Legislation / Legal

ScotGov: New laws to crack down on sectarian & other forms of hatred in Scotland should be in place in time for the new football season after Ministers introduced a draft Bill to the Scottish Parliament. 

The legislation seeks to create 2 new offences relating to offensive behaviour that can incite religious, racial or other forms of hatred, in and around football grounds and on the internet.
If approved, the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Bill will mean bigots will face up to five years in prison upon conviction and the possibility of a football banning order.
Press release & links
ScotGov: Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said the Scottish Government intended to introduce a protection order for the species, collectively known as elasmobranchs.  Subject to parliamentary approval, this will give greater protection for 26 vulnerable & endangered sharks, skates and &, including tope, spurdog and common skate.
The proposals will extend the current provisions, which prevent the landing to market of some elasmobranchs by commercial fishermen, to also cover fishing by recreational sea anglers. The new order will also mean that only catch-and-release by rod & line will be permitted, allowing recreational sea anglers to continue to tag these species, increasing our scientific knowledge of Scottish elasmobranchs, whilst ensuring that they are returned to the sea alive.
Press release & links
PC&PEGovernment proposals for contingency bills to increase the number of days that terrorist suspects may be detained before being charged are unsatisfactory & unreliable, says a Joint Committee of Peers & MPs last week.  Lord Armstong of Ilminster, the Chairman of the committee, has recorded a podcast to accompany the release of the report.
The Joint Committee scrutinised the Home Office's draft Detention of Terrorist Suspects (Temporary Extension) Bills, which could be enacted urgently if it ever became necessary to extend to 28 days the maximum period for which the police could apply to a High Court judge detain terrorist suspects before charging them. The committee agrees with the Government's objective, but does not accept the Government's proposals for achieving the objective. 
Press release & links
OFT: The OFT has successfully taken court action against an online computer software retailer who failed to deliver goods or provide timely refunds. The companies' director Pavan Arora has been ordered by Cardiff County Court to provide refunds to customers who remain out of pocket. If he fails to do so, he could be fined or imprisoned.
Under the law, unless the shopper agrees otherwise, internet traders are generally required to supply goods within 30 days or provide a refund.  Traders should also not offer for sale products that they cannot reasonably guarantee to supply. Online shoppers have specific legal protections and different cancellation rights from those buying in store.
Press release & links
Directgov: Plans to cut re-offending, improve the sentencing framework and reform the legal aid system have been outlined by the Ministry of Justice.  The plans are detailed in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill.
Press release & links ~ Related press release
Ofgem: Ofgem has signalled its determination to press ahead with an overhaul of the retail energy market following wide support from consumers, Consumer Focus, Which?, CAB, Age UK and uSwitch along with independent generators and small energy suppliers.
Press release & links
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