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April 2016

Former prisoner judicially reviews dismissal decision

The High Court is hearing a judicial review regarding a groundskeeper who was declared unsuitable for a job he carried out for 18 years following his release from prison.


Court of Protection rules that reporting restrictions can continue after death

V v Associated Newspapers Ltd & Ors [2016] EWCOP 21

The Court of Protection ruled on 25th April 2016 that where a restriction on publication of information about proceedings was in place during a person’s lifetime, the court has a duty to consider whether this restriction should remain following that person’s death.

ECHR Art. 8, Media

Social media comments prevent defendants from having a fair trial

Ex parte BBC and others [2016] EWCA Crim 12

The BBC together with nine other media organisations appealed against Mr Justice Globe’s reporting restriction on the trial of two teenage girls accused of murdering Angela Wrightson.

Criminal Law, ECHR Art. 6, Media, Right to Fair Trial

The DNA of a deceased person may be tested to prove paternity

Spencer v Anderson (paternity testing) [2016] EWHC 851 (Fam)

On 15th April 2016 the High Court of England and Wales ruled that while there is no statutory power to order DNA testing to establish paternity, it possesses an inherent power to do so in cases where the absence of a remedy would lead to injustice.

Health, Medical Law

Hillsborough inquest jury rules that fans were unlawfully killed

The inquest jury of the Hillsborough disaster, by a 7-2 majority has determined that football fans who died in a crush at the infamous football match at Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield on 15th April 1989, were unlawfully killed. 

ECHR Art. 2, Right to Life

Court dismisses challenge to Historical Abuse Inquiry

On 8th April 2016 the High Court dismissed an application for judicial review which challenged the decisions of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA).  The applicant, Gary Hoy, was a victim of abuse at the care home.  He sought to bring Kincora Boy’s Home within the remit of a separate Westminster Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse established by the Home Secretary, from which it was excluded. 

Local Developments

21 year old woman given suspended sentence for inducing abortion with pills

The defendant, who at the age of 19 procured an abortion by purchasing pills on the Internet was given a three months suspended sentence at Belfast Crown Court.  The defendant could not afford to travel to England to obtain a legal termination.  However, she sought advice from a clinic in England about what pills to buy and induced an abortion.

She pleaded guilty to two offences: procuring her own abortion by using a poison, and supplying a poison with intent to procure a miscarriage, contrary to the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.

Criminal Law, Health, Local Developments, Medical Law

Denial of right to legal representation does not violate Article 5

Hammerton v. the United Kingdom, Application no. 6287/10

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), by a majority of 4 to 3, has held that detaining an individual following his breach of a contact order, where he had no legal representation did not violate his right to liberty and security of person.

Criminal Law, ECHR Art. 13, ECHR Art. 5, ECHR Art. 6, Family Law, Right to Fair Trial, Right to Liberty

Use of unchallengable witness evidence not a violation of Article 6

Case of Seton v The United Kingdom (Application no. 55287/10)

The European Court of Human Rights held that the use of telephone recordings as evidence in a criminal trial did not violate the applicant’s rights under Article 6 of the Convention, despite the fact that he had no opportunity to challenge the evidence.

Criminal Law, ECHR Art. 6, Right to Fair Trial