Property guardianship is a relatively new phenomenon in England and Wales. Property guardianship has taken hold in urban areas across the country and is now performed by a sizeable minority. Government estimates suppose that between 5-7000 individuals are currently acting as property guardians whereas more recent measures suggest around 35,000 now occupy a room or space as a property guardian. Such numbers are likely to be an under-estimate signalling that property guardianship is not a niche form of occupation undertaken by eccentric young adults and popularised by the Channel Four comedy Crashing. (more…)
The issue of sexual history evidence exposes a strange dissonance at the heart of rape law. On the one hand, the principle of sexual autonomy, which provides the normative grounding for rape law, recognises and purports to protect the right of any person to choose when, where, and with whom they have sexual relations. It thus entails a conception of consensual sex which is time, place, and person specific. On the other hand, the defendant’s right to a fair trial, a right which is both amorphous in substance and scope, and weighty in terms of normative significance, is believed to support the right of a rape defendant to bring to the court’s attention evidence that a complainant has engaged in consensual sex at other times, places, and even with people other than the defendant. How can this be? How can such two apparently incompatible positions co-exist within the same justice imaginary? Must one inevitably cede to the other or is it possible to envisage an ideal of criminal justice capacious enough to encompass both? (more…)
This blog post is the second part of a two-part review of the Hijab and Chastity Bill. In the first section, the fundamental elements of the Hijab and Chastity Bill, the UN’s approach toward it, the legal and political background that led to its establishment, and its effect on women’s right to health were discussed. In this section, Iran’s obligation to international human rights law and the role of the international community will be analysed briefly.
“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.”
― Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis (Schocken Books 1948, trans. Willa Muir)
What can Socio-Legal Studies learn from the termite hill? From the microbes in Louis Pasteur’s petri dish? Or the dust on the files of the Conseil d’État? All of it, the late Bruno Latour tells us, are informants carrying clues about the processes which make up what we call society or culture. These things—from pipettes to armchairs, to mice and files—can be considered equally as participants in social action. At this suggestion, many Socio-Legal scholars recoil. The common riposte is that objects do not feel like the typical subjects of our research; the décor does not share the drama with the actors. Even if they are not reducible to such tendencies, Socio-Legal questions carry attendant humanist impulses; a commitment to human dignity and the complexity of the human condition. The constructivist paradigm places a primacy on methods which centre human agency, such as being in the field and on face-to-face methods precisely because we seek to explicate the social dimensions of law. Objects, however, are more than the ‘scenery and stage props for the spate of human action’ (Erving Goffman, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life 1956, p.13). Amidst the climate crisis, it has never been timelier to review Latour’s contributions to challenge the Western, capitalist human exceptionalism implicit in the canon of Socio-Legal Studies. (more…)
By Professor Albert Sanchez-Graells, Co-Director of the Centre for Global Law and Innovation (University of Bristol Law School).
The Digital Constitutionalist (DigiCon) has recently hosted a symposium on ‘Safeguarding the Right to Good Administration in the Age of AI’, co-edited by Dr Simona Demková (Leiden), Dr Melanie Fink (Leiden) and Dr Giulia Gentile (Essex). Professor Sanchez-Graells contributed his thoughts on the need to extend good administration requirements to the phases of decision-making that are not yet directly relevant to the individual, as well as the need to broaden good administration guarantees to a collective dimension, to account for the new risks arising in the AI-driven administrative context. In this post, first published in the DigiCon symposium, Albert looks at ways to achieve this, whether through an expansive interpretation of Article 41 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union or through a European legislative reform. (more…)
The concept of faux amis (‘false friends’) has been used in the literature to describe terms used in an international convention which seem familiar to an interpreter but which, in fact, are defined differently in the convention to in the domestic legal system the interpreter is used to. Several instances of faux amis have been identified on the basis of the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG). One major example can be found in the US case of Delchi Carrier SpA v Rotorex Corp., which required an interpretation of Article 74 CISG. This provision states that ‘damages may not exceed the loss which the party in breach foresaw or ought to have foreseen at the time of the conclusion of the contract.’ The US court understood this rule as a reference to the ‘familiar principle of foreseeability established in Hadley v Baxendale.’ Hadley v Baxendale is the leading English case on remoteness of damage and has also gained recognition in the US. Rather than referring to the preparatory works and other materials examining the specific meaning of the foreseeability rule under the CISG, the court thus reached for an analogy from its own jurisdiction. (more…)
by Dr Michael Naughton, Reader in Sociology and Law (University of Bristol Law School and School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies (SPAIS))
The purpose of this article is to formally launch the Innocence Art project under the auspices of Empowering the Innocent (ETI). In so doing, it charts the origins of the concept ‘innocence art’ and how it relates to ‘the art of innocence’, a dedicated approach to producing counter discourse through forms of innocence art to challenge the dominant discourses and existing criminal justice system arrangements in relation to false allegations, wrongful convictions and wrongful imprisonment. It concludes with a call to those affected by false allegations, wrongful convictions or wrongful imprisonment, whether direct or secondary victims, to participate in the art of innocence by submitting forms of innocence art, whether images of paintings, drawings or photographs, poems, stories or other literary works, to feature on Empowering the Innocent (ETI) websites as deemed appropriate. (more…)
This blog will discuss two recent and important 2023 cases: the UK Supreme Court decision in Trustees of the Barry Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses v BXB  UKSC 15 and that of the High Court of Australia in CCIG Investments Pty Ltd v Schokman  HCA 21. Both discuss vicarious liability and, in particular, the Stage 2 course of employment test. To establish vicarious liability in tort, two stages must be satisfied. Stage 1 is concerned with the relationship between the defendant and the person committing the tort (usually that of employer/employee). Stage 2 is concerned with the link between the commission of the tort and that relationship.
[This blog is part of a series on the pandemic. The introduction to the series can be found here.]
Two types of data enjoy freedom of movement within cyberspace networks: public data and personal data. On the one hand, at the international level, public data have been subjected to a policy of openness and spontaneous dissemination, mainly since the adoption of the G8 Open Data Charter in 2013 and the International Open Data Charter in 2015. On the other hand, personal data are generally governed by fundamental rights, namely the protection of privacy and personal data (Article 7 and 8 EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, EU-Charter). Public data are not unrelated to the guarantee of fundamental rights, especially if they are private (Lanna, 2018). Accordingly, the collection, processing and re-use of data by public or private actors is regulated by law. (more…)