Legislation / Legal

ICO: A Welsh health board has become the first NHS organisation to be served a monetary penalty following a serious breach of the Data Protection Act, the Information Commissioner’s Office said last week.
 
The Aneurin Bevan Health Board (ABHB) has been issued with a penalty of £70,000 after a sensitive report - containing explicit details relating to a patient’s health - was sent to the wrong person.  The error occurred when a consultant emailed a letter to a secretary for formatting, but did not include enough information for the secretary to identify the correct patient.
Press release & links
 
PC&PE: A House of Lords committee report urges the Government to Opt-In to new Directive on Proceeds of Crime.   The Committee has scrutinised the draft Directive, which restates & amplifies the provisions of EU law that set out the minimum measures Member States should adopt for freezing & confiscating the proceeds of crime; measures that are of great importance in the fight against serious organised crime.
Press release & links
 
BIS: The Sunday Trading Bill has received Royal Assent for Olympic Games. The Bill, which was announced in the Budget 2012, will mean that shops with a relevant floor area of more than 280 square metres will not be subject to current Sunday trading restrictions during the Olympic & Paralympic Games.  

The suspension will only be for 8 Sundays, from 22 July to the end of the Paralympic Games on 9 September.  After this period the current Sunday trading restrictions will apply again.
Press release & links ~ Information on Sunday work and the temporary changes are available on DirectGov ~ Guidance for employers
 
EC: The Electoral Commission has concluded its assessment of allegations that Sarah Southern, Peter Cruddas or the Conservative Party breached donation law. The Commission found no evidence to support the allegations and will not be opening an investigation into the matter.
 
In order for an offence to be committed under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act (PPERA), a real arrangement to assist the making of impermissible donations has to be in place, as opposed to a fictitious one. No donations were in fact made and the Commission therefore determined that there had not been a breach of the PPERA.
Press release & links
 
ScotGov: The Justice Secretary has welcomed the Stage 1 Report on the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill.
Press release & links
 
HO: The Home Office claims that unwarranted state intrusion into private lives will be brought to an end after the Protection of Freedoms Bill became law recently. It will curb local authority snooping, see the destruction of DNA samples and profiles given by innocent people and radically scale back the employment vetting process which would have routinely monitored 9.3m people.  Commencement orders enacting measures in the Act will begin from early July 2012.
Press release & links ~ Protection of Freedoms Act
 
ScotGov: The Scottish Government has introduced a new Bill to the Scottish Parliament as part of its 4-year ‘Making Justice Work’ Programme.  The Scottish Civil Justice Council and Criminal Legal Assistance Bill is the first in a series of legislative measures to be taken forward under the programme. 
 
Making Justice Work draws together a range of reforms across criminal, civil & tribunal justice.  The goal is to ensure the justice system better meets the needs of those it serves - the people of Scotland – through a series of improvements to make it fairer, more accessible, cost-effective and efficient.
Press release & links
 
MoJ: The Government’s plans to ‘reduce re-offending, reform the legal aid system and tackle the growth of compensation culture’ can start to be put into action following the granting of Royal Assent recently for the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill. The measures in the Act will be enacted in stages over the next year.
Press release & links
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