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Law

Political blogger about to go bust maybe?

Rachel Riley awarded £50k after political blogger libelled her a ‘serial abuser’
Countdown host sued Mike Sivier after he published an article saying she bullied a teenager during an anti-Semitism debate

It’s not the £50k. It’s the legal costs:

Originally, Mr Sivier had his defence claims of truth and honest opinion thrown out by a judge in January 2021. He appealed the decision and won a Court of Appeal challenge four months later on the grounds of pursuing a public interest defence.

Ah, no, that’s a house’s worth of cash – even at today’s house prices.

Just to remind of something about English law. The loser pays everyone’s legal costs. The whole lot, tout. Massed and ferried ranks of lawyers on both sides to get up to the Court of Appeal and back down again.

The only potential way out of that is if he’d offered £50k plus one pound in damages at the start – if the damages award is less than the offered settlement then it’s the person who continued with the case that picks up the bill.

I think it would be safe to say that there wasn’t an offer of £50k plus one at that start.

There’s a value to a blogger limiting themselves to mere vulgar abuse.

One of the things that pisses me off

Granting legal rights and protections to non-human entities such as animals, trees and rivers is essential if countries are to tackle climate breakdown and biodiversity loss, experts have said.

The authors of a report titled Law in the Emerging Bio Age

Experts here are highly partial activists.

Dr. Schultz is an academically trained futurist
with over forty years of global foresight practice,
and Director of Infinite Futures, as well as Futures
Puzzlemaster at Jigsaw Foresight.

Dr Trish O’Flynn joined Jigsaw Foresight in
2021 after a twenty-year career across academia
and national policy-making focussed on applied
interdisciplinary solutions to contemporary
challenges using systems thinking.

They’re not even lawyers……that’s a very American practice, descriving the activists as “experts”. Less of this, please.

No, he wasn’t

An Irish teacher suspended for refusing to use gender-neutral pronouns has said he would rather stay in prison for a century than compromise his beliefs on transgenderism.

Enoch Burke, an evangelical Christian, was jailed for contempt of court on Monday after breaching the injunction not to go to or try to teach at Wilson’s Hospital School in Co Westmeath.

Burke was arrested after turning up to the school “to work” after a disciplinary process begun after he refused to refer to a transgender student as “they”.

Jailed for transgenderism, that is. He was jailed for contempt of court. Different thing, y’know…..

Couple of things here

The UN “experts” all seem to be wildly woke, far left even. The poverty guy claims that UK poverty now is like that of the 30s – the 1830s to hear him sometimes. So it is with the LGBTetc guy:

A United Nations expert warned that some US state governments are steadily undermining and eliminating lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse people’s civil rights, and he urged the Joe Biden White House to strengthen protective measures for them.

Victor Madrigal-Borloz, the diplomatic organization’s independent expert on protection against gender- and sexual orientation-based violence and discrimination, said he is “deeply alarmed” that prior progress, such as the US supreme court’s legalization of gay marriage in 2015, is under threat at both the state and federal levels in America.

“Equality is not within reach, and often not even within sight” for members of [LGBTQ+] communities in the US, Madrigal-Borloz said after a 10-day trip in his role with the UN that had various stops across the country.

Compared to most places in the world, compared to most of the world even 20 years back, the US has equality of that kind.

This is the other thing that bugs:

Supreme court justice Clarence Thomas favorably suggested the right to same-sex marriage could be overturned after the elimination of nationwide abortion rights.

No, he didn’t, he really didn’t. What he said was, translated a bit, ” Here’s the justification we used to put abortion into the Constitution. We now agree that doesn’t work, it becomes a democratic matter for the States instead. That means that these other things – same sex marriage, interacial marriage – which we found in the Constitution in the same way now need to be looked at again. For if we’ve said that this particular method does not work then we’ve got decisions with faulty legal logic, don’t we?”

He’s not favourably suggested that the right should be overturned. He’s just pointed to the inevitable implication of the Dobbs decision. He’s also -even- being a bit brave there. One of those cases to be looked at again is Loving v Virginia. As a black man married to a white woman he would be directly affected by any decision there. But still he goes where the logic takes…..

Lawyerly splitting of hairs here

Although “conditions” such as “transvestism, transsexualism, pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, gender identity disorders not resulting from physical impairments, [and] other sexual behavior disorders” are explicitly excluded from ADA protections, the court agreed with Williams’ argument that “gender dysphoria” is separate from the now-defunct category of “gender identity disorder.”

