‘Not acceptable in a democracy’: UN expert condemns lengthy Just Stop Oil sentences

Michel Forst, UN special rapporteur, joins growing chorus of voices criticising jail terms handed to five defendantsThe lengthy multi-year sentences handed to Just Stop Oil activists are “not acceptable in a democracy”, a UN special rapporteur has said, as the government faced growing pressure to reverse the previous administration’s “hardline anti-protest” approach.Michel Forst, the UN special rapporteur for environmental defenders, joined a growing chorus of voices condemning the sentences handed down to the five defendants for planning non-violent protests on the M25. Continue reading...

The Guardian > Law ‘Not acceptable in a democracy’: UN expert condemns lengthy Just Stop Oil sentences

Andrew Malkinson calls for CCRC chief executive to resign

Exclusive: Demand by victim of wrongful conviction comes after role Karen Kneller played in handling his case revealedAndrew Malkinson has called for the chief executive of the Criminal Cases Review Commission to resign as the key role she held during the organisation’s most problematic handling of his case was revealed.Karen Kneller was director of casework when the miscarriages of justice body did “very poor” work on Malkinson’s first application to overturn his conviction for a 2003 stranger rape he did not commit. Continue reading...

The Guardian > Law Andrew Malkinson calls for CCRC chief executive to resign

Why ICJ ruling against Israel’s settlement policies will be hard to ignore

Judgment challenges allies such as UK and US, which for years soft-pedalled on occupation of Palestinian territories• Israel’s settlement policies break international law, court findsThorough, detailed and all encompassing, the international court of justice’s advisory ruling on the illegality of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory and settlement building represents a stark refutation of Israel’s claims, and will have a profound impact for years to come.The ICJ declared Israel’s long-term occupation of Palestinian territory “unlawful” and said it amounted to de facto annexation. The court called for Israel to rapidly quit the occupied territories and ruled Palestini..

The Guardian > Law Why ICJ ruling against Israel’s settlement policies will be hard to ignore

You may find Just Stop Oil annoying. You may dislike their tactics. But they do not belong in prison | Chris Packham and Dale Vince

These protesters are shouting ‘fire’ while the world burns. A society that locks them up cannot be called democraticThere’s a crisis in our prisons. Keir Starmer says it is “shocking”. Our jails are so full, police chiefs are warning it may soon be impossible to maintain even the most basic law and order. So here’s a radical proposal. Let’s stop locking up our truth tellers. The people who are shouting “fire” because there’s a fire. When they see we’re not moving fast enough and that the flames are getting higher, they know their responsibility is to shout out the message louder. Because they care. You probably know who we mean.These people might be annoying. They might..

The Guardian > Law You may find Just Stop Oil annoying. You may dislike their tactics. But they do not belong in prison | Chris Packham and Dale Vince

UN court orders Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territories

International court of justice says it should leave ‘as rapidly as possible’ and make full reparations for ‘wrongful acts’The UN’s international court of justice (ICJ) has ordered Israel to end its occupation of the Palestinian territories “as rapidly as possible” and make full reparations for its “internationally wrongful acts” in a sweeping and damning advisory opinion that says the occupation violates international law.In a historic, albeit non-binding, opinion, the court found multiple breaches of international law by Israel including activities that amounted to apartheid.Forcible evictions, extensive house demolitions and restrictions on residence and movement.The tran..

The Guardian > Law UN court orders Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territories

Just Stop Oil jail terms raise questions over harsh treatment of protesters

Lengthy prison sentences seen by many as heavy-handed and prompt comparisons with other offences‘Not acceptable in a democracy’: UN expert condemns lengthy Just Stop Oil sentencesThe lengthy jail terms handed to five supporters of the Just Stop Oil (JSO) climate campaign on Thursday – believed to be the longest ever meted out in the UK for non-violent protest – have sent shock waves through the protest community an d beyond.The five-year sentence for Roger Hallam and four-year terms imposed on Daniel Shaw, Louise Lancaster, Lucia Whittaker De Abreu and Cressida Gethin are being seen by many as the latest heavy-handed response to protesters, particularly those urging action on the cli..

The Guardian > Law Just Stop Oil jail terms raise questions over harsh treatment of protesters

Celebrities add voices to outcry over severity of Just Stop Oil sentences

Chris Packham calls for meeting with attorney general as prominent figures condemn long jail terms for M25 activistsChris Packham has called for a meeting with the attorney general for England and Wales as he joined a chorus of prominent voices condemning long jail terms for Just Stop Oil protesters.Speaking after five activists were sentenced to up to five years for planning protests on the M25, the broadcaster and naturalist said: “Be clear, be very, very clear, this is not just about climate activism. Continue reading...

