February 2007

David Pannick and the Attorney General

February 27, 2007

In today’s Times, David Pannick argues for major reform of the Attorney General’s role, along the lines argued by various people including even ministers in recent weeks. He argues that Lord Goldsmith’s recent endorsement of the SFO’s decision on BAe shows no political figure can separate party interest from the public interest, or be seen […]

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The niqab; and the Human Rights Act debate

February 21, 2007

The BBC report that Mr. Justice Silber has turned down a judicial review application by a girl who wanted to wear the niqab, or veil, to school in Buckinghamshire. This was an attempt to get a different result from that reached in the House of Lords in the Begum case by claiming that th school’s […]

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Lord Goldsmith’s private affair

February 18, 2007

So everyone now knows Lord Goldsmith had an affair with Kim Hollis QC – Iain Dale covered this yesterday and of course the Sunday papers have covered it. This was pretty well known among lawyers, or at least much gossiped about – so I agree with Iain in his follow-up piece that it’s incredible other […]

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Questioning after charge

February 15, 2007

The Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer has said the government is considering legislating to permit the police to question suspects after they are charged. This is pretty obviously a trailer for proposals that the Government is likely to put before Parliament before long. Since according to the BBC report, Lord Goldsmith has already said he’s in […]

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A small setback for Sarko

February 15, 2007

Journal d’un Avocat sees a ruling of the Cour de Cassation as a rap on the knuckles for the French interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy – who I think you know by now, is standing for President of the Republic in a couple of months. His ministry, together with the Ministry of Justice, told departmental authorities […]

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Landmark gay adoption ruling in France

February 14, 2007

Today Le Monde reports that the Cour d’Appel in Amiens in northern France has ruled that a child can be adopted by the lesbian civil partner of his birth mother. The two women have been in a formal partnership since 2001; the French PACS system allows any two people to enter a civil partnership, not […]

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VW-Gesetz contrary to free movement of capital

February 13, 2007

Allard Knook at ECJ Blog has picked up on Advocate General Ruiz-Colomer’s opinion in the Commission v Germany case, C-112/05. No English language version of the opinion is available yet, but ECJ Blog provides a link to the original German and French versions. The ECJ’s press release is here. The AG’s view is that the […]

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The Verdict and Johann Hari (I’m not a rapist, but…)

February 12, 2007

Back in the 1980s I read a brilliant article by Conor Cruise O’Brien, arguing that the then much-ridiculed words “I’m not a racist, but…” or “I hate apartheid, but…” actually indicated that an opinion consisting of important, mainstream good sense might well follow. I’m tempted to begin this piece by saying: I’m not a rapist, […]

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Campaign for French to be the language of EU law

February 11, 2007

It seems the French MEP, writer and member of the Academie Française, Maurice Druon, is heading a campaign to have French recognised as the only authentic language of European law. The manifesto of his campaign is here. At the risk of sounding like a Eurosceptic, or Francophobe – which I am not: as readers of […]

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Commission’s Environmental Crime Proposal

February 10, 2007

The European Commission has announced that it’s submitting to the EP and Council a proposal for a Directive on environmental crime. This is its reaction to the European Court of Justice’s ruling in the Commission v Council case in 2005. The case was all about who has power, under what can reasonably be called the […]

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