November 2009

Elias LJ’s Renton lecture

November 25, 2009

After the great fun I had at last year’s inaugural Renton lecture, I thought I’d head to the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies to hear Elias LJ talk this year about “The rise of the Strasbourgeousie: judicial activism and the European Court of Human Rights”. He didn’t talk about the ECtHR itself, choosing to focus […]

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Two tales from Austria

November 24, 2009

I’m interested that the Austrian justice minister Claudia Bandion-Ortner has disbanded a special unit of “political” prosecutors (German/Googlish) responsible for deciding whether to charge politicians suspected of offences. This is partly because of the revelation that the unit had effectively forgotten about a case against a former interior minister, Ernst Strasser, and allowed it to […]

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Michael Howard on “repatriating” human rights

November 23, 2009

It’s always worth listening to Michael Howard’s views on constitutional and legal matters – he was one of the first Conservatives to speak about “repatriating” policies from the EU as I recall, an idea that was considered extreme at the time (and by some now of course) but which has since become Tory orthodoxy. Whether […]

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Binyam Mohamed – again

November 19, 2009

Another week, another Binyam Mohamed judgment. This time, Thomas LJ and Lloyd-Jones J have decided to restore to their previous judgment the passages they redacted out at the request of the Foreign Secretary, who claims they’d endanger national security – but not yet, since he intends to appeal not only against that decision but against […]

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Open Europe calls for opt-out from equal pay

November 6, 2009

For many years Eurosceptic Conservatives have wanted the UK to be “opted out” of EU social legislation – John Major negotiated an opt-out from the “social chapter” at Maastricht (though he seemed to get no thanks for that from his own backbenchers) and Michael Howard has long been arguing for repatriation of power in the […]

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Cameron’s National Sovereignty Act: what does it mean?

November 4, 2009

This afternoon as part of his new EU policy, David Cameron promised a National Sovereignty Act, to make clear that British institutions ultimately rule on our relationship with the EU. I watched his speech, and thought he made a pretty poor job of explaining this (admittedly fairly abstruse) aspect of his policy. I fear that […]

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Lord Martin on Damian Green: car-crash evidence

November 4, 2009

A special Commons committee chaired by Sir Ming Campbell is currently inquiring into the arrest of Damian Green MP last year, and search of his Parliamentary offices; and on Monday they heard evidence from the former Speaker, now Lord Martin. You can watch the full session here, and if you’re interested in this affair, you […]

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