DNA retention lawful – High Court ignores ECtHR

Sunday 23 January 2011 at 9:53 am | In News | Post Comment
Northern Ireland’s High Court of Justice has ruled that police retention of a 14 year old boy’s DNA was not illegal, despite a European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruling that the blanket data retention policy conflicts with human rights law.

The Court said that it could not follow the ruling from the ECtHR because an earlier ruling by the House of Lords conflicted with it. The Northern Irish Court said that the ruling of the ECtHR is not binding.

“By virtue of the doctrine of precedent, it is incumbent on this court to give effect to the decision of the House of Lords … ”

S and Michael Marper in 2004 involved the arrest of a boy who was not charged with the crime and his data was due to be kept by police for seven years with possible extensions for longer.

Following S and Marper, the Government planned to allow the retention of DNA data for 12 years but in 2009 said that it would change that in many cases to six years.

The Supreme Court is to rule on a similar case which would clarify the law on the issue soon.

The case highlights a clear judicial tension between the approach of the UK courts and the ECtHR.

Judgment here ruling.

28 days detention to end

Saturday 22 January 2011 at 10:12 am | In News | Post Comment
Parliament will not extend detention
The power to detain terror suspects for 28 days without charge will be allowed to lapse, reverting to two weeks.

The power to detain terrorist suspects for up to 28 days before they were charged or released was an exceptional power, and it was rarely used. Since July 2007 no one has been held for longer than 14 days despite the many terrorists arrested since then.

Conditional Fees (no win no fee) criticised by ECHR

Wednesday 19 January 2011 at 6:52 am | In News | Post Comment
Miss Campbell was photographed leaving a drug addiction treatment clinic in 2001
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg yesterday (18 January 2011) ruled in favour of Mirror Group Newspapers in a judgment that is likely to have significant ramifications for future privacy and libel cases, because the fee arrangements were flawed.

The court found that the “depth and nature of the flaws” in the no win, no fee payments system is in breach of the European convention on human rights.

The Strasbourg court ruled that the result of the fee arrangement was “disproportionate”, and that it exceeded even the broad margin of appreciation accorded to the government in such matters.
The judgment questions the whole system of CFAs which may need to be changed by the government. The recovery of such fees from defendants makes some cases impossibly expensive to pursue.

There is already a consultation exercise for reform of conditional fee arrangements, including success fees which followed the review by Lord Justice Jackson in 2010 which recommended lawyers in “no win, no fee” civil cases should no longer have a “success fee” paid by the defendants, but should get a share of damages.
At the time he said the system was not benefiting the public, with fees to lawyers sometimes amounting to more than 1,000% of damages.
The report suggested a 25% limit on the share of damages paid to lawyers in a successful claim.
However, the ECHR ruled by six votes to one that there was no breach of the Daily Mirror’s freedom of expression in the earlier UK court judgment that the paper had invaded Campbell’s privacy.

The case has taken 10 years to get this far.

Guardian here

Yorkshire Ripper loses appeal

Friday 14 January 2011 at 9:21 pm | In News | Post Comment
Peter Sutcliffe
The Yorkshire Ripper has lost his attempt to overturn his life sentence.

Peter Sutcliffe was sentenced to 20 life sentences in 1981 after murdering 13 women and attempting to murder seven in Yorkshire and Greater Manchester.

Sutcliffe was transferred to Broadmoor psychiatric hospital in 1984.

He also applied to have a minimum jail term set in July last year so that he might be able to apply for parole.  Today the appeal was rejected by the High Court.

Full details here

School dinner lady – unfair dismissal

Tuesday 11 January 2011 at 5:23 pm | In News | Post Comment
Carol Hill
School dinner lady, Carol Hill was suspended from Great Tey primary school, Essex, after telling the parents of a seven-year-old that she had been tied to a fence and hit with a skipping rope by a group of boys.

She has won her claim for unfair dismissal.

The Employment Tribunal heard that the girl appeared to have been tied to a playing field fence by her wrist and then “whipped” across the legs with a skipping rope. Deborah Crabb, the school’s headteacher said the incident was not bullying but an “inappropriate game” which went too far.

She sent a letter to the girl’s parent’s saying she has a minor accident. However, at a scouts meeting outside school, Hill gave more details to the girl’s mother and a written statement to the girl’s family, which was passed to police, and then called a local newspaper to tell of her suspension.   She was dismissed by governors after telling a local newspaper what had happened to her.

The headteacher said that Hill was sacked for committing the “offence” of “going to the press”. The tribunal panel would consider whether Hill should be compensated and reinstated, at a “remedies hearing” next month.

Powered by WordPress with Pool theme design by Borja Fernandez.
Entries and comments feeds. Valid XHTML and CSS. ^Top^