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Weekly Update 29 July 2022

Weekly Update 29 July 2022 Dear Friends, This is our last edition before the Weekly Update takes a break for the summer. We wish all Northern Hemisphere readers a respite from the widespread heatwaves, and look forward to bringing you more news from September. On 12 September, the UK's controversial "Bill of Rights" Bill is due to be debated in the House of Commons. The Bingham Centre already has a programme of work examining this Bill. This week, we are pleased to announce a joint project…


Weekly Update 01 July 2022

Weekly Update 01 July 2022 Dear Friends, Public debate about the role of courts in protecting human rights has become increasingly bitter in both the UK and the USA in recent weeks. A particular approach to the interpretation of rights guarantees - the "living instrument" doctrine, which judges use to interpret rights in the light of contemporary social norms -has come under fire in both countries. In the UK, the Government argues that it has led the Strasbourg Court to be too generous in…


Weekly Update 6 May 2022

Weekly Update 6 May 2022 Dear Friends, This week, elections have taken place for local councils across the UK and for the Northern Ireland Legislative Assembly. Whereas the former may have political consequences in the wake of the Prime Minister's Fixed Penalty Notice for breaching COVID-19 restrictions, the latter elections may have more direct consequences for the Rule of Law. The results for the Stormont Assembly may influence the Government's attempts to renegotiate the Protocol on Ireland/Northern…


Weekly Update 1 April 2022

Weekly Update 1 April 2022 Dear Friends, Defending the Rule of Law sometimes means standing up, again and again, for principled solutions in politically sensitive areas. Refugee and asylum law is one such area. Today, the Bingham Centre publishes its fourth report on the Nationality and Borders Bill. We argue that the House of Lords should resist pressure from the House of Commons which has reinserted a number of problematic clauses into the Bill. Among these are clauses that would…


Weekly Update 11 March 2022

Weekly Update 11 March 2022 Dear Friends, Last week, we reported on an initiative to establish a special tribunal on the crime of aggression in relation to Ukraine. The creation of such a tribunal would enable the international Rule of Law to be upheld by filling the gap which currently exists in the machinery for ensuring that the crime of aggression on the territory of Ukraine does not go unpunished. The establishment of a special criminal tribunal continues to attract support from…


Weekly Update 18 February 2022

Weekly Update 18 February 2022 Dear Friends, This week saw a significant milestone for the Rule of Law in the European Union. On Wednesday, the Court of Justice of the EU upheld the validity of the regulation on a general regime of conditionality for the protection of the Union budget, rejecting arguments to the contrary by Hungary and Poland. The judgment means that the European Commission is finally free to adopt guidelines on the use of the regulation. This means the Commission…


Weekly Update 4 February 2022

Weekly Update 4 February 2022 Dear Friends, This week we learnt from the Gray inquiry update that police are investigating 12 gatherings in or around the UK Prime Minister's offices at 10 Downing Street for possible breaches of Coronavirus regulations. The intense public interest in 'partygate' has shown how much the Rule of Law matters to people. However, threats to the Rule of Law are not always so well publicised or widely understood. In this week's Update, we bring you news of our…


Weekly Update 28 January 2022

Weekly Update 28 January 2022 Dear Friends, "Nobody is above the law. This is important for ensuring the necessary degree of trust between the public and government." These are the words of former Prime Minister Theresa May, as quoted this week by a local newspaper in her Maidenhead constituency. This week, the Metropolitan Police announced a criminal investigation into 'partygate', as the scandal about alleged breaches of Coronavirus regulations by politicians and public officials at…


Weekly Update 21 January 2022

Weekly Update 21 January 2022 Dear Friends, This week brought good news for the Rule of Law. The House of Lords voted down all but one of the late-stage amendments to the Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts Bill that were introduced by the government without sufficient opportunity for substantive scrutiny by Parliament. The Bingham Centre recommended such action in response to Rule of Law concerns in our report last week on the Bill. However, despite this good news, this week's Update…