“Transgender person’s medical needs are just as deserving of treatment and protection as anyone else’s,” the opinion reads. “But nothing in the ADA, then or now, compels the conclusion that gender dysphoria constitutes a ‘gender identity disorder’ excluded from ADA protection.” The court further argued that this was especially true since untreated gender dysphoria, as defined in the DSM-5, can entail intense anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, or even suicide.

See? If we change the word then we change the thing!

Won’t there be shrieking about this?

The Government has announced it will not start criminal proceedings against P&O Ferries over the company’s decision to fire nearly 800 seafarers in March and then replace them with cheaper staff.

The Insolvency Service said on Friday that “there was no realistic prospect of a conviction” after a review by an independent senior prosecution lawyer, as it is standard practice.

A spokesman said: “After a full and robust criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the employees who were made redundant by P&O Ferries, we have concluded that we will not commence criminal proceedings.”

The Insolvency Service is still conducting a separate civil investigation.

As they don’t seem to have found any criminal acts therefore there will be no criminal prosecutions. Or, equally, as they’ve not broken the law there’s no law breaking to prosecute. Bit tough for Labour with a former DPP at their head. How can they now turn around and demand prosecution?

It’s possible that we may have employment law wrong you know

A Labour MP unfairly sacked a senior adviser and ex-girlfriend after she called him a “first class idiot” in an email with Sir Keir Starmer copied in, an employment tribunal has ruled.

Khalid Mahmood fired Elaina Cohen, his long term aide, after she sent him a series of messages accusing him of being “bullying”, “spiteful” and an “insecure crooked womaniser.”

The former shadow minister – an MP for more than 20 years – dismissed Ms Cohen, who he had previously dated for several years, for disrespecting and trying to intimidate him.

But the tribunal ruled that by overseeing the disciplinary process himself and deciding to fire her, the 61-year-old had treated her unfairly.

Jeez, if you can’t fire your ex bonk…..

Rather more seriously, it seems it’s the process that matters, not reality. Which is absurd. So that’s another area of life ready for 90% cuts come the day then, eh?

Skimpy evidence…..

She added: “The deceased never signed the 2019 will. The 2019 will was completed in the claimant’s handwriting and allegedly witnessed by two friends of the claimant who were not known to the deceased.”

American lawyers, hunh?

The Serious Fraud Office and its under-fire director suffered a fresh setback after a second conviction from the botched Unaoil bribery case was overturned.

Paul Bond, 69, became the second person to have his conviction quashed by Court of Appeal judges, following the successful appeal of businessman Ziad Akle in December.

The fiasco has raised questions about director Lisa Osofsky’s future and has prompted Suella Braverman QC, the Attorney General, to order a judge-led review of what went wrong.

The base problem is the importation of the plea bargaining tactic. Turn one of them, with a promise of lighter sentences or charges, to inform on the others. The detailed problem is that none of these machinations and documents were available to the defence. But the base problem was that importation of that American idea….

Interesting really

Five oligarchs including Russia’s youngest billionaire were on the list of more than 100 who face a ban from travel to the UK, the freezing of their assets and restrictions barring any UK firm doing business with them.

No reasons were given by Government sources for the exclusion of Abramovich, who had been named by Bryant earlier as being linked in a 2019 Home Office document to Mr Putin’s Government and “corrupt activity and practice.”

He’s a Portuguese citizen now – as well as A Russian. How do sanctions work then? I guess that a named person can be named, but how does it work if there’s some blanket ban on “Russian does this” ?

Well, yes, obviously

‘Mercy killers’ of sick relatives could escape prosecution under new CPS guidance
Current advice states that a prosecution is ‘almost certainly’ required for a mercy killing where there is sufficient evidence

It’s the deciding what is a mercy killing and what’s doing Granny in to save on the care home fees that is the problem, isn’t it?

It’ll be interesting to see which way this goes

Cadwalladr is now defending the claim against her on the basis that her reporting was in the public interest.

IANAL. However, I’m not entirely sure that we have a public interest defence to libel in England, do we? Thought that was more an American thing?

When Banks first brought his case against Cadwalladr, seven press freedom groups, among them Reporters Without Borders and Index On Censorship, called for the case to be thrown out and for the British government to defend public-interest journalism. Their open letter described the case as bearing many of the hallmarks of a so-called Slapp suit – strategic lawsuits against public participation – in which legal action will inevitably be expensive and time consuming for journalists to resist.

Equally, Slapp is an American, not English, thing isn’t it?

We don’t do American

It might be possible to pinpoint the SFO mistake here:

Less than a month after taking up the role as director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), Lisa Osofsky received a text message that kicked off a series of events leaving her fighting for her job and reputation.

