Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Henriette's PHD project.

I know I said yesterday that I wouldn't make any further posts until after the summer, but I just have to mention this article in today's Guardian. The research mentioned is a PHD done by my old high school classmate Henriette (which The Guardian unfortunately calls Henrietta).

It was really surreal to read about Henritte's research in a British newspaper in the Santa Fe Cafe in Bracknell.

I haven't spoken to Henriette for many years, but she once wrote one of the kindest letters I have ever received just before I joined the Navy. She understood much better than I that I was not cut out for the military.

So it really pleases me to see that she has achieved this recognition and that she has contributed something important through her research.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Summer break

With my exams over I'm free to enjoy the summer. Bec and I have following plans: Next week we're going camping in Wales (we bought a tent today), then attend my friend Paul's wedding the 1st of June. On the 5th we're of to Denmark where we'll spend some weeks at my parents 'sommerhus' on Møn.

Until the end of July I will therefore be almost completely cut of from the internet and will therefore take a break in posting on this blog.

I plan to return after the summer, where I hope to focus more on legal issues that I consider important.

Have a good summer.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Tony Blair and anti-terrorism

The two brothers who were arrested June 2 in an armed raid held a press conference today. Their family home was apparently broken into by armed police at 4 AM and one brother was shoot as he ran down the stairs. The Guardian has this article covering the conference and also a Downing Street press conference in which Tony Blair makes this incredible statement:

"I don't want them [the police] to be under any inhibition at all in going after those people who are engaged in terrorism. We have to, as a country, stand behind them and give them understanding in the very difficult work they do."

Does he really mean that the police shouldn't have any inhibition? Does he really mean the police can shoot, kill, torture and do anything they like?

I don't know if the police made a reasonable response to the information that they had received before this raid. But do I suspect that they overreacted. Is it really reasonable to storm a family home at 4 AM and shooting a man because he was running down the stairs?

Tony Blair apparently thinks so!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Constitutional Law

Considering the luck I had in blogging about the subject for my next exam (see below), this blog is concerns my exam tomorrow: Constitutional law.

This is a quote from an article by the Legal Philosopher Ronald Dworkin in 1996.
Great Britain was once a fortress for freedom. It claimed the great philosophers of liberty - Milton and Locke and Paine and Mill. Its legal tradition is irradiated with liberal ideas: that people accused of crime are presumed to be innocent, that no one owns another's conscience, that a man's home is his castles, that speech is the first liberty because it is central to the rest. But now Britain offers much less formal legal protection to central freedoms than most democracies do, including most of Britain's neighbours in Europe. These democracies have written constitutions that guarantee individual freedom, and their judges are charged with ensuring that other public officials, including legislators, respect those rights.
(Does Britain Need a Bill of Rights?)
I agree with what Dworkin is saying, expect that I think he overestimates the liberty in the UK at the time of either Milton, Locke, Paine or Mill.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Property Law

My next exam is in Property Law. Property is a subject which is disliked because it takes relative essay concepts and makes then complicated. For example, all land in England belongs in principle to the Crown and ownership is confined to owning estates and interests in land.

Another negative aspect of property law is that many of the cases are actually quite sad and disturbing. This is particularly true of cases concerning co-ownership and beneficial interests. My tutor, Prof. Peter Sparkes, describes this as the "all men are bastards approach to law," as many of the cases involve husbands going behind their wife's backs.

The worst case however is that of Kinch v. Bullard. This was a case of co-ownership in Joint Tenancy. Co-ownership can in Equity take two forms: Joint Tenancy and Tenancy in Common. Joint Tenants are legally treated as one and when one tenant dies the other(s) automatically takes over his interests. Tenants in Common own separate shares in the property, which they can sell individually or be pass to others by a will or to the next of kin.

Kinch and Bullard were married and Joint Tenants. The marriage was breaking up and the wife, who was terminally ill, decided to sever the Joint Tenancy and thereby create a Tenancy in Common. To do this she had to give notice in writing to her husband, so she instructed her solicitor to send a letter. The day before the letter arrived the husband had a heart attack. The wife, know believing she would survive the husband (and thus becoming single owner of the house), regretted sending the letter and went to the house and picked it up before husband read it.

The wife did outlive the husband, but unfortunately (for her heirs) the courts considered the Joint tenancy as severed by the letter.

I found the whole thing was really sad, speculating in who would die first. I guess that is the way of the world and of the law!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Police and public safety.

It now looks like the raid that lead to the non-fatal shooting of a man on the June 2 in London was based on false information. For more see this Guardian article.

It is not surprising or worrying that the intelligence was wrong. What is worrying, however, is the police's belief that they cannot take 'risks' in protecting the public. One official is quoted for saying: "Intelligence is patchy. Even if it suggests a 5% likelihood of something nasty, we can't take that risk." By taking risks they apparently mean restraining from making armed raids into the homes of people they know are probably innocent.

The police feel that public safety has an "overriding priority". The question is: overriding what? Caution? Proportionality? Protection of innocent suspects?

Apparently innocent people like Jean Charles De Menezes and others who happen to come into the view of the police, are not part of the public the police feel they have to protect.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Following up on the ECJ ruling of May 30.

The Times law section has this article analyzing the ruling.

I agree, that the ruling was not necessarily a victory for privacy, as it was based on the Commissions lack of legal foundation.

The ruling is, however, important because it forces a political decision on the need to allow passenger information to be transferred from airlines to the US government. Unfortunately such a decision can (according to the article) be taken by the Council without consulting the Parliament.

Friday, June 02, 2006

New Look

The name and layout of this blog has been changed, as the few regular readers will no doubt have noticed. The reason for the change is that I was a little uncomfortable with the 'Non-denial denial' name as it indicated unclear and insincere comments. Although the ideas and thoughts expressed on this blog might not be well formulated or even good, I am at least honest in the expression of them.

'locus standi' is of course Latin and as my Oxford Dictionary of Law states means "a place to stand." In legal terms it means "The right to bring [legal] action challenge some decision."

This blog is, metaphorically, my 'soap box' to stand on and make my arguments and where hecklers are welcome to post comments.