Tag Archive: Head of Legal

Has compliance with ECHR rulings reached its ‘cell-by’ date?

The Government, in the form of Chris Grayling, today presented a draft bill on the matter of voting rights for prisoners which will now be sent to a joint committee of peers and MPs for pre-legislative scrutiny before it returns to the Commons.

For those interested, some links: Grayling’s statement and the ensuing questions can be watched here (commences 12:00:20); the Hansard account read here; the draft bill read here; and Parliament’s Standard note SN01764 (a briefing note)read here. I can thoroughly recommend either reading Hansard or viewing the debate if only to consider the questions put by Members of Parliament and the answers from Chris Grayling. One of the links in my sidebar of this blog is to “Head of Legal” and in this post, on the subject of prisoner’s votes, some interesting points are made.

It is worth noting by those that do read/view the debate that much was made about the sovereignty of Parliament and that the ‘consultation’ will be wide-ranging. It is also worth bearing in mind that this question of prisoner’s votes, as with so much of parliamentary business, conflicts with the 6 Demands of the Harrogate Agenda, most notably Demands #1, #4 and #5.

Are the people of this land not sovereign? If there is necessity to refer to any court, is not the highest court in the land the court of public opinion? Should not those that provide the funds for the upkeep of prisons and inmates be the judge? On that last point, from the debate it will be seen that the ‘consultation’ will be very much an ‘in-house’ affair in that those from whom ‘evidence’ will be heard will include unelected people from various bodies with a finger in this pie, including it seems prison governors and that not once did I see mention in the debate of the views of the people being sought.

Over to my readers for their views……..

Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into!

A misquotation*, but one similar, that is no doubt echoing round the inside of No10 as Our Dear Leader contemplates the debacle that the Abu Qatadar situation has become, while at the same time those in the Home Office and Foreign Office are busy ensuring that their necks are nowhere near the block when an axe falls.

The actualité is covered by Carl Gardner on his Head of Legal blog – and interesting reading it makes when considering the legal aspects and interpretation of legalese. David Hughes, Daily Telegraph, weighs in with his input, whilst he who the Guardian, in 2010, considered one of the most powerful people in the media and who, in 2012, the Observer considered  one of the most influential Tories outside the cabinet also weighs in asking whether we rule our own country or do ‘judges’* from foreign lands run Britain? Dirgessing, one has to ask just where has this paragon of political opinion been for the last three decades?

That a brick has been dropped, one of great size and from a great height, would appear to be becoming undeniable – and the irony of two women, one with a BA (Hons) in Geography and the other with a first class honours in PPE with a top-up of an MSc in Economics debating what amounts to legal matters in the House of Commons does but continue the comedic theme of the Qatada affair.

It would appear that, where government is concerned, within the political, bureaucratic and legal world you just can’t get the staff today.



* Laurel & Hardy

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