The Guardian > Law Celebrities add voices to outcry over severity of Just Stop Oil sentences

A record sentence for a Zoom call, arrests for those holding signs outside. This is a blight on British democracy | George Monbiot

The right to protest is the wellspring of democracy – that’s why Labour must repeal the Tories’ draconian lawsHow do you know when protest tactics are working? When governments ban them. The oppressive laws introduced by the previous government – the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 and the Public Order Act 2023 – are a tick list of effective political engagement. Everything from locking on and digging tunnels to actions on roads, at airports, oil refineries or newspapers, even marching down a street, has been criminalised. Why? Because these methods work. If they didn’t, the government wouldn’t have bothered.The Conservatives justified their draconian measures wit..

The Guardian > Law A record sentence for a Zoom call, arrests for those holding signs outside. This is a blight on British democracy | George Monbiot

CCRC chair rejects minister’s call to resign over Andrew Malkinson case

Helen Pitcher says she is best person for job despite direct criticism in review of wrongful conviction caseThe chair of the Criminal Cases Review Commission has rejected calls from the justice secretary to resign after a report on its handling of the Andrew Malkinson case laid bare “a catalogue of failures”.A review by Chris Henley KC found that Malkinson, who spent 17 years in jail for a 2003 stranger rape he did not commit, could have been exonerated almost a decade earlier. It also contained personal criticism of the watchdog’s chair, Helen Pitcher, for failing to apologise and for “taking too little responsibility”. Continue reading...

The Guardian > Law CCRC chair rejects minister’s call to resign over Andrew Malkinson case

MoJ cuts maximum time high-risk offenders spend in hostel supervision

Maximum hostel stays for serious offenders such as freed rapists and murderers reduced from 12 to eight weeksUK politics live – latest updatesThe Ministry of Justice has cut the length of time that high-risk offenders such as freed rapists and murderers spend under supervision in government-approved hostels, the Guardian has been told.Until recently, very high-risk offenders in England and Wales could stay for a maximum of 12 weeks in “approved premises” where their behaviour is closely monitored by key workers. Continue reading...

The Guardian > Law MoJ cuts maximum time high-risk offenders spend in hostel supervision

Five Just Stop Oil activists receive record sentences for planning to block M25

Campaigners receive longest ever sentences for non-violent protest after being convicted of conspiracy to cause public nuisanceFive supporters of the Just Stop Oil climate campaign who conspired to cause gridlock on London’s orbital motorway have been sentenced to lengthy jail terms by a judge who told them they had “crossed the line from concerned campaigner to fanatic”.Roger Hallam, Daniel Shaw, Louise Lancaster, Lucia Whittaker De Abreu and Cressida Gethin were found guilty last week of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance for coordinating direct action protests on the M25 over four days in November 2022. Continue reading...

The Guardian > Law Five Just Stop Oil activists receive record sentences for planning to block M25

Britain’s system for tackling wrongful convictions failed me spectacularly. Overhaul the CCRC now | Andrew Malkinson

A scathing new report lays bare the inadequacy of the Criminal Cases Review Commission. I’d like to see resignations‘Catalogue of failures’: watchdog missed chances to help Andrew Malkinson, report findsOn 30 March 2004, I was sentenced to life in prison for a crime I did not commit. As I was being led to the cells, I told the courtroom, loudly: “I am completely innocent.” But no one listened, and to borrow a quote from Robinson Crusoe, one of my favourite childhood books, I found myself “cast upon a horrible, desolate island”: the English prison system.I emerged from that system after spending more than 17 years behind bars, having finally been granted the parole that had been..

The Guardian > Law Britain’s system for tackling wrongful convictions failed me spectacularly. Overhaul the CCRC now | Andrew Malkinson

Film honours 41 ‘heroines’ lost in Guatemala children’s home fire

As their families await justice, Jayro Bustamante’s movie, Rita, highlights the bravery of victims of 2017 blaze, and the authorities’ failure to protect themAda Kelly Alfaro says the cries from friends asking for help still haunt her daughter, Cynthia Phaola Morales, seven years after she survived a fire at a children’s shelter in Guatemala that killed 41 girls.Cynthia was one of only 15 survivors of the blaze at the Virgen de la Asunción (HSVA), in San José Pinula, just outside Guatemala City, which broke out on the morning of 8 March 2017. Continue reading...

