Law

Now this is interesting

A judge has forced a betting company to pay £1.7 million to a customer after it withheld his jackpot by claiming that he won because of a “defect” in an online game.

Andrew Green, 54, had told the High Court in London that he felt “robbed” when Betfred officials said that they would not pay out after his win.

When did bets and betting winnings etc become justiciable?

I thought the deal was that you couldn’t use the courts to enforce gambling debts and that’s why, also, gambling was income tax free?

Which bit am I missing here?

Twat

The practice of Queen’s consent, on which the Guardian has shone a welcome light in recent days, is a constitutional outrage. It gives an unelected person the opportunity to require changes to draft legislation in order to benefit herself financially, or to exempt herself from laws she does not like, and to do so in secret without any public accountability.

If an MP or peer sought to secretly influence a draft bill to advantage themselves in this way, it would be called corruption. It could lead to a criminal charge.

Every Minister does this as a normal part of the process. Because that’s how the constitution works. Given that it’s the Crown in Parliament…….

Free speech

Like religious liberty, freedom of speech and of the
press is required by the freedom of the human mind.
More plainly, it is a requirement for any government in
which the people choose the direction of government
policy. To choose requires public deliberation and
debate. A people that cannot publicly express its
opinions, exchange ideas, or openly argue about the
course of its government is not free.

“No, no!” said the Queen. “Sentence first—verdict afterwards.”

Idiots:

Dozens of the Conservative Party’s most senior MPs have joined a rebellion against the Prime Minister in an attempt to block the Government from signing trade deals with countries accused of genocide.

Given the ease with which such accusations are bandied about – I’m sure there are those insisting we should not have free trade with England under this rubric because England is engaged in a genocide of the culturally diverse – basing it upon the accusation is ludicrous.

Thirty-three Tory MPs supported an amendment to the Government’s Trade Bill, proposed in the House of Lords, which would have prevented the Government from signing a free trade agreement with any country the High Court ruled was committing genocide.

That’s better but still wrong. For the benefit of trade is to the consumer of the imports. Why punish either us or them other consumers for the actions of a government?

Aren’t we ruled so well?

Algorithms used to scan online messages for images of child sexual abuse may become illegal next week, after EU officials failed to agree on legal exemptions for the technology before new privacy protections come into effect.

Sigh.

This at the same time as criminal liability is to be placed upon execs if they don;t catch the same images and activity…..

The tart who was sexually harassed

There’s an absurdity here:

A New Zealand sex worker has won a six-figure payout as part of a settlement after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a business owner, the country’s human rights commission has said.

The settlement was an important reminder that all workers, regardless of the type of work they did, have the right to freedom from sexual harassment in the workplace, said Michael Timmins, director of the office of human rights proceedings.

No, the absurdity isn’t the one you’re thinking of. Whores gain the same protection of the law as everyone else. Rape of a prostitute is rape etc.

So, yes, it’s entirely feasible that someone working in a brothel could be sexually harassed by their boss. And if they were then they should be protected etc.

No, the absurdity is here:

“Context is everything. Even in a brothel, language with a sexual dimension can be used inappropriately in suggestive, oppressive or abusive circumstances,” the tribunal said.

“It follows that it is not possible to ask whether a ‘reasonable sex worker’ would find the behaviour unwelcome or offensive.

“If in a brothel language or behaviour of a sexual nature could never be considered unwelcome or offensive, sex workers would be denied the protection of the act.”

Precisely because context is everything then the test has to be that of the reasonable sex worker. Certain questions that would be sexual harassment in another context (“How trimmed are you?”) would be entirely reasonable employment related queries.

Possibly.

Thus the only reasonable test is the reaction of the reasonable person in that situation. You know, like we use in so many other areas of law.

M’Learned Friends

The Duke of Sussex has launched a libel action against Associated Newspapers, publisher of the Mail on Sunday, the sixth lawsuit filed by either him or his wife in little more than a year.

Documents were lodged with the High Court by the Sussex’s legal team at Schillings on November 27. The claim relates to a story published by the Sunday newspaper in October, which alleged that the Duke had failed to maintain contact with the Royal Marines after formally stepping away from his role as a working royal in March, the Telegraph understands.

We know that he certainly – and she by reputation – has some cash lying around. As Jarndyce v Jarndyce tells us, this isn’t necessarily the end state of affairs after calling on m’learned friends.

Criminal responsibility

Not sure about this:

The age of criminal responsibility in England and Wales should be reviewed because of mounting evidence that 10 is too young and puts the UK out of kilter with most other countries, the all-party justice committee has said.

