Two Libyan dissidents have instructed their lawyers to bring a civil claim against Sir Mark Allen, a former senior MI6 officer. The lawyers are suing Allen over allegations that he rendered the two dissidents to Libya where they say they faced severe ill-treatment.
The two men are suing Allen for ‘complicity in torture’ and ‘misfeasance in public office’. Additionally, the two men are claiming damages for ‘unlawful detention, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, batteries and assaults’. (more…)
A 47-year-old man left completely paralysed after he suffered a stroke three years ago has won the right to have his lawyers investigate how his life could be terminated without the involved parties facing prosecution. The research is to provide the background to a case that will challenge the Director of Public Prosecutions’ guidelines on assisted suicide.
Two High Court judges ruled that his lawyers could engage third parties regarding possible ways in which the life of their client, known as Martin, could be terminated without the solicitors facing prosecution for assisted suicide. The judges also assured that Martin’s solicitors would not face any form of disciplinary action. (more…)
Last week the Prime Minister, David Cameron, attacked the European Court of Human Rights and said that it was on the verge of turning into a “small claims court”. Cameron’s concerns are now being downplayed after the President of the European Court of Human Rights, Sir Nicolas Bratza, highlighted the importance of the court’s supervisory role and stressed that any criticism of the court must be based on real facts.
Bratza made his remarks during a press conference, where he announced the total number of the court’s cases for 2011 and the respective judgments. The figures showed that the court had ruled against the UK on eight occasions. The court considered 19 cases involving the UK’s compliance of the European Convention on Human Rights in 2011. (more…)
The Government’s proposed cuts to legal aid and limitation of no-win, no-fee arrangements will seriously impede injured parties’ access to justice according several organisations, including the Law Society and Amnesty International.
Desmond Hudson, Chief Executive of the Law Society, highlighted that no-win, no-fee arrangements were instituted in order to assure that victims with scarce financial resources would be able to access justice. “The expansion of ‘no win, no fee’ arrangements was made in the late 1990s to compensate for the reductions in legal aid funding at that time. (more…)
Lord Justice Leveson has indicated that different forms of regulation might be needed for online social media sites and online newspapers. Leveson is the Chairman of the Leveson Inquiry, which is charged with investigating current media practices and culture.
Leveson highlighted that there is a difference between general gossip conversations and news-related storied. (more…)
Jean-Claude Mas, the owner of the French company producing PIP breast implants, has been questioned by police and is facing charges for involuntary injury. When the interrogation was over he was released on bail, which was set at 100,000 euros and he was told that he is not permitted to leave France.
The implants have been fitted on thousands of women around the world, including several women in the UK. Last year the PIP implants were banned in France after it emerged that they contained low-grade silicone, made for industrial purposes and not fit for medical use. (more…)
Hospitals have been asked to remove any form of commercial advertisement for personal injury claims. Lawyers often advertise in leaflets around hospitals for their no-win, no-fee arrangements.
Despite such adverts being banned since 2007 by the Department of Health, the financial incentive for many hospitals is too great to refuse. For allowing the adverts, hospitals are either paid directly or receive significant donations of equipment and the like. (more…)
MPs have raised concerns over the removal techniques used by private contractors hired by the UK Border Agency to accompany deportees on their removal from the country. The Commons’ Home Affairs Committee has looked into the practices used after concern was raised following the death of a man who was forcibly deported from England.
Just over a year ago Jimmy Mubenga was deported from London Heathrow to Angola. He was restrained on the flight and subsequently died. The job of escorting deportees back to their respective countries is contracted out by the UK Border Agency to private firms. According to an agency spokesman, all such staff are trained in appropriate restraint techniques. (more…)
Oxford professor Roger Trigg has warned that European and American courts are undermining religious freedom by disproportionately focusing on other values. Trigg argues that, “There has been a clear trend for courts in Europe and North America to prioritise equality and non-discrimination above religion, placing the right to religious freedom in danger”.
Roger Trigg runs the Centre for the Study of Religion in Public Life at Kellogg College in Oxford. He stresses that conflicting rights should be balanced in a more equal manner, rather than one overriding another. (more…)
The Prime Minister, David Cameron, is today expected to push for reform of the European Court of Human Rights in a speech to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
Cameron is expected to insist that the Court, from now on, puts less focus on countries that traditionally have a good human rights record, such as Britain and Germany. Cameron thinks that the Court would work more efficiently if it looked more into countries like Russia and Ukraine. (more…)