Weekly Update 17 December 2021

Weekly Update 17 December 2021 Dear Friends, It has been a dramatic week. The UK Government's cavalier attitude to the Rule of Law was partly responsible for the collapse in the Prime Minister's political authority over his own MPs on Tuesday, as almost 100 of them voted against the latest Coronavirus measures, amidst mounting anxiety that the system for making such significant laws in a hurry is no longer fit for purpose. And the growing sense that the Government considers itself above…


Weekly Update 3 December 2021

Weekly Update 3 December 2021 Dear Friends, This week the Bingham Centre published a set of papers from our year-long research project on data-driven responses to public health emergencies. In a week where the Omicron variant of Coronavirus has dominated news headlines, we summarise the main findings of this project. This Update also brings news of our current work on scrutiny of UK COVID-19 legislation, and a publication on the regulation of artificial intelligence and automated decision-making…


Weekly Update 26 November 2021

Weekly Update 26 November 2021 Dear Friends, This morning brought news headlines of a significant Coronavirus variant, B.1.1.529, which has been identified in Southern Africa. While this intensifies the public health crisis in that region, already the worst affected on the African continent, the rest of the world is moving swiftly to counter the spread of this variant. The 'red-listing' travel restrictions announced by the UK government have been matched by similar measures taken by many other…


Weekly Update 29 October 2021

Weekly Update 29 October 2021 Dear Friends, In a week which saw the EU's Rule of Law stand-off with Poland come to a head, and the UK House of Commons debate for the first time the Government's Judicial Review and Courts Bill, we are reminded of how fundamentally important the Rule of Law is to the health and well-being of democratic societies. The invisible underpinning that it provides to democracy has been taken for granted for so long that we need to ensure that we remain vigilant…


Weekly Update 22 October 2021

Weekly Update 22 October 2021 Dear Friends, This week, we held our first live panel discussion for 18 months - on the subject of ​​Build Back Better: Online Civil Justice after the Pandemic. ​​To examine the rapid spread of online court proceedings, and discuss their future after the pandemic, we worked with the City of London Corporation and the Magna Carta Trust to bring together a panel of distinguished speakers from the judiciary, legal profession and civil society. The event took…


Weekly Update 15 October 2021

Weekly Update 15 October 2021 Dear Friends, Rule of Law principles provide a valuable framework for scrutiny of legislation, policy and practice, whether the context is emergencies such as the Coronavirus pandemic, or longstanding challenges facing society. This week, we bring you news of our engagement with UK Coronavirus legislation, Black History Month and the UK legal profession, European debates about rebuilding the Rule of Law in illiberal democracies and reviewing counter-terrorism…


Weekly Update 8 October 2021

Weekly Update 8 October 2021 Dear Friends, The Coronavirus pandemic has severely tested all branches of Government. On the Parliamentary front, we bring you news of our joint webinar on Parliamentary Review of the Coronavirus Act 2020: Scrutiny Delayed, or Scrutiny Denied?, which will take place on 14th October, in the run-up to a debate in which Parliament must decide on the future of this far-reaching Act. The Executive branch of Government, and new agencies such as NHS Test and Trace,…


Weekly Update 1 October 2021

Weekly Update 1 October 2021 Dear Friends, The Bingham Centre welcomes the initiative of the Scottish Government in setting out proposals to establish a public inquiry into the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland. In this week's Update we share our submission on the scope of the Scottish inquiry, in which we emphasised that it should examine Rule of Law issues. We also bring you news of an inquiry submission on Closed Material Procedures, our public engagement activities in schools,…


Weekly Update 24 September 2021

Weekly Update 24 September 2021 Dear Friends, It is with great sadness that we learnt this week of the death of Jonathan Cooper OBE, a renowned advocate for human rights worldwide and a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers. Among his many roles, Jonathan co-founded the Human Dignity Trust, which uses law to defend LGBT rights globally, and served as the first Director of Training at the Bingham Centre during 2011-2012. His pioneering Rule of Law training programmes reached audiences from…

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