UK Law

Now the Law CAN Protect Victims of Domestic Violence

Rhea Gargour | Posted 18.12.2014 | UK
Rhea Gargour

Today, our legal system is one step closer to being able to hold domestic violence perpetrators accountable for their crimes. It is one step closer to being able to accurately depict the true nature of domestic violence within the courtroom and further protect victims of domestic violence and their children.

The More Effective Torture Is, the More Important It Is That It Should Be Banned

Matthew Scott | Posted 17.12.2014 | UK
Matthew Scott

If torture worked, the need to criminalise it would be even more imperative than if it were ineffective because the temptation to use it would then be even greater. If torture did not work there would be no need to use it. It was largely because the CIA believed, or persuaded itself, that it did work that it became such a widespread practice.

No Face Veils in Court

Felicity Gerry | Posted 14.12.2014 | UK
Felicity Gerry

For many the face veil is a symbol of the oppression of women, for others it is a question of religious observance. In court however the question is fairly straight forward: How to achieve a fair trial for both the prosecution and the defence? Judges have to enable witnesses to give their best evidence and juries need to be able to assess those witnesses properly, not from behind fabric.

Women Accessing Abortions Must be Protected From Religious Extremists

Pavan Dhaliwal | Posted 14.12.2014 | UK
Pavan Dhaliwal

This must not be mischaracterised as an issue of freedom of speech. The right to free speech must be balanced with the right for women to seek advice and treatment in confidence and free from intimidation. Anti-choice campaigners are free to protest in public spaces, but it is unacceptable for them to be positioned outside clinics where women are trying to enter. These are not political protests. The campaigners' tactic is now to make women feel so scared, ashamed and insecure that they refrain from accessing a service they are perfectly entitled to.

Ten Things You Need to Know Before You Censor Porn

Suzi Godson | Posted 14.12.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Suzi Godson

It seems incredibly naïve of the BBFC not to recognise the inherent sexism in that decision. Their argument was that female ejaculation was too close to water sports, but discriminating against a sexual emission on the basis of it's consistency is surely the ultimate prejudice.

Shrien Dewani - Why There Was No Case to Answer

Felicity Gerry | Posted 09.12.2014 | UK
Felicity Gerry

It seems there was a prima facie case on paper to enable his extradition but, at trial, the case collapsed on the basis that the alleged co-conspirators were dishonest witnesses who had negotiated plea bargains by implicating Dewani.

Ten Reasons Why the House of Lords Should Oppose Grayling's Flawed Secure College Plans

Dan Jarvis | Posted 09.12.2014 | UK Politics
Dan Jarvis

Earlier this year the Government unveiled plans for one of the most ill-thought through policies of this Parliament. It's called the Secure College - a new Titan prison for young offenders. It sounds good in theory. It's supposed to be a new institution that will 'transform youth custody' by prioritising learning. In reality it's a flawed, expensive and potentially dangerous idea.

'Foreign Fighters': Different European Responses to the Same Threat

Tanya Silverman | Posted 06.12.2014 | UK Politics
Tanya Silverman

Many communities that foreign fighters come from have a troubled relationship with the police and a mistrust of the government. In response to this there have also been a number of civil society-led hotlines to report prospective travellers without the need to involve law enforcement.

My Son Is Not a Terrorist But He Was Terrorised

Ashfaq Ahmad | Posted 05.12.2014 | UK
Ashfaq Ahmad

This week marked the 11th anniversary of the day that changed our lives forever. On 2 December 2003, my son Babar Ahmad was accused by the Metropolitan Police of being an al-Qaeda terrorist, an allegation made after officers brutally assaulted him and mocked his religion.

Pre-Charge Police Bail: An Assault on Liberty

Peter G Tatchell | Posted 03.12.2014 | UK
Peter G Tatchell

70,000 people are languishing in a form of legal limbo in England, Wales and Northern Ireland - neither charged nor free. More than 5,000 of these people have been on police bail for more than six months. Indeed, some entirely innocent people have been left on pre-charge bail for years before their cases have been dropped or thrown out of court.

Female Ejaculation Is Now Banned From UK Porn (But Male Ejaculation Is Not)

The Huffington Post UK | Chris York | Posted 17.12.2014 | UK Lifestyle

Legislation introduced on Monday means that porn produced in the UK is now banned from showing a long list of sex acts. The move, which was discree...

Overfishing Threatens Our Oceans - Again

James Thornton | Posted 02.12.2014 | UK
James Thornton

The fishing industry has been gearing up for the landing obligation, and progress is being made. New nets with larger holes mean smaller fish, doomed to be thrown back dead under the old law, are allowed to swim free.

