NHS vultured by the Health and Social Care Act 2012: Part 1.

“Our most needy, really are now at the mercy of our most greedy, free from scrutiny or accountability.”


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It took the Juggernaut of a Coalition government to pass a Bill so vague/complex it could not be properly debated and was longer than the 1949 Act that created the NHS to destroy it.

Even David Cameron apparently did not know what the Health and Social Care Bill entailed.

To get onto our statute books it needed to be all things to all people.

It was a PR feat extraordinaire.

Full of anomalies and contradictions, in breach of the rule of law, as, like the Mental Capacity and Carers Acts, it had to disguise its real purpose.

And such confused legislation is now restructuring our NHS.

Parliament rubber stamped structures and ‘laws’ woven under regulations by various newly created executive bodies, whose purposes were made to look beneficent but has resulted in the vulturing of our NHS and with it, our nation’s health and welfare.

The Act put total control…

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Damages and compensation for invasion of privacy and data protection infringements – Eoin O’Dell

“In a plot twist that might once have been revealed by Gawker itself, it emerged that Hogan’s case had been secretly financed by Peter Thiel, a technology billionaire (after a short career as a lawyer, he co-founded Paypal, and was Facebook’s first outside investor; he is currently founder and Chair of Palantir Technologies, and a partner at VC firm Founders Fund). This was his revenge for Gawker’s outing of him as gay in December 2007. As an application of the principles of “don’t get mad; get even” and “revenge is a dish best served cold”, this is certainly a novel remedy for invasion of privacy; but it is one that is only available to American tech billionaires. More practical are claims for injunctions and damages.”

Inforrm's Blog

The saga in Bollea v Gawker shows two remedies for invasion of privacy. Hulk Hogan (real name, Terry Gene Bollea; pictured left), is a former professional wrestler and American television personality. Gawker was a celebrity news and gossip blog based in New York. In October 2012, Gawker posted portions of a secretly-recorded video of Hogan having sex in 2006 with one Heather Cole, who (as Heather Clem) was the then-wife of his then-best-friend (the wonderfully-monikered radio personality Bubba “the Love Sponge” Clem).

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Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy? Early Neutral Evaluation

“It is little known that such an option is available in civil courts and within the case management powers of a Judge at CPR Rule 3.1(2)(m):

‘Except where these Rules provide otherwise, the court may…(m) take any other step or make any other order for the purpose of managing the case and furthering the overriding objective, including hearing an Early Neural Evaluation with the aim of helping the parties settle the case’.”

Source: Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy? Early Neutral Evaluation

No Fault Divorce

“Here I am seeking to deal with divorces in an amicable manner (they don’t always go that way), and the first thing I have to do is to write to the proposed respondent spouse to explain to him/her why their marriage has broken down and why it is their fault. I seek to find anodyne rather than acidic or vitriolic reasons, but even anodyne reasons to someone who either does not accept them or does not consider their marriage is over will seek to obstruct/fight/delay the inevitable divorce.

Worse still, those grounds of unreasonable behaviour can be rejected by the court, even if accepted by the respondent, as not unreasonable enough.

According to Nigel Shepherd, he gives statistics from Resolution that more than 110,000 people divorce each year. 300 couples get divorced each day.

Reform of the law is long overdue for no fault divorce.”

Rosen’s blog - useful reads for litigants in person

Two people married for love. They had children. The pressure of life/work, financial pressure, emotional pressure, the pressure at work took their toll on both spouses. They grew apart. They found they had different interests. They irritated each other. The romance had gone. They both fell out of love. Who is to blame? and why does it matter?

Unless you have lived separately for more than two years, or your spouse deserted you for more than five years divorce in England and Wales must be based on an irretrievable breakdown of marriage on the basis of adultery or unreasonable behaviour. There does, however, need to be blamed on the part of the responding spouse, and the blame/fault needs to be acknowledged and accepted by the respondent.

Therein lies the problem for a number of reasons, and I set out a non-exhaustive list below:

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Purdah: Government should obey the law in the run-up to an election

“A good example of possible news manipulation follows. On 12 April, the Cabinet Office issued its guidance in respect of the local elections (hands off). On the same day, the Department for Transport declared, in far from neutral terms (lots of jobs, all wonderful etc etc) its unequivocal support for a particular route for the new Lower Thames Crossing – think a way over Thames avoiding Dartford Crossings. This will lead to more traffic and more emissions of nitrogen dioxide, though the latter was invisible in the departmental announcement. This was governmental Good News, as it conceived it to be, though it plainly had implications for the councils who might benefit or indeed be burdened by the new scheme.

So the judge was right to be very sceptical about efforts to postpone the publication of a rather unconvincing response to a Bad News story.”

UK Human Rights Blog


R (ClientEarth) v Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, Garnham J, 27 April 2017, judgment here

Last November (here) the judge decided that the UK’s air pollution plans under EU and domestic laws were not good enough.  The case has a long, and unedifying back-story of Government not doing what the law says it should do – see the depressing list of posts at the bottom of this post.

The pollutant was nitrogen dioxide, a product of vehicle exhaust fumes. And as the judge reminded us in this latest instalment, the Department for Transport’s own evidence suggests that 64 people are dying everyday as a result of this pollutant.

The particular issue might seem legally unpromising. Government wanted to delay the publication of its latest consultation proposal from 24 April 2017 (the date ordered by the judge last November) until after the Council elections on 4 May, and, then, once…

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Special Measures for vulnerable witnesses are potentially inadequate in a Police and Criminal Evidence Act interview

“A juvenile can only be interviewed at school in exceptional circumstances, and then only when the principal or his nominee agree. The head teacher should be present Zander, M (2013), p348.

