Jack Straw ‘peerage block’ is ‘disgusting’ says ex-Labour councillor

A former Labour Party councillor who documented New Labour’s reforms to data misuse laws says he is disgusted that former Home Secretary Jack Straw is to be denied a peerage by Jeremy Corbyn.

Independent councillor, Jonathan Bishop, wrote the research paper, “Tough on data misuse, tough on the causes of data misuse: A review of New Labour’s approach to information security and regulating the misuse of digital information (1997-2010)” says that Jack Straw’s contribution to legal reform should not go unrecognised.

Jack Straw introduced the Human Rights Act, Data Protection Act and Freedom of Information Act, all within the space of two years.
JACK OF ALL TRADES: Jack Straw introduced the Human Rights Act, Data Protection Act and Freedom of Information Act, all within the space of two years. Courtesy: Obtained from Wikipedia

Claims in The Guardian that Jeremy Corbyn is to deny Jack Straw elevation to the House of Lords was criticised by Councillor Bishop. “It was Jack Straw who introduced the Human Rights Act, the Freedom of Information Act, and the Data Protection Act,” he said. “These were the biggest reforms to data, information and privacy rights in the space of two years that the UK has ever seen.
So what if Jack Straw made some mistakes. It is my view that if Jeremy Corbyn does block his elevation to the House of Lords that he should apply to be a cross-bencher, as having seen in recent weeks the poor quality of the Human Rights Committee in the House of Lords scrutinising Justice Secretary Michael Gove, someone of Jack Straw’s caliber is desperately needed.

Clare’s Law protecting men’s rights

A government scheme to allow individuals to discover whether their current or prospective partner has a history of violence has had more than 1,300 requests in the last year, it has been confirmed.

Men’s rights activists are hailing the campaign a success, with it being known that many men are victims of domestic violence, such as where their female partners suffer from trauma re-enactment syndrome as a result of previous abusive relationships.

he Office of National Statistics states that 40% of domestic abuse is against men. Courtesy: f169bbs.com
OH MAN!: The Office of National Statistics states that 40% of domestic abuse is against men. Courtesy: f169bbs.com

A spokesperson from the Suffragents movement welcomes the service. “The Office of National Statistics states that 40% of Domestic Abuse is against men and of course no abuse on men or women is acceptable,” they said. “The worrying point is that men under report domestic abuse because of shame, they are reluctant to admit to family and friends that they are being abused either physically and more insidiously, mentally. ”

Figures obtained from the Press Association show that 3,760 requests were made under the service in the last year and 1,335 disclosures were made. The spokesperson from Suffragents raised the importance of confidential services like this to assist men’s rights. “Around 10% of men report domestic violence because of the history of being disbelieved by the police, staying to protect any children and a lot know that should they leave, spurious claims about unreasonable behaviour will be levied against them by a wife or partner,” they said. “With very few refuges available for men and their children they are forced to remain in an unhappy situation because of the culture of ignoring men in society.

Campaign to raise awareness of marital breakdown

Suffragents, the service seeking to raise awareness of the impact of marital breakdown on men, has formally launched its online campaign.

Suffragents started campaigning on equality in marital breakdown when its founder became overpowered by the many testimonies from men who have had to deal with abusive or controlling partners, usually women, yet the law favours the female party over the male at the same time as the men’s calls for help are often ignored.

The law generally favours women over men, even if it is the woman in a relationship that is causing the male partner distress. Courtesy: Sander van der Wel.
OH MAN!: The law generally favours women over men, even if it is the woman in a relationship that is causing the male partner distress. Courtesy: Sander van der Wel.

Suffragents’s founder cites UK Office of National Statistics data, showing the majority of those granted divorce are women, who make up 65% of the applicants in proceedings. They therefore assert that all rights of the woman all too often override that of the man, whether relating to property through to the right to see their biological children without let or hindrance.

It is argued by Suffragents that the introduction of the Equality Act 2010, which was to cover all forms of inequality and update later repealed legislation regarding individual minorities or protected characteristics, is not a single equality act in reality.

As part of the campaign, Suffragents are holding a conference at their Annual Convention on Saturday 12 March 2016, which will be held at King’s House, Ampthill Road, Bedford, MK42 9AZ from 08:00 to 1800. RSVP required to attend.

For more information, visit the Suffragents website at: http://www.suffragents.org/

‘Feminazi’ barrister ‘no longer instructed’

A barrister who complained following being complimented on the quality of her LinkedIn profile photo by a colleague has been refused new work it has been learned.

Charlotte Proudman
NOT A PROUD-WOMAN: Charlotte Proudman does not like to be complimented on her looks. Courtesy: Lawbore. This was not the picture that Charlotte Proudman was complimented on.

