Legal news in brief - 10 July 2012
10 July 2012
The head of the Bar Council, the UK’s representative body for barristers, has stated that plans for more secret court hearings will endanger the basic principles of the justice system.
Michael Todd, QC, commented on the government’s new Justice and Security Bill, currently under scrutiny by House of Lords, as threatening to “undermine the principle of open justice and make a mockery of our attempts to export the Rule of Law abroad”.
The legislation would allow ministers to decide when secret courts should convene in cases deemed to involve threats to national security, as opposed to the current system whereby judges must establish when this approach may be appropriate.
But it has met with criticism from legal professionals and civil liberty campaigners alike.
An offer has been put to London bus workers who threatened a strike which could disrupt the Olympic Games.
Bus companies in discussion with the Unite union have, after six days of negotiation, reached a deal which will be proposed to affected employees today. They will then decide whether or not to accept.
Industrial action already took place for 24 hours last month, with another strike threatened for the 24th of July. The disagreement was over a £500 bonus being offered to other transport workers but not to those employed by bus firms.
An alliance of Conservative MPs has suggested a number of powers they believe should be reclaimed from the EU and left up to the UK government to decide.
Calling themselves the Fresh Start Group, the alliance has proposed that matters of justice, employment regulations, energy law and agriculture rules should have their seat within the country.
The group seeks to rethink the UK’s relationship with Europe, redefining its position and involvement to better benefit Britain.
Speaking of an expected shakeup in the way Europe operates, the group urged the government to seize the opportunity, stating “we must get the best deal for Britain and not worry about others' feelings”.