In June this year, there was a revolution in the English court system. Under the Small Claims Paper Determination Pilot, some claimants seeking £1,000 or less lost the right to an oral hearing of their case. In pilot areas, only small claims involving a ‘significant factual dispute’ or ‘complex’ issues will be allowed their day in open court. If you are bringing a claim in the pilot area for something like a parking ticket, or flight delay compensation, or have another kind of low-value dispute with another person or company, you will not be able to have your argument presented in person. Regardless of your wishes, you will have to write your argument down and the judge will decide without anyone there.
“Treat someone as they are and they will remain as they are. Treat someone as they can and should be and they will become as they can and should be.”
― Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
The question of how to achieve good outcomes from online classrooms is a problem that has recently faced teachers and lecturers in all disciplines and at all educational levels. In this blog post, I reflect on the experience of leading online classes in a number of different contexts during the course of the global pandemic. I argue that good online classrooms do not emerge from nowhere, instead good online classrooms are created through strong expectations. (more…)
The explosion in social media platforms and their ever-increasing role in our lives since the mid-2000s has forced us to consider deep and important questions about how we interact, how we talk to each other and communicate in the 21st century. There are a litany of charges levelled against social media platforms, including the incitement of hatred and violence (there are credible claims that Facebook enabled a genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.); encouraging polarization and echo chambers; harvesting our data in pursuit of surveillance capitalism and promoting false and harmful lifestyles. Discord, Reddit, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok. All of them have come under justified fire. (more…)
In a recent article, one of the authors of this blog posed the question whether Clinical Legal Education (CLE) requires theory. In an effort to address this question, we invited academics and law clinic directors from various jurisdictions such as Brazil, Canada, England, Ethiopia, Israel, and the United States to consider the theories that underpin their CLE programmes. This resulted in an edited collection entitled Thinking About Clinical Legal Education: Philosophical and Theoretical Perspectives. The intention of this volume is not to obscure or eclipse the practical and experiential by focusing on theory, but to invite the reader to consider whether the practice of CLE can be enhanced by paying more explicit attention to its theoretical underpinnings. (more…)
Since the commencement of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the end of February, different international courts and tribunals have been engaged as means to invoke international responsibility for the various violations of international law that have occurred. As is often the case in international law, however, the proceedings initiated before these tribunals reflect a very particular legal framing of the broader invasion and conduct of hostilities (I wrote on this theme a few years ago in relation to the post-2014 litigation between Ukraine and Russia). This is a consequence of the absence in international law of a single, integrated judicial system with compulsory jurisdiction. Instead, there are many different courts that, for the most part, have limited subject-matter jurisdiction. (more…)
The long awaited Bill seeking to reform the Human Rights Act 1998 (‘HRA’) was released on 22 June and is complex enough to cause an immediate outbreak of cold towels and hot-water-in-bowls amongst the legal Twitterati. No doubt there will be many hot takes on the substance of the new Bill of Rights Bill (‘BoRB’) but an early and fairly comprehensive analysis has been provided by Mark Elliott. For an even more aggressive response to BoRB see Daniella Lock on the UKCLA blog, published on 27 June. This post examines one slightly unusual aspect of the proposed new regime which is the effect of BoRB on legislation that has been expansively construed under s 3 HRA. This is by no means the only example of complications thrown up by the Bill and no doubt others will emerge in discussion on twitter and elsewhere. One well known legal commentator has amusingly described a particular twitter thread on 22 June as “legal geekery of the gods”. (more…)
by Albert Sanchez-Graells, Professor of Economic Law and Co-Director of the Centre for Global Law and Innovation
Post-Brexit, the UK has been repositioning itself in the global trade scene. Focusing on trade-related public procurement liberalisation, the first two moves for the UK were: one, to join the World Trade Agreement Government Procurement Agreement (GPA), of which it had been a member via the EU, and two, to enter into a comprehensive procurement chapter with the EU in the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). As a result of these two moves, the UK largely consolidated the pre-Brexit status quo and ensured continuity in market access for UK suppliers abroad, as well as foreign suppliers in the UK.
The next move is now for the UK to expand procurement-related trade liberalisation via free trade agreements (FTAs), of which it has signed one with Australia and another with New Zealand. The UK is also seeking accession to other multilateral FTAs covering procurement, such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Interestingly, both Australia and New Zealand are parties to the GPA and to the CPTPP, so the UK is about to create a triple layer of regulation of procurement liberalisation with these two countries, as all relevant procurement exercises will be subjected to the GPA, the CPTPP and the FTAs. Is this a problematic strategy? (more…)
Police accountability is crucial to trust and confidence in the police. Quite what form that accountability should take, though, is a matter of debate.
Isolated incidents of excessive force may correctly be seen as culpable and requiring disciplinary action. Others might more appropriately be interpreted as indicating that training is needed. The question, then, is whether the aim of good and fair policing is best served by greater emphasis on officers being sanctioned or on them learning lessons. (more…)
Many law firms now not only have dedicated pro bono departments, but also engage in pro bono in other jurisdictions. Broadly speaking, pro bono is the provision of legal services to individuals or groups who do not have the means to enforce their claim rights. Violations of human rights are now able to affect every member of the global community, and globalization facilitates human rights issues. Consequently, there is a global language of morality which includes the concern for justice, which inevitably extends to a discussion over protection of human rights. The question, therefore, is how to teach and train future lawyers to identify and respond to global injustices? One answer to this question is by embedding human rights education into Clinical Legal Education (CLE). (more…)
‘A sad soul can kill you quicker, far quicker, than a germ’.
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America.
Mental Health Awareness week this year is focusing on loneliness. As the Chair of the Mental Health Foundation explains, loneliness is a ‘significant public health issue’ and ‘remains one of the key indicators of poor mental health’. (more…)