Charlotte Proudman, is not a proud woman, being called a Feminazi by people following reporting 57-year-old Alexander Carter-Silk to the Solicitors Regulation Authority for sexism. Solicitors have now said they will refuse to instruct Proudman following her allegations.

Charlotte Proudman has been accused of making an issue of the comment due to Carter-Silk’s senior status in the profession. “Let’s be clear – if this was a mere minion saying that she would not have made such a big thing of it,” a former colleague of Alexander Carter-Silk said.

Secret courts ‘do not go far enough’

The coming into force of a law that allows lay judges to make decisions on criminal cases does not go far enough an Internet trolling and cyberstalking expert has said.

Jonathan Bishop, who edited the book, Examining the Concepts, Issues and Implications of Internet trolling says that whilst he supports the Single Justice Procedure, its application through using local lay judges is not appropriate. “There are thousands of miscarriages of justice every day where members of the public are being told to plead guilty when under the law they are not,” he said. “The Single Justice Procedure, if carried out by specialist judges expert in the area of law applicable, could weed out cases that are not in the public interest,” he stated.

Bishop, who spoke at the E-Society conference this year on how youths are being misrepresented as trolls, said he believes the current system where people are encouraged to plead guilty is wrong. “It should not be for the accused to say they are guilty, as in my view many people who plead guilty would be found not guilty if the law was properly applied,” he said. “The current implementation of the Single Justice Procedure does not go far enough, as no one should be allowed to admit to committing an offence unless a fully qualified judge has given a view that they might have.
If, and only if, a judge says someone is guilty should a case then be able to proceed to trial, and then only if the accused is of the view they are not guilty, as no one should be allowed to admit they are guilty of an offence, when the proper response should be to feel remorse for whatever they did, whether legal or illegal.

Accusers ‘come first’ says Minister

The Conservative Justice Minister for the UK Government, Chris Grayling, has said that the justice system will be skewed in favor of those accusing someone of a crime.

For the first time we will create a system that puts the highest emphasis on victims’ needs and sets out their rights clearly in legislation,” Grayling said. “We are also making it easier for them to find whatever it is they need by establishing one simple source of information and help – be it tracking the progress of their case, applying for compensation, knowing what to expect in court, or understanding the range of support available to them.

Jonathan Bishop is a campaigner for ‘dualism,’ which is a form of justice that treats both parties to a complaint equally. “Whilst some of Grayling’s proposed reforms supports dualism, such as separate rooms for complainant and respondent, the focus on giving more rights to one party over another is not in the interests of justice,” he said. “Use of language like ‘victim’ and ‘criminal’ are totally inappropriate, as British values dictate that a complainant is not a victim until the respondent has been convicted – innocent until proven guilty.
I have provided research to the Ministry of Justice showing how the court service can change to treat complainant and respondent equally, and am disappointed Grayling’s reforms do not incorporate it.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice said it would not be implementing Bishop’s procedure because it would take several years to do so. Bishop’s research paper, ‘Internet Trolling and the 2011 UK Riots: The Need for a Dualist Reform of the Constitutional, Administrative and Security Frameworks in Great Britain,’ is published in the European Journal of Law Reform.

Hashtag fad criticised by experts

Experts have criticized the hacking of 100 female A-list celebrities, who have had naked and nude images of themselves released onto the Internet for public consumption.

Jennifer Lawrence is among the many stars to have been exposed, with many running to her defence. Radhika Sanghani is a Writer for Telegraph Wonder Women. “There are 60-odd naked pictures of Jennifer Lawrence circulating around the internet,” she said. “No matter how much people like Lena Dunham beg the world not to look at the photos, we all know that thousands, probably millions, are staring at them right now.
“But what’s far worse is that I think we can safely assume that some aren’t just ‘looking’ at these private, nude photographs – they’re masturbating to them.
“It’s a truly horrible thought, and one of many that Lawrence is probably grappling with right now (although I hope she’s off having a dry martini somewhere hot), but a quick glance at Reddit, the social media site where many of the pictures have surfaced, proves that it’s happening.”

Dr Claire Hardaker, a linguists expert is concerned over the way a hashtag – fappening2014 – has evolved in use out of the hacking of celeb accounts. “It makes it really easy to go and find lots of like-minded people talking about the topic,” she said. “It can work like a little flash mob. It’s so much easier to do something that’s a bit unpleasant and morally grey if there’s a lot of other people doing it.
“You think, I’m not the only doing it.”

