law pages of Bournemouth and Poole College.
[The creation of so-called “designer babies” to treat siblings with genetic disorders is lawful]
D, the HFEA issued a licence to parents of six-year old boy suffering from a rare and potentially fatal blood disorder (beta thalassaemia] to enable them to ‘create’ a sibling whose tissue would match and offer hope of treatment.
C, Josephine Quintavalle a campaigner opposed such interference, claimed the whole concept of designer babies was against the law.
Held: Tissue typing to create babies to help siblings could be authorised by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which issues a licence to create or keep an embryo.
Barrister is disbarred after calling his instructing solicitor a ‘nigger’
By Robert Verkaik, Legal Affairs Correspondent
23 April 2005
An Oxford-educated lawyer has become the first barrister to be disbarred for racism after he called a senior black solicitor a “nigger” and suggested he returned to Ghana.
[Sentencing – indication on sentence following guilty plea]
D pleaded guilty to an offence of corruption and was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, despite the judge saying to his barrister at a meeting in his chambers before the trial began that he took the view that “this is not a custody case”.
Held: (by a five judge court) The judge should have followed the indication he gave. Crown courts (not magistrates’ courts) need no longer follow the rule in R v Turner (that a judge should not indicate the sentence that he might impose if D pleaded guilty). But, the indication must be sought by the defendant (7 day’s notice in writing) and then it would not amount to “improper pressure on him”.
Whole case here
Comment: This could mean that there will be an increase in the number of guilty pleas and effectively means that defendants will now see this as an opportunity to “plea-bargain”
[Tort – duty of care – fair, just and reasonable]
D were health care professionals who misdiagnosed child abuse cases. CCC were three parents who temporarily lost custody of their children, resulting in psychiatric damage and financial loss.
Held: The healthcare trusts did not owe a duty of care.
Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead: “The doctor is charged with the protection of the child, not with the protection of the parent.
Lord Bingham dissented.
Whole case here
On 1 April 2005 The Damages (Variation of Periodical Payments) Order 2005 came into force it allows for variations of payments if a claimant’s condition deteriorates or improves. Although similar arrangements existed before only a claimant could apply, now a defendant can also apply. Also, the new arrangements allow for a periodic payment even if the parties do not agree.
Full text here
[Tort – duty of care – police – fair just and reasonable]
D the police who it was alleged failed to treat C properly as a victim of crime. As a result, he suffered a very severe post-traumatic stress disorder. C (Duwayne Brooks) was present when his friend Stephen Lawrence was abused and murdered in the most notorious racist killing which our country has ever known.
Held: The police should not have imposed on them a duty of care to since to do so would cut across the freedom of action they ought to have when investigating serious crime.
Whole judgment here
[Withdrawal of medical treatment]
M, aged 25 was in a permanent vegetative state for six years. The NHS trust applied for authorisation to withdraw hydration and nutrition.
Held: Application allowed; it was in M’s best interests to accede to the application. This was not euthanasia it was allowing natural consequences to take their course. There was no reason why the accepted principle that thou shalt not kill, but need not strive to keep a person alive, should not be a sound guide. The only test to be applied was that of the individual patient’s best interests which were determined on three bases:
(i) the medical evidence and advice as to whether or not a patient was in a permanent vegetative state, and whether or not continuing treatment was or was not in that patient’s best interests;
(ii) the family’s views, as they might be in the best position to convey what the patient’s view might have been;
(iii) the court’s duty in relation to public policy to scrutinise any course resulting in the death of a person for whom it was responsible by reason of their incapacity.
Airedale NHS Trust v Bland  and NHS Trust A v M  considered.
Criminal Defence Service
Abbas Lakha Q.C. £800,000 John C Rees Q.C. £664,000 Malcolm Swift Q.C. £637,000 James Stuman Q.C. £626,000 Christopher Sallon Q.C. £603,000 Howard Godfrey Q.C. £596,000 Jonathan Hall Q.C. £563,000 Robin Grey Q.C. £558,000 Michel Massih Q.C. £551,000 Richard Marks Q.C. £544,000
Community Legal Service
Lord Brennan Q.C. £606,000 Elizabeth Gumbel Q.C. £470,000 Paul Storey Q.C. £449,000 John Rowley £329,000 Sally Bradley Q.C. £328,000 Stephen Irwin Q.C. £314,000 Joanna Dodson Q.C. £284,000 Alison Ball Q.C. £279,000 Robin Oppenheim £277,000 Eleanor Hamilton Q.C. £277,000 Simeon Maskrey Q.C. £269,000 Jeremy Rosenblatt £249,000. Andrew Moran Q.C. £249,000 Ernest Ryder Q.C. £247,000 Manjit Singh Gill Q.C. £245,000 Pamela Scriven Q.C. £244,000 Stephen Knafler £237,000 William Braithwaite Q.C. £229,000 Janet Mitchell £228,000 Margret de Haas Q.C. £228,000
Figures revealed under the Freedom of Information Act by the DCA, here
Trinidad and Tobago (the twin-island republic) has seen the launch of the Caribbean Court of Justice which will replace the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council which has been the court of last resort for most of the English-speaking Caribbean for 172 years.
In the past five years, the Privy Council has considered only 210 new appeals from the region.
The court will serve the Caribbean. Eleven countries have already agreed to use the court to settle trade disputes, and two of them – Guyana and Barbados – have also agreed to have the CCJ hear civil and criminal appeals. There are just three independent countries in addition to the Caribbean that retain the Privy Council as their court of last resort: the Associated States of New Tuvalu and Kiribati in the South Pacific, and Mauritius.
Last week the Privy Council heard the appeal by Bruce Howse’s against his conviction for murdering his two stepdaughters. What makes this interesting is that it is one of only six appeals ever heard by the Privy Council from New Zealand, and is almost certain to be the last.