In today’s straining financial climate many are finding it difficult to pay their bills on time. However, most people don’t expect a visit from the bailiffs over an unpaid parking fine.
Councils are increasingly turning to bailiffs for help to retrieve overdue money, and these visits are then added to the person’s bill. (more…)
Adoption has long been a sensitive subject, with people’s lives and emotions at the fore. A recent case, though, has dramatically highlighted one of the potential flaws in the system.
Sometimes, children become part of a family without being officially adopted. A non-biological family may consider their new member to be as dear to them as their biological offspring. However, in the absence of a properly executed will, a child that has not been adopted does not have any inheritance rights. (more…)
Judicial concern is increasing over the opinion that Britain has an international reputation as the capital of generous and quick divorce settlements. This comes as the Court of Appeal upheld a High Court judgement, which decided that a British court was the appropriate instance for another major divorce settlement between non-British nationals.
The appeal was heard by a panel of three judges. One of the appeals judges, Lord Thorpe, said that many foreign nationals seek to get a divorce in Britain even though they lack any profound connection to the country. He explained this as being the result of the country’s reputation of quickly handling cases and awarding generous payments. (more…)
Ken Clarke, the Justice Secretary, has announced new reforms to combat crime.
The proposals include a US-inspired ‘two strikes’ life system. This will be applied to serious sexual and violent offenders, where each crime carries at least ten years. Mr Clarke said, “I find it difficult to imagine that anybody convicted of two such serious sexual and violent attacks wouldn’t have been given life anyway. (more…)
Last year, the Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson took out a super-injunction that prevented his ex-wife from disclosing information concerning his private life. However, Clarkson yesterday decided to have it lifted through an application to the High Court.
A super-injunction is not the same as a plain injunction in that its existence is not to be reported. This differs from a plain injunction, the existence of which can be disclosed, but, its subjects cannot, normally, be revealed. (more…)
The critical approach of the United Kingdom to the European Convention of Human Rights can potentially damage other countries’ adherence to human rights. This caution came from Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, as he visited London yesterday. The Council is the supervising body of the European Convention of Human Rights and its Protocols.
Much of the criticism relates to a feeling of the Strasbourg Court interfering with national law. The President of the UK Supreme Court, Lord Phillips, considers that in relation to the European Convention, the Supreme Court is actually not the highest judicial authority. He said that, “The Strasbourg court has the last word. (more…)
Knife crime is a serious problem around the UK. A bill currently going through Parliament is suggesting imposing mandatory six-month prison sentences for adults caught with a knife on them. Labour has laid an amendment that seeks to extend this to those under eighteen years old.
The Home Secretary Theresa May, along with London’s mayor and a significant number of other Tory MPs, support the amendment. However, the Justice Secretary, Ken Clarke, does not think that the amendment will solve the problem and has publicly said that he disagrees with May. (more…)
The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, yesterday announced that the Government intends to introduce measures that will significantly change employment law. The Coalition is looking to implement new employment laws in the autumn, which they hope will stimulate business growth.
Clegg said that the new package of laws will help to bring about a much needed “culture change”. He claims that this will transform the relationship between employers and employees, enabling the former to have frank conversations with the latter, without fear of its content surfacing in Employment Tribunal proceedings. (more…)
The Government’s main legal advisor, the Attorney General Dominic Grieve, is to address the European Court of Human Rights on two key issues in November. Firstly, he both is critical of the Court’s view on prisoners’ voting rights and also believes that the principle of subsidiarity should be further emphasised.
The principle of subsidiarity is a core principle of the European Convention of Human Rights. It ensures that the Strasbourg Court does not impose itself on national courts. Grieve believes that this principle needs to be clarified and that national Courts should have the final say on matters. (more…)
The protesters outside St. Paul’s Cathedral fear that their right to protest is being indirectly targeted by the church. Claiming that the protest raised health and safety concerns, the Cathedral closed down before the weekend. It is threatening to remain shut until the protestors’ camp is removed.
Jon Cooper QC, representing the protesters, said that they will be seeking advice from independent experts regarding the situation. In fact, the demonstrators consider that they have already taken the necessary steps to ensure that the site is harmless. “They want to make sure the site is safe, let’s not forget, for their own safety, as well as that of any other visitors. They feel the health and safety issue is very much a PR ‘hearts and minds’ operation, which one has to be very cautious about.” (more…)