Jonathan Bishop is an Internet trolling and cyberlaw expert. “There are a number of laws in the UK that could be used to bring legal action in such a situation,” he said. “The Computer Misuse Act 1990 can be used to prosecute the hacking, the Sexual Offences Act 2003 could be used to interpret these acts as ‘voyeurism’ and be prosecuted, and the Communications Act 2003 can be used to prosecute the sending of indecent communications, and the law of joint enterprise can be used against those perpetuating the spread of the images and meme.
“I spoke in favour of the releasing of the images taken of Kate Middleton when she was on the balcony of a chateau in France, but I cannot support the releasing of these images, such as about Jennifer Lawrence.
“These new images were stored on a private computer and there should have been a reasonable expectation of privacy, which was not the case with Kate Middleton, as proportionally she acted no differently to an ordinary person exposing themselves from the window of their house, as happened in the case of Internet troll Greg Searle.”

Experts debate origins of ‘English Ji’hadist’

Experts are debating the origin and impact of the believed to be English Ji’hadist, called ‘John,’ who allegedly beheaded journalist James Foley.

Prof Paul Kerswill is a linguistics expert at the University of York. “He probably has a foreign language background but it sounds like multicultural London English, which is people from all kinds of backgrounds who mix in the East End, a new kind of cockney,” he said.

Dr Claire Hardaker is a linguistics experts at Lancaster University. “We’re definitely looking at a British accent, from the south, and probably from London, Kent or Essex,” she said.

Prof Peter Neumann is director of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, at King’s College London, was concerned about the Ji’hadist’s links with Britain. “This is significant because it signifies a turn towards threatening the west,” he said. “They are saying we’re going to come after you if you bomb us.

Jonathan Bishop is an Internet trolling expert at the Centre for Research into Online Communities and E-Learning Systems in Swansea, who edited the book, Transforming Politics and Policy in the Digital Age. “It is clear that the Ji’hadists are looking to maximize their use of social media to assert their dominance over the West,” he said. “It is their intention to force Islam on countries that do not want it, in the same way the Zionists are trying to force a Jewish state on the Arabs in Palestine.
Until Ji’hads and Zionists alike accept that democracy is the only way for their views to be legitimately supported through a public vote, then their positions seem almost irreconcilable.

Concerns over NATO police operation

As the Home Office announces “one of the UK’s largest-ever policing deployments” in South Wales at the 2014 NATO Summit, concerns have been raised about public safety for those wanting to protest peacefully.

POLICE THREAT: Concerns are raised that scenes like this at the G20 summit in London where police traumatize protesters will be repeated in South Wales at the 2014 NATO summit. Courtesy: Kashfi Halford
POLICE THREAT: Concerns are raised that scenes like this at the G20 summit in London where police traumatize protesters will be repeated in South Wales at the 2014 NATO summit. Courtesy: Kashfi Halford

The 2009 G20 summit in London resulted in a number of members of the public suffering trauma through being mishandled by police when trying to protest peacefully. Concerns have been raised by human rights advocates that there would be a repeat of the violence from police officers at the NATO summit in South Wales. Ashu M.G. Solo is a civil rights activist. “The police should be equipped with miniature lapel cameras to protect themselves and the people,” he said.

Questioned about the risks to the public at the NATO summit from overzealous police officers, a Home Office spokesperson said: “It is up to the police how they want to police it.”

Members of the public caught up in any violence against them by the police are advised to make a complaint via the Independent Police Complaints Commission. They can be contacted by phone at 0300 020 0096 or via their website at http://www.ipcc.gov.uk

Pontypridd judge ‘cannot be criticised’

IN THE CLEAR: Pontypridd District Judge John Doel is cleared of allegations he offered a plaintiff an "unethical inducement." Courtesy: The Solicitors Journal
IN THE CLEAR: Pontypridd District Judge John Doel is cleared of allegations he offered a plaintiff an “unethical inducement.” Courtesy: The Solicitors Journal

A Pontypridd judge has been cleared of allegations that he offered a plaintiff an unethical inducement in order to drop a case before him.

District Judge John Doel faced the allegations after a series of directions he made allowing a case to proceed, which has now left the plaintiff with around £13,000 costs by the time DJ Doel told them to withdraw the case.

DJ Doel’s colleague, Judge Seys Llewellyn QC, said there were no grounds to the allegations. “The judge cannot be criticised, in a case that would otherwise be allocated to the multi-track, for drawing the attention of the Claimant to the costs which would be incurred for which the unsuccessful party would be at risk,” he said. “To do so is well within the discretion of a judge and he would be open to criticism if he failed to do so in a case where he thought it appropriate.

In 2002 at Blackwood County Court, DJ John Doel was struck with court papers following his decision not to annul a family member’s bankruptcy order.