December 2007

Catholicism and the constitution

December 22, 2007

Talking about Tony Blair’s conversion to Rome, I’ve just heard Alastair Campbell on BBC News 24 saying he didn’t know whether constitutionally a catholic could be Prime Minister, his tentative implication being that that might have been one reason why Blair didn’t convert while in office. Amazing. Are people as politically savvy as Campbell really […]

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BAe Systems judicial review: that Blair letter

December 22, 2007

I was quite sniffy about the Campaign Against the Arms Trade’s judicial review challenge to the government’s decision to abandon its criminal investigation of BAe Systems and the Al Yamamah deal. Well, I’m not now saying I think the challenge will succeed, but the disclosure of a letter from Tony Blair to Lord Goldsmith apparently […]

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What’s Purnell been hanging about for?

December 21, 2007

I’m glad James Purnell has announced he’ll act to reassure the Russian authorities who’ve threatened to cancel the planned loan of a number of works of art which its intended will be shown in the Royal Academy’s From Russia exhibition starting in a few weeks. It’s easy to think this little row is caused by […]

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Detention of terrorist suspects: Liberty’s dodgy factoids

December 18, 2007

I stopped in my tracks the other day on Borough High Street when I saw a poster from Liberty telling me the UK detains terrorist suspects longer than anywhere in the western world. Not because I was shocked at the apparent lack of freedom here, but at the slackness and irresponsibility of this campaign. I […]

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The Human Rights Act and Care Homes: the rightsists strike back

December 18, 2007

I’ve just heard Andrew Dismore, chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, speak in support of his ten minute rule bill which aims to “clarify” the meaning of “public function” of the Human Rights Act 1998. What he actually wants to do is reverse the effect of the Lords’ judgment in YL v Birmingham […]

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Falconer’s conversion: an explanation?

December 18, 2007

On The World At One yesterday (you can listen again for a while) Lord Falconer justified his conversion from pro-90 days Lord Chancellor to 28 days-and-no-further backbencher oddly forgotten by Peter Hain yesterday. To be fair, he was honest enough to admit he had supported 90 days “personally and privately”, not just because of collective […]

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Worst legal system in the world – update

December 17, 2007

Apparently the Saudi King has pardoned the woman sentenced for being raped (sic) a few weeks ago. Forgive me if I don’t jump up and down making whooping sounds – this is the very minimum he could have done, and even this gesture is marred by the spin coming from Saudi that this doesn’t mean […]

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One step forward…

December 15, 2007

I agree with Benazir Bhutto that the lifting of the emergency in Pakistan is an important step forward. But what’s really needed is a step backwards, the release of those still detained such as the Supreme Court Chief Justice Chaudhry, and the restoration of judges to their posts. I reckon Benazir Bhutto’s approach to all […]

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Lord Falconer’s against it, too! Now

December 15, 2007

More bad news for Jacqui Smith, now it turns out that Lord Falconer is against extending detention for terrorist suspects beyond 28 days, joining the DPP, the former Attorney General and apparently even the serving Law Officers in opposition to her proposals. Especially surprising, this apparently late conversion to the liberal cause: look at this […]

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Strikes must be justified in free movement law: the ECJ’s ruling in Viking Line

December 13, 2007

Earlier this week the ECJ gave its ruling in case C-438/05 International Transport Workers’ Federation and Finnish Seamen’s Union v Viking Line – often simply called the Viking Line case. It’s the case Lord Wedderburn was worried about back in October, and it’s an important judgment, about the extent to which trade union activity, such […]

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