Maintaining a Former Spouse: Villiers v Villiers and family law in England, Wales & Scotland

By the ‘Fair Shares’ Project Team: Emma Hitchings, Caroline Bryson, Gillian Douglas, Susan Purdon and Donna Crowe-Urbaniak

 

Fair Shares – Sorting out money and property on divorce is a new study, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, which will explore the arrangements couples reach relating to their finances and property when they divorce. Using a large-scale survey and in-depth interviews, it will examine what arrangements they make, how they arrive at them and how well they think they have met their expectations. The aim is to provide hard data for law reformers seeking to update the law, and insights for judges, practitioners and divorcing couples themselves on ‘what works’ best. (more…)

Do multiple choice tests have a role to play in academic legal education?

by Imogen Moore (University of Bristol, Law School) and Lee Price (University of West of England)

Multiple choice tests (MCTs) can get a bit of a bad rap, sometimes seen as little more than quizzes to test basic knowledge, with no real place in a respectable law programme. But the acceleration of changes to teaching and assessment in response to the pandemic should prompt further consideration of the role of MCTs in academic legal education. And such consideration is particularly timely with MCTs now a key element of assessment for professional legal qualification under the recently approved new Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). (more…)

“Tailoring” the Close Connection Test for Sexual Abuse Victims: Vicarious Liability in the Court of Appeal

by Paula Giliker, Professor of Comparative Law, University of Bristol Law School.

The doctrine of vicarious liability renders a defendant strictly liable for the torts of another (X) where:

  • Stage One: the defendant is in a relationship with X which makes it fair and just for the law to make the defendant pay for the tortious conduct of X; and
  • Stage Two: there is a close connection between this relationship and X’s wrongdoing.

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Why the proposed post-Brexit procurement reform may not achieve the transformation it intends

By Professor Albert Sanchez-Graells (University of Bristol Law School).

Until recently, public procurement law and practice have rarely been at the forefront of public and political debates. The UK government’s procurement reaction to the pandemic continues to generate scathing reports—such as the most recent one on PPE procurement by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee—and the emerging lessons show the need to strengthen this area of public governance. Against this background, it is timely to reflect on the government’s recent proposals to reform public procurement law in the Green Paper ‘Transforming Public Procurement’. (more…)

‘Abusers always work from home’

by Marilyn Howard, Honorary Research Associate with the University of Bristol Law School

Image credits: Wunderman Thompson for the National Centre for Domestic Abuse

This week the House of Commons considers amendments from the House of Lords to  the Domestic Abuse Bill 2019-2021. One amendment which was debated in the Lords, but not accepted, would have  required the new Domestic Abuse Commissioner to publish a report which investigates the impact of the Universal Credit single household payment on domestic abuse survivors, and to propose alternatives. (more…)

Waiting for the (free) bus to come

by Antonia Layard, Professor of Law, University of Bristol Law School

In Scotland, children and young people will have free bus travel in 2021. They join children and young people in London who also have free travel, seeing off an attempt to take the concession away through a feisty #don’tzapthezip campaign last year. Since 2008, older and disabled people have even greater concessions, able to catch a bus anywhere in England after 9.30am on weekdays as well as  all day at weekends and on bank holidays, receiving subsidised travel as part of the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS).

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Minority report(ing) on vaccinations: Who are the priorities and the dilemma of protection

By Ben Kassten, Vice Chancellor’s Fellow, Law School.

By Daniel Paquet

Against a backdrop of disproportionate morbidity and mortality from COVID-19, the need to prioritise and protect ethnic and religious minorities as part of the UK’s new vaccine programme has been the focus of recent media, public health and government attention. My question iswhois considered a ‘priority’ andhow can public health bodies engage productively and sensitively with ethnic and religious minorities.  (more…)

A Paean to Judicial (Self) Restraint: The UK Supreme Court Shamima Begum Decision

by Devyani Prabhat, Professor, Law School, University of Bristol

The Supreme Court has refused permission for Shamima Begum, who left the UK as a 15-year-old British schoolgirl for Syria in 2015, to come back to the UK so that she can effectively challenge the removal of her citizenship (decision dated 26th February 2021; [2021] UKSC 7). Begum was found in a camp in Syria two years back. The Home Secretary removed her British citizenship soon thereafter, arguing that she has eligibility for Bangladeshi citizenship, and would not be left stateless without British citizenship. (more…)

Stop Period Shaming: A Campus Movement or Ethical Care?

Prof. Xinyu Wang (China University of Political Science and Law) and He Xiao (a law PhD student at the University of Bristol)

Photo Marco Verch

Since October 2020, a “Stop Period Shaming” campaign has been quietly taking place within universities in China. It all started in early 2020, during China’s fight against the COVID-19, with various socially sponsored donations of medical supplies and an extreme shortage of feminine period products. The female doctors and nurses, who made up more than half of the medical team that went to Wuhan, overcame their cycles’ fragility and fought like the male doctors. (more…)

Mince pies, Parliament and Peculiar Old Laws: The enduring popularity of legal myths

Joanna McCunn, Lecturer, Law School, University of Bristol

Have you heard that it’s illegal to die in Parliament? Or to eat mince pies on Christmas Day? Are you a Welshman who’s been nervously avoiding Chester, and do you fret about committing treason by posting a letter with an upside-down stampPerhaps you look back with horror on those childhood crime sprees of ringing doorbells and running away 

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