Legislation / Legal

EHRC: Many social housing tenants will now have greater protection from eviction after a Supreme Court ruling on the 4 November 2010. 

The Equality and Human Rights Commission intervened in the case of ManchesterCity Council v Pinnock, arguing that under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, where the loss of a person's home is at stake that person should be able to have the proportionality & reasonableness of that decision decided by a court.
Press release ~ EHRC: Human rights section ~ Respect for your private and family life
CC: The Constitution Committee has recently published its report on the Public Bodies Bill concluding that Parliament should not be denied the opportunity to fully debate and deliberate on proposals to abolish, merge, & modify a wide range of public bodies.
The Bill vastly extends Ministers’ powers to amend primary legislation by order.  Such powers are commonly referred to as ‘Henry VIII’ powers.  Where the use of these powers has been proposed in the past, the Committee has argued that the powers must be clearly limited, exercisable only for specific purposes, and subject to adequate parliamentary oversight.
Press release ~ Report: Public Bodies Bill HL ~ Constitution Committee ~ Bills before Parliament: Public Bodies Bill HL
WAG: Young children aged seven and under can now benefit from the Welsh Assembly Government’s advocacy & advice helpline, Meic.  Since the service began in May 2010, Meic has received almost 4,000 calls from children & young people seeking advice & information on issues that matter to them.  Supported by more than £450,000 of WAG funding, the helpline is the first of its kind in the UK to be rolled out on a national basis.
Children under the age of 7 as well as young people under 25 can get in touch with Meic by free phone (080880 23456), free text (84001) or instant message 7 days a week.  Initially, Meic will run for 8 hours a day (12-8pm) before becoming a 24 hour service.
Press release ~ Meic
Newswire – Acas: Employees who settle their employment tribunal claim through Acas can now use a new fast-track service to enforce the terms of the agreement, if action is necessary. In 2009/10 Acas conciliated in over 85,000 (net) employment tribunal cases, helping to resolve nearly three quarters of them, but in around an estimated 5% of case Acas helped settle, action of some sort was necessary to enforce the agreement.
A fast-track enforcement scheme was introduced by the Ministry of Justice for employment tribunal awards in April this year. It has now been extended to include Acas brokered settlements.  Employees who do not receive a payment agreed in the Acas settlement will be able to contact the Registry Trust to start the process.
Press release ~ EX727 - I have an Employment or an Employment Appeal Tribunal award but the respondent has not paid - How do I enforce it? ~ Directgov: Enforcing an Employment Tribunal decision ~ Registry Trust ~ www.justice.gov.uk/civil/procrules_fin/menus/forms.htm
ScotGov: Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has announced the Scottish Government's response to the Report of the Scottish Civil Courts Review, a wide-ranging review led by Lord Gill.  

In the report, Lord Gill presented 206 recommendations for change, that are broadly endorsed by the Scottish Government as necessary for ensuring Scotland has an efficient and effective civil justice system for the 21st century.
Press release ~ Civil Courts Review ~ Read the Government’s full response to Lord Gill’s review
ScotGov: Plans to reform centuries old property law by converting long lease properties into ownership got underway this week as a Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament. The proposed changes, introduced through the Long Leases (Scotland) Bill, could affect 9,000 long leases in certain parts of Scotland.
Leases would be eligible to convert to ownership so long as they were granted for more than 175 years; have more than 100 years to run and the tenant does not opt out.  Compensation & additional payments would be payable to landlords.  
Press release ~ ScotGov: Housing information ~ Responses to the Scottish Government's consultation on long leases ~ Long Leases (Scotland) Bill (SP Bill 61)
ScotGov: The battle against Scotland's unhealthy relationship with alcohol took another step forward last week as MSPs approved the Alcohol etc (Scotland) Bill. But Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon was disappointed that the main opposition parties failed to back proposals to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol. As passed, the bill will:
* Ban quantity discounts such as 'three for two' or '25% off when you buy 6'
* Restrict alcohol promotions in off-sales
*Introduce a Challenge 25 age verification scheme for all licensed premises
*Pave the way for the introduction of a social responsibility levy to ensure those who profit from the sale of alcohol also put something back into the community
Press release ~ Alcohol etc (Scotland) Bill ~ ScotGov: Alcohol
Newswire – ICOInformation Commissioner, Christopher Graham, said in an update report to Parliament on the state of surveillance, that there should be a legal requirement to make sure all new laws that engage significant privacy concerns undergo post-legislative scrutiny to ensure they are being implemented & used as intended by Parliament.  The report also makes the case for the use of ‘sunset clauses’ where legislation poses a high privacy risk.
The report includes research findings by the Surveillance Studies Network, a group of academic experts in this field.  This gauges how far privacy safeguards have kept pace with developments in surveillance and concludes that more still needs to be done.
Press release ~ Information Commissioner’s report to Parliament on the state of surveillance
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