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.
Making a move from the Bar to a career in governance: Maria Brookes outlines three good reasons to switch and how to do it
Inés Rivera explains how speech recognition can help barristers create accurate documentation faster
What should barristers be doing on the personal finance front ahead of the end of the tax year on 5 April? Julian Morgan of Fleet Street Wealth answers your questions
Are you ready to embark on this arduous but potentially rewarding journey? Julie Gottlieb of Sherwood PSF Consulting provides a self-examination checklist, hints and tips to help you prepare for a future application
A day in the life of the junior criminal barrister/Twitter sensation who is currently on maternity leave with her second child while her husband is away on a lengthy military tour of duty
A fictionalised account of hidden battles during an ordinary court day. By Rehna Azim
Dissent and protest are a healthy safety valve for every democracy, write Sailesh Mehta and Caroline Baker, yet recent events have put the proposals around policing public protest under the spotlight and many do not like what they see
The law is broken. Help us prove it, writes Rohini Teather