Points of Law

Family law no island (4): A metwand for family proceedings — common law and vulnerable witnesses

Points of Law

Continuing his series discussing the impact on family law and practice of legal developments in other areas, David Burrows questions Sir James Munby’s recent announcement that primary legislation is required to remedy the situation in which the victim of alleged abuse can face cross-examination by their alleged abuser in the family courts in a manner not permitted in the criminal courts. He suggests there is already a solution available under existing case law and statute.

Evidence of …

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Human Rights in the World: Why the West is not necessarily the Best

At a panel presentation given at the Annual Meeting 2017 of the Association of American Law Schools in San Francisco this week, six law professors gave short talks on the topic of Human Rights Outside the West. Although each speaker approached the topic from a different perspective, there was a common theme: how well has the Western human rights paradigm travelled outside its home territories? Should we, indeed, regard it as essentially Western in nature and unitary in …

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Court of Protection – Paul Briggs case on withdrawal of life-prolonging treatment

This week the Court of Protection, sitting in Manchester, has been hearing a case about a policeman, Paul Briggs, whose wife, Lindsey Briggs has applied to the court for withdrawal of life-prolonging treatment (the feeding tube) that she no longer believes is in her husband’s best interests.

Mr Briggs suffered severe brain damage in a crash in July 2015 and is now in a minimally conscious state.  The “best case scenario” for his recovery …

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Is there institutional racism in the criminal justice system?

Points of Law

In this guest post, Penelope Gibbs of Transform Justice considers the emerging findings of the Lammy review.

 

The MacPherson report on Stephen Lawrence defined institutional racism as “the collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture, or ethnic origin. It can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping which disadvantage minority ethnic people.” 

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Family law no island (3): Criminal contempt, private lives and children proceedings

Points of Law

Continuing his series discussing the impact on family law and practice of reported cases arising in other areas of law, David Burrows considers contempt of court and limitations of the freedom to report on matters of public interest being litigated in court, particularly where they affect children.

 

Beyond ‘fair and temperate criticism’

A spectrum of contempt proceedings applies “criminal contempt” (as defined by Lord Diplock, see below) to protection of privacy of children and other protected parties. And contempt is …

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Old Case Law to Construe a New Rule

Points of Law

Set aside: a new rule for financial relief proceedings

By David Burrows

It cannot often be that you need a seventy-year old case to construe a brand new statutory provision; but the recent addition of rule 9.9A to the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (application to set aside a financial remedy order) makes such a demand: see Peek v Peek [1948] P 46 (pdf); [1947] 2 All ER 578 (PDA Div Ct: Lord Merriman P and Wallington J).

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Lies, damned lies, and insurance claims

In this guest post, Gillian Palmer examines two recent decisions of the Supreme Court on the question of lies and exaggerations made by a party in the course of making claims for losses covered by insurance.

 

 

Sweet Little Lies: Insurance Versloot Dredging v HDI Gerling [2016] UKSC 45[2016] 3 WLR 543[2016] WLR (D) 403, SC (20 July 2016)

Should an action be sanctioned according to …

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Panama papers: take legal professional privilege and a little iniquity…

Points of Law

Guest post by David Burrows

 

Confidentiality, privilege and the Panama papers

The leak of information from a firm of Panama lawyers – the Panama papers – raises a variety of questions for English lawyers, notably in the areas of confidentiality and of legal professional privilege (LPP). Papers held by a lawyer are confidential – at least they are in English law; and, mostly, if they form the basis of advice by a lawyer they are both confidential and …

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Access to and reuse of EU legal information

Report of a one-day conference organised by the Publications Office of the European Union, Brussels, 21 March 2016. Paul Magrath, of ICLR, was there.

“Information is the currency of democracy”, says Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport. He’s quoting Thomas Jefferson, according to Twitter, where the hashtag for this morning’s plenary session is #EULawData4Reuse.

Today we’re not just talking about any old information. We’re talking about legal …

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Legislation – always playing catchup?

When the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting (ICLR) was set up in 1865 its Objects of Association included the publication, not only of case law, but also statutes. As ICLR celebrates 150 years of providing reliable, accurate reporting of legal information, Paul Magrath looks at how its approach to legislation has changed, and the unending task of keeping it up to date.

The evolution of law

People think of the common law as something always evolving, the fittest rules …

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