And another thing …
(about the Psychoactive Substances Bill)

June 3, 2015

One of the things some people claim shows the bill is “badly drafted” is the way exemptions are written for caffeine and alcohol. Our newly-elected government aren’t the brightest bunch. Psychoactive Substances Bill “exemption” for caffeine: — James Lowe (@jlego) June 1, 2015 Alcohol is a psychoactive substance. An alcoholic product is one which contains […]

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What’s wrong with the
Psychoactive Substances Bill?

June 3, 2015

All kinds of sensory experiences can affect thinking and impair judgement. Drinking, obviously; the inhalation of cannabis; and perhaps even the sight of a new Home Office bill. The Psychoactive Substances Bill is intended to bring in a very broad ban on “new psychoactive substances”, otherwise known (for now) as “legal highs”. The idea is to clamp down for […]

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Why Michael Gove must think carefully about the Human Rights Act

May 26, 2015

A fair amount’s been written about the problems ministers face as they aim to “scrap” the Human Rights Act (to use the words of the 2015 Conservative manifesto). Replacing the Act as it applies in Scotland probably breaches the convention that Westminster does not normally legislate on a devolved matter (which human rights is) without the Scottish […]

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What a Fix-Up! My e-book on the Fixed-term Parliaments Act

May 6, 2015

What a Fix-Up! is my new e-book about the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011: what it says, its place in the constitution, the different ways it can be read, and how politicians might use and abuse it in the 2015 Parliament. What a Fix-Up! gives a quick guide to the constitution (with a clear explanation of who’s appointed PM in […]

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April 22, 2015

RightsInfo is a new website devoted to information about and advocacy for human rights. It’s the brainchild of Adam Wagner, the barrister and founder the the UK Human Rights Blog; and has a considerable team behind it. It tells us what human rights do for us, and tackles the 14 worst human rights myths. Over the next […]

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Ed can enter No. 10 without Nicola’s keys

April 19, 2015

This election looks a close-run thing – very close run indeed. As I write, polls and forecasts suggest strongly that no party’s going to get near a majority. There’s a lot of talk about what could happen after May 7th. And an idea’s beginning to take hold that, in a hung Parliament, Ed Miliband would […]

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The Prince Charles letters judgment – in a few sentences

March 26, 2015

For a while I’ve wondered if it might be helpful to summarise key Supreme Court and other major judgments in a few sentences. So I thought I’d have a go at it as an experiment, while I’m gathering my fuller thoughts on today’s Supreme Court judgment. Here, then, is my effort at a bite-sized summary […]

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Anonymity for rape suspects: my piece for Independent Voices

March 20, 2015

Today the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee published a report following its short inquiry into police bail. As part of that report the committee recommended that, just as those who say they’ve been the victim of a sexual offence enjoy anonymity, the same right to anonymity should also apply to the person accused of the crime, unless […]

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Britain’s got its way on prisoners’ votes – so why withdraw from the ECHR?

February 11, 2015

In yesterday’s judgment on 1,015 “legacy” applications, the European Court of Human Rights ruled once again that the legislative bar on prisoners’ voting breaches article 3 of the first protocol to the European Convention. That result was predictable given the Court’s case law on votes for prisoners. But more importantly, the Court awarded none of these […]

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John Cooper QC on the Global Law Summit: “By going there, we are tacitly endorsing what Grayling is doing”

January 26, 2015

The Criminal Bar Association’s acceptance of an invitation to speak at the government’s Global Law Summit next month is “pandering” to the Lord Chancellor’s “political opportunism”, John Cooper QC said today in an interview for this website. going to this jamboree in my opinion is copping out said the leading criminal barrister. We should not […]

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