Tag Archive | "house of lords"

What has happened to habeas corpus?


The last chance to soften the impact of the justice and security bill steam roller was lost in the Lords last week when Lib Dem peers obeyed the party whip and amendments were defeated by a narrow margin.

The proposals to expand secret courts suffered a series of hefty defeats in the House of Lords last November. But most of these amendments were thrown out or neutralised by a single vote Read the full story

Posted in Civil LibertiesComments (0)

Secret Courts


Government proposals to expand secret courts suffered a series of hefty defeats in the House of Lords last Wednesday, significantly narrowing the scope of the justice and security bill. This can have come as no surprise to the government. The opposition of human rights groups and many prominent lawyers, and parliament’s joint committee on human rights (JCHR), to secret trials and withholding evidence has been mounting. Read the full story

Posted in Criminal JusticeComments (0)

Game, set and match


The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill bounced back to the House of Lords on Monday for consideration of Commons’ amendments. Members of the Lords voted eight times during the debate, and in scoreboard terms, the result for the government was played 8, won 4, lost 3, with one sort of score draw. Read the full story

Posted in Civil Law, Criminal Justice, Legal AidComments (0)

Be afraid, be very afraid


Britain leads the world in the use of CCTV. As a result, surveillance has become an inescapable part of life. Britain has a larger DNA base and more police powers and email snooping than any comparable liberal democracy.

This is the very solid base for home secretary Teresa May’s new bill which will allow GCHQ to conduct real-time surveillance of a person’s communications and their web usage. The intelligence services and police will have powers to insist that internet and phone companies hand over our data without our knowledge. Read the full story

Posted in Civil LibertiesComments (0)

Legal Aid bill defeat number nine


The government’s controversial legal aid bill has suffered its ninth defeat in the House of Lords. The bill has now suffered more defeats in the Lords than either the health or welfare reform bills.

On Monday, the third day of Report, the government seemed to have hit on a strategy to reduce potential defeats by the simple expedient of not starting the debate until after six o’clock, a ploy bitterly objected to by the opponents. Read the full story

Posted in Civil Liberties, Criminal Justice, Law Updates, Legal AidComments (0)

Legal aid cuts to save less than predicted


As the legal aid, sentencing and punishment of offenders bill returns to the House of Lords at committee stage, an independent report from a leading university reveals how the legal aid changes will incur new costs for the taxpayer by simply shifting the burden onto other parts of the public purse.

The King’s College London report ‘Unintended Consequences: the cost of the Government’s Legal Aid Reforms’ was commissioned by the Law Society because of the Ministry of Justice’s reluctance to publish estimates of the knock-on costs of its proposed changes to legal aid policy. Published on Monday, the report shows Read the full story

Posted in Law Updates, Legal AidComments (0)

Youth Justice Board


The government has abandoned plans to scrap the Youth Justice Board (YJB). The decision came shortly after another U-turn over plans to axe the post of chief coroner. Both issues had threatened to derail the passage of the Public Bodies Bill through the Lords last Wednesday.

In October 2010 it was announced that the YJB would cease to function as a public body, and the leadership of youth justice and functions of the YJB would move into the Ministry of Justice. Justice minister Jonathan Djanogly said at that time: Read the full story

Posted in Criminal JusticeComments (0)

Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill in the Lords


On Monday the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill came before the Lords for its second reading. In eight hours there were over fifty contributors to a high quality debate.

Part 2 (litigation funding and costs) and part 3 (sentencing and punishment of offenders) did not feature greatly in the exchanges, and were largely approved. Overwhelmingly the debate concerned part 1 of the bill – legal aid. And overwhelmingly the contributors opposed the government’s proposals. Read the full story

Posted in Civil Law, Civil Liberties, Legal AidComments (0)

Bare-headed Judges


A new bare-headed look will prevail from October 1 when judges hearing civil and family cases in England and Wales consign their 300-year-old horsehair headgear to history. From the autumn, most judges will adopt a simple continental-style black gown. The new robe has coloured bands to indicate seniority, Read the full story

Posted in Civil LawComments (0)


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