At Note 11 c, Guidance the Police are warned that juveniles (like the mentally disordered or otherwise mentally vulnerable) are ‘particularly prone in certain circumstances to provide information that may be unreliable, misleading, or self-incriminating’. It is important therefore to obtain corroboration of any facts admitted wherever possible.”

Rosen’s blog - useful reads for litigants in person

If I have misquoted, to borrow the words of the late Groucho Marx: ‘Quote me as saying I was misquoted’.

As a lawyer and part-time academic, I am a huge fan of learning from multi-faceted disciplines such as psychology, sociology, and criminology, to be considered alongside the Law of England and Wales. Indeed, I believe it to be essential if one is to obtain a deeper understanding of a given subject by looking at the same problem from different angles and perceptions. To ignore the wealth of information from other disciplines is to hold a very constricted and narrow view. I very much hope to encourage fellow lawyers to look beyond case-law and Acts of Parliament particularly on the issues of suggestibility, compliance, acquiescence, and confabulation, when considering what factors led to a confession within the context of the reliability on it from a vulnerable witness.

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Is Washington Planning a Nuclear First Strike on Russia?

“The cynic might wonder if, when UK Prime Minister Theresa May spent so much time clutching Donald Trump’s hand on her January visit to the White House, she contracted a virulent strain of Trumpitis, an apparently incurable and uncontainable desire to erase swathes of fellow human beings from the planet, if not all life on earth.” ~ Felicity Arbuthnot

Fig Trees and Vineyards

[ Ed. note – Despite a seemingly cordial meeting Wednesday between Trump and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, tensions between the two countries remain high. Reports have come out in recent weeks (see here for instance) that Russian military officials are now convinced the US is planning a nuclear first strike against Russia. The ramifications of this are discussed in three articles below. One of the writers, Paul Craig Roberts, takes it to the personal level: if you’ve reached the conclusion that someone, despite your best efforts at making peace with them, is plotting to kill you, what do you do?

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Privilege Appeal

” Put another way, and dealing with litigation privilege, litigation privilege is there to protect the production of the brief, it is not there to shroud the runnings of the company in watertight secrecy just because they pay outside lawyers to do their compliance and audit work. Corporate clients have to make a choice, and looking at privilege in the way the ENRC case does makes that choice a serious one, but also a real one. It is not a choice to be made just to test the waters, or the prosecutor’s mettle.”

Lawyer Watch

Mrs Justice Andrews has set the cat amongst the practitioner pigeons on legal professional privilege with her judgment in the ENRC case (SFO v Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation Ltd [2017] EWHC 1017 (QB).) ENRC have announced an intention to appeal, and the judgment does seem to raise quite a few appealable issues.

Herbert Smith Freehills have done a very decent job of summarizing the case here. In the broadest terms, the question was whether documents created by or for an investigation by solicitors (and others) in response to allegations that ENRC had been involved in bribery in Kazakhstan and Africa where protected by legal professional privilege. Initially, these investigations began before the SFO had heard of the allegations, but ENRC wanted to be ready should they mount a dawn raid and decide to investigate. There were claims of litigation privilege and advice privilege depending on the documents…

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Failure to bury a child


Quick warning – this case is about a child who has died, and the issue in the case was disposal of the child’s cadaver. So it may be distressing or upsetting to some readers – I will do my best to treat the subject matter with gravity and sensitivity. There’s nothing intentionally detailed or gruesome within the piece, but obviously the central issue is upsetting.

Also, there’s a criminal trial pending, so please no speculation about the identity of the parents or what may or may not have happened to the child – nobody wants to run the risk of prejudicing a fair trial.


Re K (A Child : deceased), Re [2017]

The child died in July 2016. The Coroner released the body in October 2016. In March 2017, the child had still not been buried and no arrangements had been made for a funeral. The child’s half-sibling had…

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Court orders change of residence in parental alienation case – Marilyn Stowe Blog

‘Judge Gordon-Saker made the following findings:
“This child is continuing to suffer harm in her mother’s care. If I leave her in her mother’s care with no contact that will not change. She will continue to suffer harm. She knows her mother’s story is not right and the outcomes of parental alienation identified by [the psychologist] will come to pass. It seems to me there has to be change.”
“The risks of harm from IB not seeing her father are very clear. She will not be allowed a meaningful relationship if she stays with her mother. She is not a happy child and her mother has not put her welfare first. Therefore, she simply will not change. [If she continues to have] her main home with her mother, this child will continue to suffer harm. Her mother has shown she does not have the ability or willingness to put her daughter’s needs first.”
“There are risks in a move to the father. It is possible it will not work. But IB, in my judgment, deserves a chance to be happy again and to have a relationship with her father. All of the evidence tells me he can meet her needs, including the need for a relationship with her mother. I know she will suffer harm if she stays where she is.”
In the circumstances Judge Gordon-Saker made an order for the immediate transfer of residence to the father. She also made orders relating to IB’s contact with her mother, and approved a suggestion that the parents attend a family separation clinic, which can help them rebuild relationships.
I hope the above brief summary does justice to this case. Transferring residence is an extremely difficult issue, and anyone interested in it would do well to read the full judgment, which can be found here.’

Parental Alienation

An alienating mother loses care of her daughter to the father in an illuminating case

Source: Court orders change of residence in parental alienation case – Marilyn Stowe Blog

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