House of Commons Scrutiny inquiry into its EU scrutiny system
The House of Commons Scrutiny Committee is conducting a rather searching inquiry into its own EU scrutiny system – its purpose, structure, composition, expectations, etc. The deadline for written submissions was 18 July, but the Committee will be seeking oral evidence during the autumn. For all relevant documentation, go to:
Report on the Chairman of the Bar’s visit to Brussels
On 23 April, Michael Todd QC, Chairman of the Bar Council, held a series of meetings in Brussels. On this occasion, the agenda was largely focussed on EU justice issues, and included meetings with Commission Vice- President Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Justice and Fundamental Rights; and with senior officials from the Parliament and the Council of the EU, on both the Criminal and Civil Justice sides. Highlights included:
David Hammond continues recounting his experiences as a UK representative for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and legal advisor to the European Union (EU) in Somalia for the establishment of the East African Legal Advisory Programme in support of the current EU counter-piracy programme.
In the short period of time the EU team had in both Somaliland and Puntland, I had concentrated rounds of engagements with Ministers for Justice, Attorney Generals, Directors of Public Prosecution and Ministers of Interior and Security to name but a few. Their unified message was reflected in all of our meetings. In addition to the humanitarian assistance provided through the United Nations (UN) and other Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), further expert support for government departments was required in terms of monitoring, mentoring, training and advisory roles in the maritime and counter-piracy environment. Those departments needed western legal expertise to continue with the advancement of their own domestic legislation, judicial engagement in the lawless coastal areas and development of general legal skills. Consequently, our offers of such assistance were warmly welcomed.
European scrutiny committee
Current proposals for a Unified Patent Court (UPC) could hinder rather than help businesses enforce their rights, MPs have warned.
The proposed UPC is intended to offer patent protection in 25 EU Member States at an affordable cost.
house of lords
Peers have urged the Government to opt-in to a new draft Directive on the Proceeds of Crime.
European Contract Law
The Commission is expected to adopt a landmark legislative proposal on or around 18 October. A flavour of what to expect can be gleaned from Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding’s call to arms on the subject, viewable at:
The Academy of European Law in Trier is holding an event on consumer law just beforehand, at which it will be discussed. A member of the Bar will be speaking. See http://preview.tinyurl.com/4xl4qo4
The Bar Council has backed a government “Action Plan” to promote the UK’s legal services sector overseas.
In the second part of his article on the attempt by Abu Hamza to avoid extradition, Paul Hynes QC considers the arguments in the European Court and their compatibility with European notions of cruel and inhuman treatment
As we saw in the first part of this article, four men, Babar Ahmad, Haroon Rashid Aswat, Syed Tahla Ahsan and Abu Hamza, exhausted their UK domestic challenges to US extradition, and had to look to Europe for a remedy.
Date for your diary: “Justice in Times of Austerity” – London, 20 June 2011
The Bar Council is hosting a seminar entitled “Justice in Times of Austerity” at the Inns of Court in London on the evening of 20 June 2011, at which Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Justice and Fundamental Rights, will give the keynote speech.
More advocates-general and judges are needed at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) if “crisis” is to be averted, a House of Lords’ report has found.
Opportunity for female sopranos/contraltos in secondary education, or who have recently finished secondary education but have not yet begun tertiary education. Eligibility includes children of members of the Bar
Fear of the collection and test process is a common factor among clients, especially among vulnerable adults in complex family law cases. Cansford Laboratories shares some tips to help the testing process run as smoothly as possible
Casey Randall explains how complex relationship DNA tests can best be used – and interpreted – by counsel
Casey Randall, Head of DNA at AlphaBiolabs, explores what barristers need to know about DNA testing for immigration, including when a client might wish to submit DNA evidence, and which relationship tests are best for immigration applications
The case ofR v Brecanihas complicated matters for defence lawyers. Emma Fielding talks to gang culture expert, Dr Simon Harding about County Lines, exploitation and modern slavery
Barristers are particularly at risk of burnout because of the nature of our work and our approach to it but it doesnt have to be this way. Jade Bucklow explores how culture, work and lifestyle changes can rejuvinate our mental health...
Professionally embarrassed? The circumstances in which criminal barristers may return instructions to appear at trial have become clearer following the Court of Appeal judgment inR v Daniels By Abigail Bright
The Schools Consent Project (SCP) is educating tens of thousands of teenagers about the law around consent to challenge and change what is now endemic behaviour. Here, its founder, barrister Kate Parker talks to Chris Henley QC about SCPs work and its association with Jodie Comers West End playPrima Facie, in which she plays a criminal barrister who is sexually assaulted
Following the launch of the Life at the Young Bar report and a nationwide listening exercise, Michael Polak and Michael Harwood outline the Young Barristers Committees raft of initiatives designed to address your issues of concern