The UN working group’s Assange opinion

February 5, 2016

Here’s the opinion of the UN working group on arbitrary detention, which has concluded that Britain and Sweden have arbitrarily detained Julian Assange. It calls on both countries to release him, and pay him compensation. UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention Assange Opinion (PDF) UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention Assange Opinion (Text) I wondered […]

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Julian Assange’s submission to the UN working group

February 4, 2016

We awoke to the extraordinary news that Julian Assange had announced he’d leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London tomorrow and submit to arrest if the UN working group on arbitrary detention turned down his complaint to them. Shortly afterwards, the BBC reported that the working group has come down in his favour. That would be […]

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The strange, slow death of the criminal courts charge

December 7, 2015

The criminal courts charge is, or was, one of the less well thought-through criminal justice reforms of recent years. Since April this year, courts have had a duty under section 21A of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 to impose a fixed charge “in respect of relevant court costs” on those convicted of offences. When […]

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If you think it was murder, say so

September 11, 2015

How many articles and blogposts have referred to Orwell’s classic essay Politics and the English Language? Well, here’s another. I’m put in mind of it by recent use of the sinister phrase “extrajudicial killing” to describe the lethal RAF strike on British “Islamic State” fighters. Bad writers, according to Orwell and especially scientific, political, and […]

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Law and the killing of Reyaad Khan

September 7, 2015

This afternoon in the House of Commons the Prime Minister told MPs that Reyaad Khan, the “Islamic State” fighter from Cardiff, was killed in Syria in a targeted RAF drone strike. His death was reported some days ago but it was not clear till now that it the RAF had targeted him. The case raises […]

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Of course the DPP must not resign over Janner

June 29, 2015

The CPS has announced that Lord Janner is to be prosecuted for child sex offences alleged to have been committed between 1963 and 1988. This follows a review by David Perry QC under the Victims’ Right to Review Scheme, reversing the DPP’s original decision that prosecution would not be in the public interest. The CPS […]

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Psychoactive substances: Labour’s February 2015 amendment to the Serious Crime Bill

June 8, 2015

Anyone following the progress of the Psychoactive Substances Bill (the general principle of which which be debated on Second Reading in the House of Lords tomorrow) may be interested in this amendment tabled by Labour’s Home Affairs team (as “NC21”) at Report Stage on the Serious Crime Bill earlier this year. New psychoactive substances (1) It is an […]

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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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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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