The MPs said the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) should carry out an immediate review into the implications of raising the age to 12 – the same as in Scotland – or to 14, as in Germany, Italy and Spain.

The move follows evidence from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the Youth Justice Board and the chief inspector of probation, all of whom argued that 10 was too young and that children’s brains were not mature enough for them to fully understand the consequences of their actions.

The current situation is that 10 year olds can be held criminally responsible but mostly are not. The change suggested is to where they cannot be held so responsible.

I don’t see any gain from the change so why make it?

This sounds a bit dodgy

A British whistleblower is being prevented from handing over a new dossier on oil industry bribery to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in London after being trapped in Croatia by a Kafkaesque extradition battle.

Jonathan Taylor has spent three months in Croatia fighting what his lawyers claim is a “politically motivated” extradition request by Monaco after he lifted the lid on alleged bribery by oil executives based in the principality.

The former oil industry lawyer, who was arrested on an Interpol warrant issued by Monaco when he arrived in Croatia for a family holiday, has used the time to compile a dossier on new allegations of bribery which the SFO and FBI want to study.

Well, yes, OK, don’t travel internationally when peeps might throw an Interpol warrant out there. It’a also amusing to think that Monaco actually has a legal system but still. It’s this bit that startles:

He had expected to hand the dossier over to the SFO in London this week after winning his supreme court appeal in Croatia against his extradition, but the judges placed a condition on their verdict which has thrown his return to Britain into serious doubt.

Mr Taylor said: “I am in touch with the SFO whom I am very eager to assist in relation to new evidence of an eight-figure bribe involving at least five British nationals. The SFO are literally awaiting my arrival so I can hand over the evidence.

“I am a whistleblower. I am a protected witness. If there was ever a time for the Government to get involved, it has to be now.”

Well, OK, yes. Government get involved. But how?

The question being, that dossier, where is it? On holiday with him? So, give it to a consular official who can send it to London in the diplomatic bag. It’s in London? The give the SFO a ring and ask them to go ’round and pick it up.

That is, the question of him being on remand in Croatia and the file being in the hands of the SFO are two different things, two different points, one not being reliant upon the other.

Weirdly

The husband of a nurse killed by her policeman lover has said he is disappointed with the verdict, after the killer was sentenced to 10 and a half years in jail for manslaughter having previously been cleared of her murder.

The sentence isn’t far off what would be served for murder. For I’m pretty sure I’ve seen that the average served – the sentence is life by release on licence usually happens – is 7 years for murder. 10 and a half for manslaughter, half off as is usual, 5 and a quarter.

Sure, that 1 3/4 of a year will seem very long when serving it but the sentences aren’t hugely different, are they?

Perhaps Mr. Ludd QC could give us more detail?

Well, yes, clearly

In a statement read to the inquiry yesterday, Mr Blair said: In 1997 I would have known of the allegations made in 1991 in respect of Lord Janner by Frank Beck during his trial.
As regards the nomination, I would expect such allegations to be considered (by the Political Honours Scrutiny Committee) as part of that process.
In the circumstances of Lord Janner’s vigorous public denial, a police investigation, and charges not being brought, I do not believe the allegations would have been investigated further beyond confirming those facts, nor that I would have considered them a bar to the nomination.

Allegations made, investigation done, evidence of allegation not found – at that point, certainly.

So, should the allegations be a bar to the continuation of life as normal? And a peerage for a long serving back bencher isn’t unusual.

Well, no, because to make the allegation the judge and jury is to make the allegation the punishment, isn’t it?

Ahh, so that’s how they’re going to get out of it

Lots of councils have borrowed vast sums to invest in now falling in value property assets. So, how are they goin to get out of this?

A council that borrowed more than £1 billion to bet on commercial property may have acted unlawfully, its auditor has said.

Spelthorne borough council in Surrey has built its property empire over the past five years in an attempt to generate income to compensate for loss of government support.

The investments include BP’s corporate campus at Sunbury-on-Thames, office buildings in Slough, Reading and London, and a local shopping precinct.

The council’s auditor, KPMG, has warned that some of its investments could have been unlawful.

Declare the investments ultra vires and thus unlawful and the contract is no longer enforceable……hey, it’s a bit rough and ready but it works.

Well, he’s right even if not politic

A top Republican senator has said that “democracy isn’t the objective” of America’s political system, sparking widespread outrage at a time when his party has been accused by Democrats of plotting voter suppression and questioning a peaceful transition of power in November’s election.

This is correct of course. That whole thing of two Senators for each state is to make sure that simple weight of numbers doesn’t rule. As is that idea of a written Constitution which is really difficult to change. The whims of the mob are supposed to be difficult to implement.

