August 2010

The Law Commission, regulation and civil sanctions

August 27, 2010

I wrote yesterday at Guardian Law about the Law Commission’s new consultation paper on Criminal Liability in Regulatory Contexts, which has been reported as proposing the repeal of minor criminal offences: The alternative approach proposed by the Law Commission is no soft option – and no civil libertarian’s utopia, either. Relying on the existence of […]

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That American stem cell ruling

August 25, 2010

On Monday Federal District Judge Lamberth gave a surprising ruling in Sherley v Sebelius, handing down an injunction preventing new US health guidelines on human stem cell research, drawn up on President Obama’s instructions, from being given effect on the basis that they breach legislation that prohibits the use of federal funds for research in […]

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Ray Gosling: prosecution is against the public interest

August 20, 2010

The Crown Prosecution Service has issued a press release today saying it has decided that Ray Gosling should be prosecuted for wasting police time under section 5(2) of the Criminal Law Act 1967, following his Inside Out broadcast on 15 February. Obviously I don’t know exactly what Ray Gosling told the police when he was […]

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Privacy law: there’s no need for “clarification”

August 18, 2010

Following on from my post the other day about privacy and the notorious “back door”, I’m surprised Lord McNally has been taken in sufficiently to propose new privacy legislation to “clarify” the law and remove some of its dangerous and onerous aspects, to use his words. He obviously wants privacy protection watered down. I explained […]

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Smoking bans in Germany: Bavaria quits

August 13, 2010

Two years ago now, I wrote that Bavaria’s ban on smoking in public buildings had been upheld by the German Constitutional Court. But it, or a new version of it, has recently been challenged again – and again upheld. Just before the Court upheld the Bavarian ban the first time round in 2008, it had […]

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Privacy law “through the back door”

August 12, 2010

I’m baffled by the prevalence of the belief among journalists that judges are bringing in a privacy law “by the back door”. It’s the phrase the Telegraph uses when reporting the fact that the golfer and Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie has obtained an injunction (or in newspaper language, a “gagging order”) to prevent a […]

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Draft Directive on the right to information in criminal proceedings

August 6, 2010

This is the sort of thing that sends shivers down Eurosceptic spines. A couple of weeks ago the European Commission came out with this proposed Directive on suspects’ right in criminal proceedings. Draft Directive on the right to information in criminal proceedings Some of the rights the proposal aims at guaranteeing are uncontroversial in themselves: […]

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Proposition 8, again

August 5, 2010

Every summer I seem to write about gay marriage in California. At least, I did in 2008, then in 2009, and now I’m at it again. Because Judge Walker of the US District Court has ruled, in Perry v Schwarzenegger, that Proposition 8 breaches the “due process” and “equal protection” clauses of the US Constitution. […]

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