Finance | 01 October 2012

Sanctions have been an important mechanism in the efforts – by the UN, EU and individual states – to promote international peace and security. Since the early 1990s, and following the experience of implementation of comprehensive sanctions against Iraq, increasing use has been made of so-called targeted sanctions – measures taken against named individuals or entities. The hope has been that targeted sanctions will be both more effective in achieving the desired outcomes, while at the same time reducing the adverse impact on the general civilian population in the target state.
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Public Sector | 01 July 2012

‘Freedom of Information Act. Three harmless words. I look at those words as I write them, and feel like shaking my head ‘til it drops off. You idiot. You naïve, foolish, irresponsible nincompoop. There is really no description of stupidity, no matter how vivid, that is adequate. I quake at the imbecility of it.’

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Public Sector | 01 May 2012

Companies are increasingly using judicial review to protect valuable business interests. It is now routine for companies to challenge official decisions not only on the traditional grounds of illegality, irrationality and procedural unfairness, but also by invoking human rights principles and European law. When used effectively, commercial judicial review is a powerful tool. This article offers an overview of important recent trends.

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Public Sector | 01 March 2012

In this article, we discuss two recent decisions made in the course of the Leveson inquiry into the culture, practice and ethics of the press in order to highlight the particular issues facing those involved in public inquiries – and the difficult balancing exercises faced by the chairman in protecting the interests of individuals and organisations while effectively fulfilling the objectives of the inquiry.

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Public Sector | 01 December 2011

The UK Coalition’s programme for government set out that deficit reduction, and continuing to ensure economic recovery were the most urgent issues facing Britain. 
It then started on a programme to cut public spending. One of the results has 
been a plethora of legal challenges, directed both against central government and against local government. Typically, challengers in these cases take every conceivable point but there are three areas of challenge that are more likely to be successful (or looking at it from the public body’s perspective, more likely to be problematic). Those areas are: legitimate expectation; adequacy of consultation; 
and compliance with equality duties. [Continue Reading]

Public Sector | 01 October 2011

Licensing decisions by local authorities and regulatory bodies can have a very significant commercial impact for those entities and individuals that they affect. It is not surprising therefore that, depending upon the sector and context, appeals are common. This in turn gives rise to possible financial, and potentially reputational, risk for the decision-making bodies themselves. For those advising either party – licensor or licensee – it is essential to have a clear understanding of the basis upon which the decision is to be taken and, once it has been taken, the grounds on which it may be challenged. [Continue Reading]

Public Sector | 04 July 2011

One of the animals encountered by Dr Dolittle on his travels was the ‘pushmi-pullyu’, a cross between a unicorn and a gazelle. It had two heads, at opposite ends of its body and when it moved it tried to go in two different directions at once. Several recent decisions suggest that there is an element of pushmi-pullyu in the courts’ approach to Article 1 Protocol 1 (A1P1) of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR). [Continue Reading]

Public Sector | 04 May 2011

This article is an assessment of practical and legal considerations arising from the operation of mutual legal assistance provided by the UK in connection with international criminal investigations.

Mutual legal assistance (MLA) arrangements enable one country to seek assistance in obtaining evidence located in another country for the purposes of criminal investigations or proceedings. In a time when criminal investigations, especially involving fraud or other financial crime, regularly have an international dimension, this type of request is becoming increasingly common. According to the Home Office, the UK has in excess of 12,000 requests at any one time. [Continue Reading]

Public Sector | 01 December 2010

As the effect of public sector budget cuts begin to bite, companies and other institutions involved in projects with public bodies will look to judicial review as a possible way of protecting those projects or salvaging something from the wreckage if funding is pulled. The recent decision in R (on the application of Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education) v Learning and Skills Council (LSC) [2010] illustrates very clearly the difficulties that are likely to be involved in doing so.

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