The Weekly Round-up: Legal Advice Sanctions, Cannabis Under Consideration, and Evacuation Biometrics

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October 10, 2022 by Matthew Johnson

Source: https://www.Reuters.com/world/uk/uk-makes-14-additions-russia-sanctions-list-2022-03-31/

In the news

Law firms in the UK will be banned to provide “transactional legal advisory services” to the Russians, as part of an effort to tighten sanctions. The decision came after Putin announced the illegal annexation of 4 Ukrainian regions. The UK government had previously banned services exported to Russia in May (including accounting, management consultancy and public relations), but legal services were deliberately excluded. The rationale for this exclusion was the principle of the rule of law that everyone has the right to access legal representation. In order to maintain this principle as far as possible, the ban on legal advice has been limited to commercial and transactional services with the aim of hindering the ability of Russian companies to operate internationally.

The Minister of the Interior plans turn cannabis into a class A drug out of fear, it has become a “gateway” to more harmful substances. This change would mean that the maximum penalty for possession would increase to 7 years and the maximum penalty for supply would increase to life. Although there are currently no ongoing plans for reclassification, Braverman is reviewing the available evidence before making a final decision.

In other news

  • Former Liberian rebel commander Kunti Kamara stand trial in Paris for war crimes committed during the Civil War. This will be the first trial in France of a non-Rwandan accused of wartime atrocities following the creation of the special tribunal for crimes against humanity in 2012. Kamara was the leader of the militia unit in Liberia and is accused of having reduced the population to victims of slavery and torture.
  • Jade McCrossen-Nethercott continues the CPS after admitting her rape case was dropped due to claims she suffered from a sleep disorder known as ‘sexsomnia’. Her case was dropped days before the defendant was due to stand trial because 2 sleep experts said it was possible she had performed sex acts in her sleep with the appearance of being awake and consenting. The CPS concluded that the case should have gone to trial and that the expert opinions should have been challenged in court.

In the courts

  • In KA v Secretary of State at the Ministry of the Interior [2022] EWHC 2473 (administrator), the High Court ruled that requiring Afghan families joining British family members in the UK to take biometric tests was unlawful. The applicants were an Afghan mother and her 5 children who found nowhere in Afghanistan to take the mandatory tests and were therefore denied entry. It was argued that the requirement of biometrics represented a significant interference with their rights under Article 8. biometric data, as this would allow for a decision based on merit. There was no reason, for example, why they could not complete the biometrics requirement after arriving in the UK.

Elsewhere on the UKHRB

  • On Law Pod UK, Rosalind English speaks with former Supreme Court Justice Lord Sumption about the Online Safety Bill.

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