British Comedy Gets the Last Laugh Following Parody Law Reform

Wayne Beynon | Posted 27.11.2014 | UK Comedy
Wayne Beynon

The new Intellectual Property Act 2014 which came into effect last month has effectively legalised the art of parody, a comedic genre which, believe it or not, has until now been classed as illegal.

MP Falters at Victim-led Justice

Felicity Gerry | Posted 27.11.2014 | UK
Felicity Gerry

Surprising stuff at the IARS Victim conference last week as a UK Government Minister appeared to falter over victim led justice by suggesting that the EU Victim Directive 2012/29/EU ("The Victim Directive") required new domestic law and would need further consultation before implementation on the meaning of "victim".

It's Not About 'Bullying Husbands', It's About Domestic Violence

Rhea Gargour | Posted 27.11.2014 | UK
Rhea Gargour

On Sunday, many news outlets were reporting that psychological abuse and coercive control were going to be criminalised. Some articles used sensational headlines to grab attention, leading to comments that complained of a "nanny state", arguing that such a law was unenforceable.

In the Land of the Free

Felicity Gerry | Posted 27.11.2014 | UK
Felicity Gerry

News this week that a US Court of Appeals upheld the order for the release of Albert Woodfox who has spent more than 40 years in solitary confinement after being convicted of murdering a guard at Angola Prison

It's the Next Big Tech Development - Are You Ready for the Internet of Things?

Wayne Beynon | Posted 19.11.2014 | UK Tech
Wayne Beynon

Take a look around you now, how many devices are connected to the Internet? For starters there is the one you're reading this article on, be it a laptop, phone, or tablet computer. But what about the other electrical appliances around your home, such as your oven or your washing machine?

This Isn't Just About Ched Evans: It's About a Culture of Misogyny in Football

Louise Pennington | Posted 13.11.2014 | UK
Louise Pennington

This isn't just about asking Sheffield United to take a stand on violence against women and girls. This is about demanding that every single football club stand up for victims of sexual violence and refuse to work with players who commit rape and condemn those who harass, abuse and stalk a victim of sexual violence.

Prosecute Pregnant Women Who Drink?

Becky Hopper | Posted 13.11.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Becky Hopper

Realistically, if the government decided that the health of an un-born child was more important than the human rights of a pregnant woman, how would that be enforced? If a woman went out for a wild weekend without knowing she was pregnant - however far along she may be - would she be prosecuted?

Fried Clitoris at the FGM Café

Felicity Gerry | Posted 10.11.2014 | UK
Felicity Gerry

The campaigners have led the way where Governments have feared to tread. Efua's legacy ought to be a world without FGM and I am proud that women barristers are helping her to achieve this. What can you do? Talk about vaginas. I did - on a global scale.

All I Want For Christmas Is My Husband

Valdemar Alsop | Posted 07.11.2014 | UK
Valdemar Alsop

For Brent and Sarah, the £18,600 threshold condemns their Christmas time to one carried out across the Atlantic. Instead of sharing a kiss, they will share a call. Instead of waking together, they will wake alone. It is a Christmas tale no one should ever endure. I hope that by Christmas 2015, common sense and not discrimination will prevail.

A Question of Justice Well Served?

Sean Howlett | Posted 06.11.2014 | UK
Sean Howlett

This boy should spend the rest of his life in prison. Psychopaths like him cannot be rehabilitated into society and to suggest that they can puts more innocent people at risk. They need to be removed from everyday life. It is irresponsible for anybody to suggest leniency because of his age.

Sexual Violence Against Women - Understanding Sexual Violence (Part One)

Jessica Chan | Posted 11.11.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Jessica Chan

Sexual violence is a specifically reprehensible form of violence, and includes rape and any other attack of a sexual nature perpetuated against both males and females. Its repercussions can be iniquitous, and may include acute and physical repercussions for survivors and witnesses. Human trafficking can also lead to sexual violence, and I will be discussing the issue of 'modern slavery' in this article. I will also highlight the brutal effects of sexual violence in conflict.

Drug Policy: The Untold Success Story

Paul Hayes | Posted 04.11.2014 | UK Politics
Paul Hayes

Locking people up to protect them from themselves is difficult to justify. But the reality of our drug problem today is that fewer people are using drugs, fewer are becoming addicted, and the social and economic costs of drug use are shrinking. Any evidence based change to policy needs to acknowledge its successes as well as its deficits.

I'm Ready to Talk About My Abortion

Robyn Harris | Posted 29.10.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Robyn Harris

In the end, I had to pick the outcome to the situation that would make me hate myself the least. Retrospectively, it was like picking a way you'd like to die. Obviously, you're going to go for the easiest, most painless option you can. But, in addition, you're still going to die. And all of this is quite ironic, seeing as it wasn't my life I was choosing to end.