Weekly Notes: legal news from ICLR — 3 December 2018

This week’s roundup of legal news and comment covers media law, costs, family law, sexual harassment, the legal professions and a little bit of Brexit.

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Media law

Leveson 2 climbdown not unlawful

A claim by victims of press intrusion, for judicial review of the government’s decision not to proceed with the second part of the Leveson inquiry into press misconduct, has failed.

Defamation costs

The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, David Gauke, made a written ministerial statement explaining how section 44 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO), under which the winning lawyer’s success fee would no longer be recoverable from the losing party, had not been brought into effect in relation to media claims such as defamation and privacy cases pending the outcome of the Leveson Inquiry. In view of the fact that the Leveson Inquiry was being discontinued, the government now proposed to commence section 44 of LASPO in relation to such cases. However, after the event (ATE) insurance premiums would remain recoverable for these cases. As Gauke explained:

Family law

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Outrage over parenting role for convicted rapists

The week began with one of those rather half-baked, half-biased newspaper exposures on an aspect of family law which is poorly understood, even (or especially) by its most vociferous critics. What we now know as the Sammy Woodhouse case appeared first in the form of a report in The Times by Andrew Norfolk headlined Jailed rapist given chance to see his victim’s child.

Open justice

Court of Protection transparency

A High Court judge has recently said that when the Court of Protection sits in open court, so that members of the public can attend if they wish, the barristers should all be wearing wigs and gowns as they do in most other courts, to send a clear message about transparency and open justice.

Brexit

Commons Library publishes roadmap

There’s not been much cheerful news on the Brexit front this week but the House of Commons Library’s Brexit Roadmap is certainly a thing of joy, so long as you don’t think too hard about the implications of what it describes. Under the title Brexit and the “meaningful vote”: The Final Countdown? and a picture of an ominously vacant lower house, it has produced this glorious technicolor (and in many ways quite cunning) plan: enjoy.

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  • What will happen on the first day of the debate?
  • What happens if the Commons backs the deal?
  • And what if the Commons rejects the deal?
  • Could the Government make a second attempt at the “meaningful vote”?

Legal professions

TheCityUK legal services 2018 report

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was a tale of two legal systems.

Sexual harassment at the Bar

The #MeToo movement has prompted women at the Bar to speak out about sexual harassment in their profession, and to form a movement dedicated to calling it out and raising awareness, with the Behind The Gown campaign. Last week, Professor Jo Delahunty QC dedicated one of her current series of lectures on the family justice system at Gresham College to the topic of “Sexual Harassment at the Bar”. You can download both the lecture notes and the presentation in PDF form from the Gresham College website. There is a report of the lecture by Dan Bindman in Legal Futures, Sexual harassment at Bar still a “serious problem”

ICLR news

ConTech Conference 2018

Daniel Hoadley of ICLR, and Sam Herbert, of 67 Bricks, the developers who built our ICLR.3 platform, were among the speakers at the ConTech Live conference, on 29 November 2018. The theme of the conference was “Transforming content through data science, AI and emerging technologies”. Paul Magrath and Paul Hastings also went along from ICLR, to see what they could learn about the interaction of content (information, data) and technology, and how it might help ICLR improve our product and services. A more detailed writeup will follow in due course.

Dates and Deadlines

Christmas and New Year closures

  • Tuesday 25 December 2018
  • Wednesday 26 December 2018
  • Tuesday 1 January 2019

Tweet of the Week

is actually two tweets involving a joke about bundles. (Sorry.)

Written by

The ICLR publishes The Law Reports, The Weekly Law Reports and other specialist titles. Set up by members of the judiciary and legal profession in 1865.

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