There have been a lot of changes made to employment law recently, mainly with the aim of improving efficiency, reducing the number of spurious cases and ultimately saving the government money.
The latest is the introduction of Early Conciliation, a new requirement that must take place before any claim is made to the employment tribunal.
Concerns are mounting over no-win, no-fee agreements after a Legal Ombudsman’s report in late January 2014 highlighted abusive practices by some solicitors.
In 2013 lawyers were ordered to pay nearly £1 million in compensation to clients after agreements went wrong.
For the first time ever barristers across England and Wales have staged a refusal to work in the criminal courts, to raise the issue of the Government’s plans to cut legal aid fees by up to 30%.
They are being joined by solicitors, in what is also an unprecedented move, as they seek to highlight the two major issues at stake – the cutting of fees for legal aid work, and the belief that this will lead to poorer quality legal representation for those people not able to pay privately.
An unusual family law case from China recently surfaced in a number of new sources.
According to the reports, Jian Fang was “horrified” at how ugly his and his beautiful wife’s newborn daughter was.
He initially refused to believe the child was his, which led to his wife admitting having had extensive plastic surgery in South Korea before they met.
Apparently Fang sued his now ex-wife for false pretences and won, with the judge ordering her to pay several thousand pounds in compensation.
In early November 2013 consultant surgeon David Sellu was convicted of manslaughter by gross negligence and sentenced to two and a half years in prison.
When presented with a patient suffering from severe abdominal pains, Sellu suspected a ruptured bowel but delayed in prescribing antibiotics and doing abdominal scans. The patient, James Hughes, went on to die and the court found that he would have stood a higher chance of surviving had Sellu treated him with the appropriate urgency.
Jail serious, that’s how serious.
Stuart Syvret, a politician and former Health Minister of Jersey, was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment on 4th November in connection with material published on his blog. He had made grave allegations against a nurse in a hospital with a high death rate, and against several individuals regarding historic child abuse in Jersey care homes.
Last night Chris Huhne, the former cabinet minister, spent his first night in jail for lying about who was owed the speeding points handed to him in 2003.
It is a dramatic fall from grace for a politician who was once considered one of the most dynamic ministers in the coalition. He only became an MP in 2005, but was energy secretary in the early stages of the coalition before the scandal broke.
An absolutely stonking story, this one.
Until 2012 an app, the Chubby Checker, was available to download through Hewlett Packard software for their Palm OS software. Now the original Chubby Checker is suing HP and the company that made the app, Magic Apps, for $500m.
‘Chubby’ is slang for an erection, and the app was designed to be an amusing piece of software allowing women to estimate the size of a man’s penis. You can see why they used the name – it’s great.
Yesterday, Teresa May, the Home Secretary, confirmed the Government would not seek to overturn an amendment supported by peers in the House of Lords in December 2012, regarding the removal of the word ‘insulting’ from Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986.
Section 5 states that: “threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour” could be deemed a criminal offence. The amendment to the Act was proposed last year by the former chief Constable of the West Midlands, Lord Dear, as part of the Crime and Courts Bill.#
Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, spoke on the BBC’s Sunday Politics Show this week-end. He vowed the Government will introduce legislation, in the next session of Parliament, to stop local councils fining residents for a range of infractions in putting out their rubbish for collection.
For example, according to the Telegraph, Pickles says that it is ‘ludicrous’ fines can be issued for trivial matters such as over-filling wheelie-bins, putting yoghurt pots into the wrong recycling container, and leaving bins out too long after collections.