November 2010

The EU Bill in the European Scrutiny Committee

November 25, 2010

Bill Cash’s European Scrutiny Committee of the Commons is looking at the EU Bill, and in particular is considering very closely clause 18, William Hague’s “national sovereignty clause”, which I’ve written about before. If you’re as interested as I am in this clause and the relationship between EU law and our own constitution, you’ll want […]

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Why I back the legal aid reforms – and more

November 22, 2010

It’s taken me a week to respond to Ken Clarke’s statement last Monday about legal aid, so unsurprisingly, quite a few people have got there before me. Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian is opposed “root and branch”. John Bolch thinks the proposals on family law do not make good reading, and impliedly calls them “crass” […]

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Profiled at Normblog

November 12, 2010

I’m the subject of this week’s Normblog profile, where if you have nothing better to do you can find out some stuff about me that’s not law. If you have Spotify, you can hear that Fahrenheit 451 score I mention. You can even watch the whole film online, if you’re prepared to put up with […]

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EU Bill: second reading not today

November 12, 2010

Perhaps I’m missing an arcane aspect of Parliamentary procedure, or something, and “tomorrow” means “some time before long”. I did think it was a bit odd that the second reading of the EU Bill seemed to be scheduled for today, a Friday, and only the day after it was introduced. It turns out that’s not […]

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The “national sovereignty” clause: broken belt and braces

November 11, 2010

William Hague introduced his European Union Bill in the Commons today, and it will have its second reading as early as tomorrow – a debate that will no doubt be a treat. Much of the bill makes provision to require referendums before the UK can agree to treaty change conferring new power on the EU, […]

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Cala Homes v Communities Secretary

November 10, 2010

You may know from the news that the Administrative Court has ruled unlawful Eric Pickles’s revocation of regional strategies in England. He’ll have to wait until his Localism Bill comes into force in order to abolish them. Sales J’s judgment is interesting as an application of the Padfield principle, that ministers’ statutory powers must be […]

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R v Chaytor, Morley, Devine and Hanningfield

November 10, 2010

It was always obvious that Parliamentary privilege doesn’t prevent the trial of MPs accused of expenses fraud – and unsurprisingly, the Supreme Court has ruled that it doesn’t. There’s no written judgment yet, but I’ll link to it when it’s available. In the meantime, you might be interested in the Court of Appeal judgment given […]

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Watkins v Woolas

November 6, 2010

All the media has been reporting the case Phil Woolas lost in the High Court yesterday, sitting as an Election Court. So you probably know his election in Oldham East and Saddleworth has to be run again, and that, having under section 158 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 been reported guilty by […]

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Prisoners’ votes, and judges going rogue

November 3, 2010

I’m agnostic about whether prisoners should be allowed to vote – I can see the rehabilitation argument, up to a point, but I understand the view that disfranchisement (as the legislation puts it) is part of punishment, too. So if government had decided to change things as part of its political or penal reform agenda, […]

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