April 2009

Lords judgment: R v Biggs-Price

April 30, 2009

The Lords gave judgment yesterday in this complex case, about confiscation of the proceeds of drugs offences. The main issue is actually whether the judge ruling on confiscation can take into account criminal conduct that the defendant has never been charged with, but which the judge thinks is proven beyond reasonable doubt (see para. 85 […]

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Can you sack a socialist?

April 29, 2009

Both Pub Philosopher and Paul Waugh have noticed something about the Equality Bill: the government’s explanatory note to clause 10 (scroll up the page for the note), which defines “belief” for the purposes of preventing discrimination on grounds of religion or belief, says that belief does not cover political beliefs such as Communism, Darwinism, Fascism […]

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Harriet’s law: the Equality Bill

April 28, 2009

The Equality Bill published yesterday does quite a lot of things: it aims to replace existing discrimination law on sex, race, age and so on, and update it, harmonising the protection given to each “protected characteristic”, which in many cases means extending protection. For instance, something that’s been hardly commented upon is the widening of […]

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The rights and responsibilities charade

April 27, 2009

It’s a month since the government published its green paper on rights and responsibilities, and I’ve written nothing about it yet; I’ve been trying to gather the strength. I also managed to miss the justice minister responsible, Michael Wills, gaving a lecture about it last week to the British institute of Human Rights. Reading the […]

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Podcast with Natasha Phillips of Divorce Manual

April 19, 2009

A couple of days ago I was interviewed by Natasha Phillips of Divorce Manual – we spoke for an hour about, gosh, lots of things: my legal career, how I got interested in human rights, the Wright judicial review case on the system for protecting vulnerable adults, Lord Lester’s Cohabitation Bill, Rowan Williams, Lord Phillips […]

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Charon QC podcast: Damian Green and Jacqui Smith

April 18, 2009

Charon QC interviewed me today about the Damian Green affair: we spoke about how the leak investigation began, the DPP’s decision not to prosecute, Jacqui Smith’s responsibility and vulnerability and the questions she needs to answer if she’s to show she did not allow the police to be used for political ends. Listen to the […]

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Damian Green: the police, life and Shami Chakrabarti

April 18, 2009

I’ve consistently argued that ministers, not the police, should be the focus of scrutiny in the Greengate/Galleygate affair. The initial controversy was about the arrest of Damian Green, and search of his office: that’s of course the first any of us outside the Whitehall/Scotland Yard loop knew of the leak investigation – and it was […]

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Head of Legal on Radio 5 Live

April 17, 2009

I was interviewed on the Damian Green affair for today’s 5 Live morning reports, which went out at the crack of dawn: you can listen here for the next week. The Damian Green item starts at 15’30″. I now have twelve minutes of minifame left.

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Damian Green: Jacqui on the rack

April 17, 2009

The more you reflect on Greengate/Galleygate, the more serious it seems. The charge laid by Damian Green is that ministers have acted in an authoritarian manner; understandably from his point of view he sees that as illustrating this government’s instincts. The way I’d put it is this: Jacqui Smith is under suspicion of having used […]

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Damian Green: the key issue

April 16, 2009

So now we know that no charges will be brought against either Damian Green or Christopher Galley. Here is the CPS statement explaining its decision. The real point about this scandal is not the conduct of the police or their search of Damian Green’s parliamentary office – they were told by government that national security […]

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