Advancing human rights and equality
through public interest litigation

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June 2016

Court of Appeal dismisses challenge to Historical Abuse Inquiry

In last month’s Update, it was reported that the High Court had dismissed an application for judicial review of the decisions of the Secretary of State to fail to bring Kincora’s Boy’s Home within the remit of a separate Westminster Independent Inquiry into child sexual abuse. 

Other Public Interest Cases

No compensation for reversed conviction, because ground not new or newly discovered fact

In the matter of an Application by Gerard Magee [2016] NICA 19

The Court of Appeal ruled that the Department of Justice was entitled to refuse compensation to a man under Section 133(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988, because the reversal of his decision was not on the ground of a new or newly discovered fact, but on the passing of the Human Rights Act 1998.

Miscarriages of Justice

Supreme Court upholds injunction in celebrity threesome case

PJS v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2016] UKSC 26

The Supreme Court, by a majority of 4-1 ruled that the injunction protecting the privacy rights of a celebrity in the entertainment industry, and their family, would remain in place pending the main trial.  Publication would be an infringement of the privacy rights of the applicant and their family.  There was also a possibility that the publication could be permanently banned.

ECHR Art. 8, Freedom of Thought, Conscience & Religion

Father should be allowed to apply for parental responsibility after surrogacy

In the matter of Z (A Child) (No 2) [2016] EWHC 1191 (Fam)

The Court of Protection granted an order for a declaration of incompatibility of a section of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act with the Convention. 

Discrimination, ECHR Art. 8, Family Law

Absence of fixed time limits in UK immigration system not a breach of Article 5

JN v United Kingdom (Application No. 27289/12)

The European Court of Human Rights ruled that the United Kingdom was not in breach of Article 5 of the Convention (right to liberty) by having in place a system which did not specify maximum time limits for detaining persons prior to deportation.

Deportation, ECHR Art. 5

Breach of Article 8 ECHR to require persons to disclose convictions

On 11th May 2016, the High Court held that the statutory framework which requires persons with more than one conviction to automatically disclose them to employers violates Article 8 of the ECHR and is not in accordance with the law.

The background to this case is that the applicant was convicted of a number of seat belt related offences. 

Criminal Law, Disclosure, ECHR Art. 8

Judgment reserved in Ashers case

On 12th May 2016, the three appeal judges, Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan and Lord Justices Weatherup and Weir confirmed that they were reserving their judgment in the case of Lee v McArthur, better known as the Ashers case.

Discrimination, LGBT

No breach of Articles 10 and 11 to refuse permission to hold conference

R (on the application of Ben-Dor & ors) v University of Southampton [2016] EWHC 953 (Admin)

The High Court dismissed a judicial review in respect of Southampton University’s decision to withdraw its permission to hold a conference.  It also refused permission to challenge the University’s decision to require the organisers to meet security costs as a condition of allowing the conference to take place at a later date.

Freedom of Thought, Conscience & Religion

Ex-pats of 15 years or more cannot vote in the EU Referendum

Shindler v UK (Application No. 19840/09)

The applicants, who were UK nationals that lived in Italy and Belgium respectively and who had not resided in the UK for over 15 years, challenged a rule which prevents them from voting in the EU referendum.  The Supreme Court upheld the decisions of the High Court and Court of Appeal by confirming that the 15 year rule applies.

Other Public Interest Cases

• Accused hacker cannot be forced to reveal passwords, rules Magistrates’ Court

Laurie Love v National Crime Agency, 5th May 2016

The Magistrates’ Court of England and Wales has ruled that an alleged hacker, Mr Laurie Love, who faces extradition to the USA, will not have to give the passwords for his encrypted computers to UK law enforcement officers.

Criminal Law, Disclosure