Sure, sometimes the bulwarks fail – Prohibition say – but that’s what they’re there for. To say that majoritarian democracy goes this far and no further. What else does anyone think the Bill or Rights is about? For that’s not just about what government may not do but about what the people through government may not.

And isn’t this a revealing quote informing us of the types that run ethics offices?

Walter Shaub, former director of the US office of government ethics, said: “People of my grandfather’s generation knew what to do about fascists. Now a member of Congress is urging us to join them. I wonder what made you hate America so much.”

Simple statements of truth are fascism now?

Oh Tee Hee, Tee Hee indeed

Trump Selects Amy Coney Barrett to Fill Ginsburg’s Seat on the Supreme Court

A Catholic mother of seven. Gonna be tough to find someone she raped.

The argument against will have to be that they don’t like her views – which isn’t really quite the point. Sorry, shouldn’t be, rather than isn’t.

This is amusing

Wrong, sure, but still amusing.

Alexandra Wilson, a criminal and family barrister and the author of In Black And White, an account of the challenges faced by a young female barrister of mixed heritage, tweeted that she was "absolutely exhausted" after staff at the court repeatedly failed to recognise she worked in the legal profession.
Her tweets quickly went viral, drawing accusations of racism within the UK’s court system.
Kevin Sadler, the acting chief executive of Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service apologised to Ms Wilson and said it was totally unacceptable behaviour and he would be investigating the role of his staff in the incident.
Ms Wilson said when she arrived at court on Wednesday the security officer first asked for her name so he could find it on the list of defendants.
Ms Wilson said: I explained I was a barrister. He apologised and guided me through security. At this point I tried to shrug it off as an innocent mistake.
After meeting with her client, she then tried to enter the courtroom to discuss the case with the prosecutor.
She said: At the door a member of the public told me not to go into the courtroom. I asked why and she said because it’s a court, only lawyers can go in. She said I was a journalist.
The usher (the one person who recognised I was a barrister today) said to ignore her and to head on in.
As I opened the door, a solicitor/barrister said I needed to wait outside court and said the usher (who, by the way, was next to me) would come outside and sign me in and the court would call me in for my case. I explained I’m a barrister. She looked embarrassed and said ‘Oh. I see’.
She turned back around and I walked towards the prosecutor, ready to have our conversation. Before I got there the clerk, VERY loudly, told me to leave the courtroom and said the usher would be out shortly. Before I could respond she then asked if I was represented.
I, AGAIN, explained that I am a defence barrister trying to speak to the prosecutor. She looked at me, said ‘Oh, right, OK’ and continued with what she was doing.

From which we can learn two things. The first is that we’re a gloriously free and mobile society. That someone who, from outward appearance, could be the accused – or worse, a journalist – is in fact that stalwart pillar of the law, a barrister, shows that we are not, in fact, judging by outward appearance. Not as a society we’re not, even if a few individuals are.

Secondly, there’s a possibility that all that stuff about gowns and wigs actually has a value, eh?

Just a thought about RBG

I can see an argument developing here. Her biggest wish was – and I paraphrase – was that Trump not be able to replace her. So, there will be those who say it shouldn’t be done before the election. For this reason – leave aside all other reasons why or why not.

Which would really be most un-Supreme Court, wouldn’t it? The point of the institution being that the United States is a country of laws, not the wishes of any individual no matter how special or powerful?

My word, this is a surprise

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Obama calls on Republicans to delay filling vacancy – as it happened
Amid tributes to the late supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, former president adds weight to calls for vacancy to remain until after November election

Who could imagine that?

And weren’t the Democrats simply incandescent with rage when Republicans did exactly that to Merrick Garland? Delayed the confirmation hearings until after the election? You know, the without double standards they’d have no standards at all thing?

Ha ha ha gurgle, snort

Commonwealth HQ lawyers facing charges of corruption

Well, OK. That’s not funny.

Joshua Brien, an expert on the law of the seas, and his wife, Melissa Khemani, a renowned anti-corruption expert, worked at the headquarters of the Commonwealth in central London.

That is.

Ms Khemani, 40, is facing two charges of acquiring, using or possessing £62,000 of criminal property. She is due to appear at court on October 22. She had worked in the criminal law section of the Commonwealth Secretariat helping member countries to implement the United Nations convention against corruption.

The Canadian-born lawyer was then appointed an anti-corruption legal expert with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris. She is now a lawyer for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) working on due diligence on transactions and introducing anti-corruption reforms.

Quis cutodiet ipsos custodies…..