Recent Legal Developments

Strasbourg upholds right of British courts to impose whole-life terms

Whole-life tariffs are compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights and do not amount to ‘inhuman or degrading treatment’, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled. The case was taken to Europe in 2008 by Arthur

Forced marriage now a crime

Forcing someone to marry against their will is now a criminal offence. New legislation introduced on 16 June 2014 by the government is designed to help people in England and Wales. It also applies to UK nationals overseas

Supreme Court dismisses ‘right to die’ appeal

The Supreme Court dismissed the right to die appeal brought by the wife of the late Tony Nicklinson and campaigner Paul Lamb in a landmark judgment today. The appellants claimed the prohibition on assisted suicide in section 2(1)

Leading judges in damning attack on civil aid cuts

Senior judges have launched their most scathing attack yet on the government’s cuts to civil legal aid. In written evidence responding to the government’s consultation on the first year of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders

Claimant faces record costs after tribunal

An employment tribunal has ordered a claimant who unsuccessfully took a local authority to tribunal to pay record costs for an individual. Dr D B Makanjuola had taken his employer, the London Borough of Waltham Forest, to the

Retired appeal judge slams ‘substandard’ aid cuts

Government proposals to restrict legal aid for judicial review will turn the clock back 50 years and perpetrate ‘significant and damaging injustice’, a retired Court of Appeal judge has warned. Sir Henry Brooke told the Gazette that the

Legal aid cuts ‘end high-profile BME cases’

High-profile cases such as those of murder victims Stephen Lawrence and Victoria Climbié would not have been taken up by lawyers if the government’s legal aid cuts had been in place, a prominent solicitor-advocate has warned. Imran Khan,

Bar: legal aid plans will ‘irreversibly undermine access’

The Bar Council has called on the Ministry of Justice to reconsider its ‘discriminatory’ legal aid cuts that it warns will ‘irreversibly undermine access to justice’ and create a two-tier service. It is urging all barristers to write

MoJ unveils tendering plans for criminal defence

Defendants will lose the right to choose their lawyer and instead be allocated a representative, under government plans to introduce price-competitive tendering (PCT) for criminal defence services. Details of the proposed PCT model were published for consultation today,

Family courts cuts will create ‘perfect storm’

Lawyers have voiced concern about plans to cut the number of judges and courts dealing with family cases in centralLondonat a time when increasing numbers of litigants in person are expected to put greater strain on the service.

Hundreds of lawyers attack secret trial plans

Plans to extend closed material procedures in court are ‘dangerous and unnecessary’, say many lawyers More than 700 lawyers have signed an open letter calling on the government to drop its ‘dangerous and unnecessary’ plans to extend closed

Education reform to youth custody

Radical plans for reforming youth custody, that focus on young offenders receiving better education and training so they can turn their backs on crime for good, have been published. At present: •73% of young people reoffend within a