Environmentalists claim the Government is trying to water down rules that block pesticides linked to health defects from being used on European fields. Environmental lawyers ClientEarth have spoken out over attempts to alter strict regulations, saying those seeing to weaken the laws have influenced the European Commission into “illegally overstepping” its powers, “in clear violation of its duty to protect humans, animals and the environment”.

The Independent

Posted 23/10/2018

The Competition and Markets Authority is launching a campaign to raise awareness and clamp down on illegal cartels who cheat customers by forcing up prices. The CMA’s research found that just 57% of firms knew that fixing prices was illegal and almost half thought it was legal to discuss prices with competing bidders when quoting for new work. The campaign is specifically targeting industries including construction, estate agents and property management and maintenance, which were identified as being particularly susceptible to cartels.

Financial Times, Page: 2 The Herald The Independent, Page: 67

Posted 22/10/2018

Doctors will be able to prescribe cannabis products to patients from 1 November, Sajid Javid has announced. The new rules apply to England, Wales and Scotland, and follow several high-profile cases.

The Times, Page: 2 Daily Mail, Page: 22 The Daily Telegraph, Page: 2 Daily Mirror, Page: 8 The Guardian, Page: 5 I, Page: 11 Yorkshire Post, Page: 6 The Press and Journal, Page: 26

Posted 12/10/2018

 Dave Thompson, the chief constable of West Midlands Police, has warned that policing is at a “tipping point” following a period of Government funding cuts. He claimed policing is on the verge of failing the public and struggling to detect crime, and said an agreement needs to be reached on what tasks the police should stop doing. He said that while the Government has focused on tackling high-end threats such as terrorism, there has been less regard for local crimes.

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 2 The Guardian Daily Express, Page: 4 The Independent

Posted 11/10/2018

 

The Guardian interviews Helena Kennedy, QC, who says Brexit will be a “disaster for the law and a disaster for women.”

The Guardian, G2, Page: 6-7

Posted 09/10/2018

The Sunday Telegraph’s Sam Meadows considers how tax laws are being enforced retrospectively, ruining the lives of people who legitimately believed they were engaging in lawful practice. He focuses on contractors who used employee benefit trusts, which were widely used for much of the 2000s but declared effectively illegal by HMRC in 2010. People are being bankrupted for schemes they declared to the taxman almost 20 years ago and for which they received expert advice. Meadows says: “The Government hasn’t so much moved the goalposts as pulled them from the stadium and set them alight.”

The Sunday Telegraph, Business, Page: 5

Posted 07/10/2018

SNP activists have called on the UK government to devolve powers over employment law to Scotland, so that bosses would be required to give abuse victims time off if they leave their partner. A motion was passed at the party’s annual conference in Glasgow saying the UK Government should either consider introducing such a law, or else hand the ability to do so to Holyrood. It came after SNP MSP Gillian Martin said that an “abused person shouldn’t have to hope her managers will be understanding” when ending a relationship. She told how New Zealand had introduce legislation requiring companies to give domestic abuse victims up to 10 days of leave from work, separate from annual holidays, if they leave their violent partner. Parts of Canada also have similar protections, she added.

Daily Mail The Scotsman, Page: 5 The Press and Journal, Page: 12-13

Posted 08/10/2018

HMRC has won an appeal to charge £61,383 in capital gains tax on a property that had not been built. The Upper Tribunal decided HMRC was right to apply the tax to Desmond Higgins, who paid a reservation deposit on an off-plan property in 2004 which was not finished until 2010. He sold the property in 2012 and was assessed by HMRC as owing capital gains tax of £61,383 for the tax year 2011-2012 – assessed including the period leading up to 2010, when the property had not yet been built. Higgins appealed to the First Tier Tribunal, arguing that the period of his ownership was coterminous with the period when the apartment was his main residence so that he was entitled to main residence relief on the whole of the capital gain accruing to him on the disposal on 2012.

FT Adviser Economia

Posted 04/10/2018

Sajid Javid announced in his speech to the Conservative conference that women coerced into marriage by their families will be able to give evidence anonymously to block a visa for a foreign spouse. A consultation is also being started on proposals to protect victims, including adding an explicit reference to forced marriage in immigration rules, allowing it to be used as a means to refuse entry, and making it a duty for professionals to report forced marriages to the police. Mr Javid told the delegates: “It is not liberal to stay silent about illiberal practices, that’s just weakness.”

The Times, Page: 1, 2, 29

Posted 03/10/2018

The Environment Secretary has said he will urgently consider calls for a “Natasha’s Law” to improve food labelling after the death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse. The 15-year-old suffered a fatal allergic reaction to a Pret A Manger sandwich that failed to highlight sesame as an ingredient. Michael Gove said: “Of course we’ve got high food standards, but we’ve got to make sure we never have a case like this again.” The Mail reports that Pret routinely puts allergy stickers on food it donates to the homeless prompting questions as to why it doesn’t do the same for the paying public. The family’s lawyer, Jill Paterson, of Leigh Day, said: “Simple labels show at a glance what allergens are contained in the food. This is common sense. This could be done by large food businesses quickly and shouldn’t need a change in the law, particularly when you are talking about a matter of life or death.”

Daily Express, Page: 4 Daily Mail, Page: 4 The Sun, Page: 8, 26 Daily Mirror, Page: 17 The Times, Page: 20

Posted 02/10/2018