The Guardian > Law Film honours 41 ‘heroines’ lost in Guatemala children’s home fire

‘Catalogue of failures’: watchdog missed chances to help Andrew Malkinson, report finds

Criminal Cases Review Commission could have exonerated Malkinson of rape almost a decade earlier, says inquiryA report on the Criminal Cases Review Commission’s handling of the Andrew Malkinson case has laid bare “a catalogue of failures”, finding that he could have been exonerated almost a decade earlier.The review by Chris Henley KC found that the watchdog missed multiple opportunities to help Malkinson, who spent 17 years in jail for a 2003 stranger rape he did not commit. Continue reading...

The Guardian > Law ‘Catalogue of failures’: watchdog missed chances to help Andrew Malkinson, report finds

About 5,500 prisoners to be released early in England and Wales

Justice secretary says temporary scheme in September and October will ‘avert disaster’ in overcrowding crisisAbout 5,500 offenders will be released early from prison as part of a temporary scheme to “avert disaster”, the justice secretary has said.It is the first time the government has provided a figure for the number of prisoners who will be released in England and Wales as part of emergency measures to prevent the prison system from reaching the point of collapse. Continue reading...

The Guardian > Law About 5,500 prisoners to be released early in England and Wales

How did the CCRC handle Andrew Malkinson’s three appeal applications?

A review has found Malkinson could have been exonerated of rape almost a decade earlier but for serious failingsCCRC missed chances to free Malkinson, report findsAndrew Malkinson spent 17 years in prison for a 2003 stranger rape he did not commit. A report has exposed how multiple failings by the Criminal Cases Review Commission prolonged his time in jail. Continue reading...

The Guardian > Law How did the CCRC handle Andrew Malkinson’s three appeal applications?

American rule of law is vanishing at the tips of Trump-appointed judges’ pens | Moira Donegan

Judge Cannon acted like part of Trump’s defense team. Her dismissal of his documents case is predictable yet disturbingDonald Trump stole thousands of classified documents when he left the White House in 2021, according to prosecutors, and shoved them in unsecured areas around the tacky Florida golf club where he lives. He kept them in basements, bathrooms and ballrooms; they were often unlocked, accessible to anyone who happened to wander by, as dozens or hundreds of people do, every day, at Mar-a-Lago. Trump refused to return the documents when asked; he also lied about what he had.On at least one occasion in 2021, he was recorded showing off one of the classified documents to a visitor,..

The Guardian > Law American rule of law is vanishing at the tips of Trump-appointed judges’ pens | Moira Donegan

Elizabeth Struhs’ father said he was a ‘new man’ after joining wife’s faith before daughter’s death, court hears

Crown prosecutor alleges Jason Struhs stopped the eight-year-old’s insulin after converting to the ‘Saints’, causing the death of the type 1 diabeticFollow our Australia news live blog for latest updatesGet our morning and afternoon news emails, free app or daily news podcastJason Struhs told his wife, Kerrie, he was a “new man” after converting to his wife’s faith and speaking in tongues, just five months before their eight-year-old diabetic daughter, Elizabeth Struhs, died after allegedly being taken off insulin due to their religious beliefs, a Queensland court has heard.Crown prosecutor Caroline Marcos alleges their Toowoomba religious group known as the “Saints” refused ..

The Guardian > Law Elizabeth Struhs’ father said he was a ‘new man’ after joining wife’s faith before daughter’s death, court hears

Teenager kills himself at Scottish young offender institution

Jonathan Beadle dies at Polmont a month after bill to stop under-18s being sent to prison became lawA teenager has killed himself at one of Scotland’s only young offender facilities, a month after a Holyrood bill intended to prevent under-18s from being sent to prison became law.Jonathan Beadle, 17, died at Polmont young offender institution near Falkirk on Saturday, the Scottish Prison Service confirmed. It is believed that he took his own life. It is understood he had been convicted of offences including breach of the peace and had previously been held at a secure care unit.In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on freephone 116 123, or email jo@samaritans.org or jo@samaritan..

The Guardian > Law Teenager kills himself at Scottish young offender institution

UK ‘turning a blind eye’ to threats to kill Saudi activists living in exile

Saudis living in the UK claim Riyadh is targeting them for speaking out on human rights and jailing of female activistsSaudi exiles living in the UK have spoken of threats to their lives and harassment over their support for improvements in human rights in their home country. Saudi Arabia has been attempting to present itself as a reformed state since the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi by a Saudi hit squad at its consulate in Istanbul in 2018.It has spent billions on sporting deals and promoting tourism in the country and was recently named host of a UN commission on women’s rights, despite what Amnesty International called its “abysmal” record on women’s rights. Continue ..

