August 2009

Al-Megrahi: I agree with the Americans

August 20, 2009

It appears that the Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill is likely to announce today the release on compassionate grounds of the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi. Brtitish justice ministers are obviously feeling quite compassionate this summer.

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Unfair dismissal at Campsfield

August 13, 2009

Having written about asylum detention yesterday, an interesting Employment Appeal Tribunal judgment caught my eye today. Father Seraphim Vänttinen-Newton, a Russian Orthodox priest, has won his appeal for unfair dismissal against GEO Group, the private firm that runs Campsfield House Immigration Detention Centre (or “removal centre”, as the UK Borders Agency website calls it).

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The asylum detention problem

August 12, 2009

It’s frustrating and dispiriting to read the judgment in R (Rostami) v Home Secretary. And I think difficult to work out what you think about the problem of asylum detention generally.

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Trivial matters?

August 10, 2009

The Liberal Democrats have today called for better supervision of the use of surveillance powers: they think magistrates should have to approve any use of legal powers of surveillance. Fair enough. What I do have a problem with, though, is the suggestion often made in the debate around these powers that surveillance should not be used to tackle supposely “trivial” offending and anti-social behaviour. If like me you think laws on these matters should be respected and enforced, and you want to give councils the job of enforcing them – then councils should be allowed the tools to do so.

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Last orders for Ronald Biggs

August 7, 2009

Ronald Biggs has been released, then, Jack Straw having decided he could now be released on compassionate grounds, rather than on parole, which he earlier refused. Straw’s statement explains the new decision in terms of the different criteria he had to take account of in relation to the two issues.

Still, my feeling is that for the law to be respected it must be inexorable: I’d have made Biggs repay every moment of his debt of time, even if (since he’s in a hospital, not in prison) only symbolically.Perhaps I’m the only one who’d have applauded Jack Straw had he taken that hard line.

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Welcome to the New Head of Legal!

August 5, 2009

You’ll have come from the original Head of Legal over at Blogger – thanks for coming and having a look round the new place. I hope you like it and will enjoy reading and commenting here in future. Give it a chance – you’ll feel at home before you know it. Maybe it’s a bit […]

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Ballots, figures and the right to strike

August 4, 2009

Last week’s Court of Appeal judgment in Metrobus v UNITE must make frustrating reading for the union’s officials: it upholds King J’s grant of an injunction preventing bus drivers from striking in Croydon, Crawley and Orpington last autumn on the basis, firstly that UNITE had not promptly informed Metrobus of the result of its strike […]

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