in the law as owners of dogs who attack postal workers on private property cannot be prosecuted.
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.
The president of the Queen’s Bench of the High Court, Sir John Thomas, has warned solicitors they could face disciplining by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). This may happen if they do not comply with the principle of full disclosure, when making applications to halt the removal of asylum seekers.
Lawyers representing failed asylum seekers can ask the High Court to grant a judicial review or an injunction against removal, in order to keep their client in the country pending further legal action.
According to the Evening Standard yesterday, a grade-II listed property in Surrey, designed and built by the famous Sherlock Holmes author, appears to have been saved from redevelopment by a decision from appeal judge, Lord Justice Pitchford.
A grade-II property indicates a building of special interest, which warrants every effort being made to preserve it, under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.
We all know American elections are a bit of a circus, and with reports that this year’s Presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have raised $2bn between them, today’s election to decide if President Obama will win a second term is certainly no different.
Polls show that the race is neck and neck, and when voting starts in a few hours’ time both candidates are sure to be biting their nails as they await the outcome. As they sit in their respective HQs, surrounded by aides, staff and family, one other group will also be waiting in the wings; lawyers.