It led to an unfair trial as Osofsky and colleagues tried to cut a backroom deal. Her decisions have mired the UK’s white collar crime agency in yet another controversy – despite the American being tasked with transforming the beleaguered body.

It’s that word, “American”. So, she’s done Harvard Law, deputy something for the FBI. Steeped we might say in the American manner of doing criminal law. Plea bargains and stitch ups that is.

Tinsley was acting as a fixer for the founding Ahsani family of Unaoil, an oil and gas consultancy at the centre of a multimillion pound bribery probe by the SFO. He offered to help secure a guilty plea from Ziad Akle, an executive at Monaco-based Unaoil who he didn’t represent, in return for a more lenient deal for his own clients.

Last year Akle was handed a five-year jail sentence after being found guilty of conspiring to bribe an Iraqi official to secure an oil deal.

But last week, the Court of Appeal quashed his conviction after finding that the 46-year-old did “not have a fair trial”. It said the SFO had “handicapped the defence”.

The blistering ruling has forced Attorney General Suella Braverman to launch an investigation into the agency’s handling of the case, leaving Osofsky under a darkening cloud.

We don’t do criminal law that American way. The courts won’t allow it. The mistake therefore was to have someone in that American tradition trying to run the prosecution authority here in England.

It’s like the difference in the meaning of the word “pissed”. Once we get over the past tense of to micturate it has entirely different meanings in English and American. So too with other parts of life – like how we prosecute criminal cases.

International law is, after all, international law

The former king of Spain called upon a 300-year-old treaty that established Gibraltar as a British territory to argue that he should not be sued for spying on a former lover in London.

Juan Carlos, who abdicated from the Spanish throne in 2014 following a series of scandals, is accused by Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, a 56-year-old Danish socialite and his former lover, of putting her under illegal surveillance in the UK and elsewhere after the two fell out.

Lawyers representing 83-year-old Juan Carlos at the High Court in London on Monday cited the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht to argue that their client should be granted immunity under Spanish, British and international laws.

I expect to see all the right on get behind this. For international law is indeed international law. We’ve got to take those folks crawling across the beaches because the law says so. We’ve got to decarbonise ourselves back to the middle ages because the international law says so. Legally binding treaties are legally binding treaties after all……

It’s not an ultraconservative decision

This is to misunderstand the Constitution:

Samuel Alito has become the latest US supreme court justice to defend the panel’s political independence, labeling criticism of recent ultra-conservative decisions including a tacit approval of an abortion ban in Texas as attempted intimidation.

The SC rules on whether something meets constitutional tests. The TX law is very carefully crafted to meet such. Roe is that states can’t limit – so, the law says that it’s not officers of the state which do limit. It’s individuals bringing civil (?) suits which do. Very carefully crafted to step inside those constitutional restrictions.

To judge (sorry) the validity or even politics of the decision by the outcome is to miss the point of constitutional law in the first place. This is, by definition, what isn’t politics. It’s neither conservative, ultra or not, nor liberal. It’s the constitution.

What annoys is that they just such damn bad lawyers

This lot:

Many have questioned whether it is possible to agree a clear definition of so-called conversion therapy. We recommend that it is simply referred to as “any practice that seeks to suppress, ‘cure’ or change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity”.

Buying someone that extra gin – heck, a coffee – to see if they’d like to try a shag the other side of the gender division from their regular practice now becomes a crime in international law.

Seduction to be made illegal?

That before we get to the stupidity of the legal idea itself. Some folks ain’t happy with their sexual orientation nor gender identity. Those folks aiding Carrie are changing her gender identity ain’t they? Every trans clinic is now illegal?

It’s the fact that this is just such bad lawyering which is the most annoying thing.

Just a thought here

Asbestos, mesothelioma, legal responsibility, damages – yes, fine. And yet:

Leigh Day are also acting for the family of another member of the orchestra, violinist Edwin Dodd, who died aged 89 of mesothelioma in January.

What damages are due for the death of an 89 year old?

No, not to belittle or anything but the damages are, presumably, some compensation for the life missed…..

Slightly worrying

Speech: Dean Russell MP Proposes Tips Bill To Parliament
During the Presentation of Bills in the House of Commons, Dean proposed a Tips Bill that would prohibit employers retaining tips and gratuities intended for staff, and make provision about the division of tips and gratuities between staff.

There are common law provisions here. A statutory basis over rides those. Get those statutory changes wrong – which we can’t see as there is no published bill as yet – and the tax status of tips could be irretrievably changed.

Currently tips pay no NI nor VAT, they pay only income tax. A service charge – the alternative class or description – pays all three. What’s the betting this does get screwed up?