April 2010

Kerry McCarthy is innocent!

April 30, 2010

Or at least I think she may be. She’s trying to get re-elected as an MP, and is as it happens Labour’s new media campaigns spokesman. But she’s in trouble, for having tweeted which parties a sample of postal voters had chosen. Here’s her statement on the matter. There’s been a fair amount of speculation […]

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Short shrift for Lord Carey

April 30, 2010

Lord Carey’s complaints about secularist oppression of Christians and call for “faith-sensitive” judges have received an unusually direct response from Laws LJ in his Court of Appeal ruling refusing permission to appeal in McFarlane v Relate Avon, the unfair dismissal and religious discrimination claim that Lord Carey had supported: The general law may of course […]

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Erasing David

April 28, 2010

Erasing David is David Bond’s documentary dealing with liberty, privacy and the “surveillance state” – I was lucky enough to attend a screening last night. The official website describes it in these terms: David Bond lives in one of the most intrusive surveillance states in the world.  He decides to find out how much private […]

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Should innocent people be on the DNA database?

April 28, 2010

It’s unfashionable to say yes, but I was defending that position again in the Times last week. Some say that DNA taken from some suspects on arrest can legitimately be compared with unidentified DNA from unsolved crimes. So it’s all right for police to use the DNA of innocent people to investigate whether they’ve committed […]

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Cameron’s new constitutional whim

April 24, 2010

I agree with the point David Cameron makes about hung Parliaments and coalition politics: the problem with them, and the proportional representation that would all but require them, is that they result in politicians, not the voters, deciding who governs. It becomes very, very difficulty to sack a government you hate – a power the […]

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Lap-dancing clubs and human rights

April 21, 2010

I’ve written at Comment is Free today about the threat, made by lap-dancing club owners, to use the Human Rights Act to challenge the new legislation regulating them: It’s difficult to argue that firms should never enjoy convention rights – if they didn’t, media organisations like the Guardian would be unable to enforce freedom of […]

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Arresting the Pope: a Catholic response

April 19, 2010

I’m interested in the response by the Catholic Union to the recent suggestion that the Pope should be arrested and held legally liable for his alleged failure to tackle the sexual abuse of children. The full pdf file of the press release outlining their response is here. To say, as they do, that There is […]

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Lord Carey and “religion-sensitive” judges

April 19, 2010

I agree entirely with Afua Hirsch’s piece in the Guardian today – at least on religitigation, Lord Carey and his call for “religion-sensitive” judges. She’s right: to create a panel of specially faith-sensitive judges would be a wholly retrograde step and needs to be opposed. If a judge gets the law wrong, you can appeal […]

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Charon QC podcast: arresting the Pope, is legislation invalid, and a hung Parliament – who gets to be PM?

April 16, 2010

Charon QC interviewed me this afternoon as part of his “20 minutes” series of podcasts. First we spoke about arresting the Pope following my post earlier today. The we moved on briefly to discuss the former UKIP MEP Ashley Mote’s idea that all legislation since 2000 is “invalid“, before finishing with a discussion of who […]

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Noli me tangere: why you can’t arrest the Pope

April 16, 2010

I’m pleased that Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens are raising the question of the Pope’s potential legal liability for his apparent role in allowing the abuse of children by priests to continue by failing culpably to take action against them. The key evidence against the Pope is the 1985 letter he wrote declining to defrock […]

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