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General legal information

Appeal Judge rules on case of Christian who refused to work Sundays

2013 may prove to be a bumper year for legal cases involving Christian belief. Controversy is already brewing over the issue of gay marriage, and the wearing of religious symbols at work.

Additionally, according to the Telegraph, the Government has suggested the temporary relaxation of Sunday opening regulations, effective around the time of the London Olympics last summer, might be made permanent. Currently, stores larger than 280 square meters in size are allowed to open for a maximum of six hours only, under the Sunday Trading Act 1994.

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Contempt laws under review for modern juries

According to a report by the BBC, the Law Commission has begun a consultation into the effectiveness of England and Wales’ contempt of court rules.

The current law was introduced in 1981, long before the ‘information superhighway’ became a part of our day-to-day lives.

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Senior judge warns asylum lawyers over disclosure

The president of the Queen’s Bench of the High Court, Sir John Thomas, has warned solicitors they could face disciplining by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). This may happen if they do not comply with the principle of full disclosure, when making applications to halt the removal of asylum seekers.

Lawyers representing failed asylum seekers can ask the High Court to grant a judicial review or an injunction against removal, in order to keep their client in the country pending further legal action.

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Young man claims police locked him up for filming on-duty officers

The Mail on Sunday reported yesterday that a 20-year-old man, Jake Coplestone, is claiming Wiltshire police locked him up overnight because he filmed some on-duty officers apparently taking a break.

Coplestone, who played ruby for south-west England under-16s, claims he saw five on-duty police officers gathered in a Marlborough café-bar one evening this September. He filmed them with his phone, but was spotted doing so and approached by two of the officers.

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Supreme Court re-definition of ‘miscarriage of justice’ to be tested in compensation claim

In May 2011, the Supreme Court made a landmark ruling that re-defined the legal meaning of a ‘miscarriage of justice’. This ruling is about to be tested at the High Court in a compensation case launched by Barry George, among four others.

A panel of nine senior judges arrived at the re-definition last year, by a majority of five to four, after debating when compensation should be paid to those wrongly convicted of a crime, as reported by The Daily Mail.

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Furniture shop appears to exploit loophole in licensing regulations

A shop purporting to sell furniture in Farnham in Surrey, called Innsatiable, has opened a free bar on its premises, saying that giving away free alcoholic drinks attracts more customers.

BBC News reports that the shop does not have an alcohol license, so selling alcohol would be illegal. However, staff members suggest that customers might wish to purchase a beer-mat, priced at £2.75, or items of furniture that are grouped around tables for drinkers to test, in order to ‘support’ the business.

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Should the law be changed to routinely arm British police officers?

The debate about whether police officers in the UK should be routinely armed has been re-visited, after the shocking deaths of two unarmed policewomen in Manchester on Tuesday.

The two officers, 23-year-old PC Nicola Hughes, and 32-year-old PC Fiona Bone, were killed in an incident in the Tameside district of the city, after being sent to check out a routine house burglary report.

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Common legal questions on cycling

With Bradley Wiggins’ recent Tour de France and Olympic Time Trial wins, and Team GB’s cycling team having a fantastic home Olympics, cycling is becoming more and more popular as both a leisure activity and a means of transport. As its popularity increases, there will no doubt be more legal ramifications.

As such, Prolegal have kindly taken some time to answer a few of the more common cycling questions relating to the law.

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Legal Ombudsman to handle complaints about PPI Claims Management Companies

The Government announced yesterday that the Legal Ombudsman, set up in 2010 to resolve complaints about lawyers, will be able to investigate grievances from the public about how claims management companies (CMCs) have dealt with mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) on their behalf.

According to the Ministry of Justice, there have been many more complaints against companies handling PPI claims compared to other types of claims companies, such as those dealing with personal injury and unfair bank charges claims.

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Cycling through the Games – a legal viewpoint

As London 2012 ends its first week, the fear of the city being overwhelmed has fortunately not come to pass. The order and calm will come as a relief to many Londoners, and will certainly impress our international guests, but for cycling Londoners the true ‘Olympic legacy’ may be a bitter taste of what might have been.

In 2007, Sustrans made projections of how the 2012 Olympics would fuel the development of ‘green’ cycle and walking routes throughout the capital. Not one of these proposals came to fruition while more contentious schemes ballooned in cost. The realised vision of the London Games is marked with a particular disinterest in accommodating cyclists. With the controversial ORN Olympic Lanes now in force, the Olympics are pitting cyclists against a gauntlet of temporary routes and pockets of congestion while offering few exemptions or bypasses for bikes.

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In this part of our blog we discuss general legal topics that have arisen in the media, as well as general questions about the law, our legal system, our court system, the criminal justice system, the legal profession and getting legal advice. Have a browse through here – you can find tips on choosing a lawyer, questions to ask your lawyer, and suggestions on legal avenues for resolving a dispute.

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