In Evie Toombes v. Dr. Philip Mitchell [2020] EWHC 3506 the High Court has given renewed consideration to claims for, so called, “wrongful life”. Can a disabled person ever claim damages on the basis that they would not have been born but for the defendant’s negligence? The Court answered that question with a resounding “yes”. The Issue Where a disabled child would not have been born but for the Defendant’s negligence, it is well established…
In The Government of the United States v Julian Assange (2021), the District Judge sitting at Westminster Magistrates’ Court discharged the American extradition request against the founder of WikiLeaks because there is a substantial risk that he would commit suicide. Given Julian Assange’s political notoriety as an avowed whistle-blower, however, the judgment is significant for its dismissal of the defence’s free speech arguments. This article analyses why these human rights submissions were unsuccessful. The Criminal…
Pardons versus failure to prosecute One of the many outrages perpetrated by Donald Trump in the waning of his Presidency was granting a pardon to four private military contractors for their role in the Nisour Square massacre.  Those military contractors had opened fire indiscriminately, killing 14 Iraqi civilians, including two children.   As with many of Trump’s assaults on the Rule of Law, the thought was that this kind of abuse could not happen in…
In the news For several years, China has been enacting a policy of repression and brainwashing against over a million Uyghur Muslims in its northwest Xinjiang province. Reports include instances of forced sterilisation. Its hundreds of ‘re-education’ camps have been revealed as places where contact with relatives, the ability to pray and even when to use the toilet are tightly controlled. A leaked document reveals the state’s use of algorithms to score inmates on…
Most UK people’s 2020 Christmas eves were cheered by the news that we had some sort of Brexit deal – here, in all its majesty. Given the deadline for no deal, some deal, however thin, was a good deal better than nothing, with the ill-tempered chaos between the UK and a major trading partner which would have followed from the latter. News in the last few weeks has concentrated on some of the immediate supply…
Whilst many of us would prefer not to dwell on 2020, it was a year that produced many interesting decisions. In Episode 134, Michael Spencer and Jon Metzer talk to Emma-Louise Fenelon about the cases they consider to be 2020’s most significant landmarks. This episode refers to: Whittington Hospital NHS Trust v XX [2020] UKSC 14 For more, listen to William Edis QC discuss the case in Episode 110. Barclays Bank v Various…
In the news: Last week’s round-up looked at the measures and messaging of the UK’s latest lockdown. This week we ask what it means for vulnerable children and victims of domestic abuse. Are sufficient legal safeguards in place? For vulnerable children, it unfortunately seems not. On Wednesday, a Guardian investigation revealed that thousands of children were sent to unregulated care homes last year, while local authority provisions were stretched throughout many months of restrictions. These homes…
Selahattin Demirtaş delivering a speech in 2016. Photograph: Ozan Köse/AFP/Getty Images. Source: The Guardian On 22 December 2020, the European Court of Human Rights (“ECtHR”) published a Grand Chamber decision against Turkey, requiring the immediate release of the pro-Kurdish opposition leader Selahattin Demirtaş from pre-trial detention (Selahattin Demirtaş v Turkey, Application no. 14305/17). The ECtHR said that Mr Demirtaş’ detention went against “the very core of the concept of a democratic society” and was…
The exterior of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg In this two-part article, Ruby Peacock, an aspiring barrister and currently a legal and policy intern at the Legal Resources Centre in Cape Town, examines the history of medical claims brought under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The first part analysed the history of how such cases have been decided, with particular focus on claims based on psychiatric illness. This second part…
Courtroom of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg In this two-part article, Ruby Peacock, an aspiring barrister and currently a legal and policy intern at the Legal Resources Centre in Cape Town, examines the history of medical claims brought under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The first part analyses the history of how such cases have been decided, with particular focus on claims based on psychiatric illness. The second…