Contact Law blog

October 2011

Unpaid bills might be a more costly affair

In today’s straining financial climate many are finding it difficult to pay their bills on time. However, most people don’t expect a visit from the bailiffs over an unpaid parking fine.

Councils are increasingly turning to bailiffs for help to retrieve overdue money, and these visits are then added to the person’s bill. (more…)

Sibling rivalry highlights major inheritance issue

Adoption has long been a sensitive subject, with people’s lives and emotions at the fore. A recent case, though, has dramatically highlighted one of the potential flaws in the system.

Sometimes, children become part of a family without being officially adopted. A non-biological family may consider their new member to be as dear to them as their biological offspring. However, in the absence of a properly executed will, a child that has not been adopted does not have any inheritance rights. (more…)

Is it too easy to divorce in Britain?

Judicial concern is increasing over the opinion that Britain has an international reputation as the capital of generous and quick divorce settlements. This comes as the Court of Appeal upheld a High Court judgement, which decided that a British court was the appropriate instance for another major divorce settlement between non-British nationals.

The appeal was heard by a panel of three judges. One of the appeals judges, Lord Thorpe, said that many foreign nationals seek to get a divorce in Britain even though they lack any profound connection to the country. He explained this as being the result of the country’s reputation of quickly handling cases and awarding generous payments. (more…)

Jeremy Clarkson lifts super-injunction

Last year, the Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson took out a super-injunction that prevented his ex-wife from disclosing information concerning his private life. However, Clarkson yesterday decided to have it lifted through an application to the High Court.

A super-injunction is not the same as a plain injunction in that its existence is not to be reported. This differs from a plain injunction, the existence of which can be disclosed, but, its subjects cannot, normally, be revealed. (more…)

UK Attorney General to Challenge power of European Court of Human Rights

The Government’s main legal advisor, the Attorney General Dominic Grieve, is to address the European Court of Human Rights on two key issues in November. Firstly, he both is critical of the Court’s view on prisoners’ voting rights and also believes that the principle of subsidiarity should be further emphasised.

The principle of subsidiarity is a core principle of the European Convention of Human Rights. It ensures that the Strasbourg Court does not impose itself on national courts. Grieve believes that this principle needs to be clarified and that national Courts should have the final say on matters. (more…)

Cuts to Legal Aid: the Impact on Family Proceedings

The difficult financial climate has forced the government to consider implementing controversial cuts to the legal aid budget.  A coalition of family and children’s charities fear that these savings will adversely affect victims of domestic abuse.

The campaigners claim that the definition of ‘domestic abuse’ in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders bill is too narrow. If implemented, the bill will limit legal aid to victims of psychological and physical abuse. (more…)

HMRC blunder means six million get £400 tax refund

Six million tax payers will receive a refund of £400 from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) this weekend as it has made the decision to settle discrepancies from as far back as 2001.

However, 1.2million will be told that they owe £600 as HMRC has to find £620million. (more…)

Growing payday loan debt requires tighter regulation, says CAB

The Citizens Advice Bureau has said that the number of people running up debt as a result of taking out ‘payday’ loans has quadrupled in the last two years.

Attracted by the simplicity of obtaining the credit and driven by the need to obtain cash before payday, over a million people take out small, short-term unsecured loans. (more…)

Golfer sued for shot that took out another player’s eye

Anthony Phee, 44, is suing James Gordon and the Niddry Castle Golf Club, West Lothian, for £750,000 after Mr Gordon’s stray shot hit him in the eye.

Mr Phee’s eye had to be removed as the impact caused his eye to “explode”. (more…)

Landlady wins important step in battle to air Premier League games

A pub landlady from Portsmouth has made important progress in her legal battle against the Premier League and its exclusive deals with Sky Sports and ESPN. Karen Murphy wants to be able to buy cheaper foreign decoder cards in order to screen matches on Saturdays in her pub.

The High Court sent the case to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for an opinion. The ECJ has ruled that the legislation preventing the sale or use of foreign decoder cards is contrary to the single market principle. (more…)

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