The Guardian > Law UK ‘turning a blind eye’ to threats to kill Saudi activists living in exile

Labour donor Dale Vince has libel case against Daily Mail thrown out

Energy entrepreneur claimed headline about different man used alongside his photograph was defamatoryThe millionaire Labour donor Dale Vince’s £100,000 libel case against the Daily Mail has been thrown out after a high court judge ruled it did not have a realistic chance of success.The green energy businessman and Forest Green Rovers chairman claimed the newspaper libelled him in a June 2023 article titled “Labour repays £100,000 to ‘sex harassment’ donor”. Continue reading...

The Guardian > Law Labour donor Dale Vince has libel case against Daily Mail thrown out

Police bodycams are supposed to be tools for accountability. Are they? | Mike McClelland

After my nervous breakdown during a police stop, I learned a cottage industry exposes bodycam footage to online titillationA dear friend texted me in February, saying: “Hey sweetie, the bodycam footage of you getting arrested got leaked on YouTube.”My fingers typed out a quick reply – “Omg lol haha what?” – as the rest of my body cramped in horror. Surely it wasn’t anything too bad? I’d been arrested in Athens, Georgia, back in 2021, because my car looked like one that had been involved in a hit-and-run. It wasn’t, but it then turned out that my driver’s license wasn’t a driver’s license but rather a state identification card. A misunderstanding, but I was also in the..

The Guardian > Law Police bodycams are supposed to be tools for accountability. Are they? | Mike McClelland

Take it from a former prisons inspector: letting offenders out early won’t fix our broken system | Anne Owers

The justice secretary’s plan may free places, but funding is desperately needed for probation and community careAnne Owers was chief inspector of prisons from 2001 to 2010“Please don’t let them send me away. All my life I’ve been passed around like a parcel.” Luke, 19, was sitting in front of me, his arm bandaged and crisscrossed with old razor cuts. I’d been told by staff that his repeated self-harming meant he wasn’t really “suitable” for the opportunities in their training prison, so he’d be sent back to the old, overcrowded one he’d come from.“Hello – it’s me again!” The last time I’d seen Donna, she was about to be released, clean of drugs for the first t..

The Guardian > Law Take it from a former prisons inspector: letting offenders out early won’t fix our broken system | Anne Owers

Chile’s stolen children: a new effort offers hope to Pinochet-era international adoptees

Thousands of children were adopted abroad during the Pinochet dictatorship – many in murky circumstances Mirjam Hunze grew up in the quiet Dutch town of Lunteren, but always felt too loud, too different, too curious in her strict Protestant household. She was 10 years old when she found out she had been adopted from Chile, sparking a lifelong quest to find her biological family. Hunze’s Chilean birth certificate and passport listed her Dutch adoptive name, with the fields for her biological parents and place of birth conspicuously crossed out.Hunze’s Dutch adoptive parents – who were unable to conceive biologically – had been given the number of a Dutch woman, Gertie Vogel, who liv..

The Guardian > Law Chile’s stolen children: a new effort offers hope to Pinochet-era international adoptees

Films, fashion, law,d politics: George and Amal Clooney’s growing global reach

While George is busy urging Biden to bow out of the presidential race, Amal has Netanyahu firmly in her sightsIt took a famous TV doctor to diagnose the patient. After two weeks of turmoil in the US Democratic party over President Biden’s re-election bid, it was ER’s Doug Ross, AKA George Clooney, who wrote up a devastating evaluation of the incumbent president.The 63-year-old actor was not in theatrical mode when he wrote a more-in-sorrow letter published by the New York Times last week that called on Biden to withdraw from the presidential race that the White House reportedly begged him not to submit, coming three weeks after Clooney helped raise $30m for the Biden-Harris ticket at a l..

The Guardian > Law Films, fashion, law,d politics: George and Amal Clooney’s growing global reach

Sunak and ministers are ‘guilty men’ in prisons crisis, says justice secretary

Shabana Mahmood says Tories left country threatened with total breakdown of law and orderKeir Starmer: ‘The Tories left behind a mountain of mess. In one week, we’ve begun to clear it’Rishi Sunak and his former ministers are “the guilty men” who should be held responsible for “the most disgraceful dereliction of duty” by failing to address the prisons crisis, the justice secretary has said.Speaking as she set out plans to release thousands of inmates early to ease pressure in overcrowded jails, Shabana Mahmood said the Conservatives “had left the country threatened with a total breakdown of law and order”. Continue reading...

The Guardian > Law Sunak and ministers are ‘guilty men’ in prisons crisis, says justice secretary

Puberty blockers ban motivated by ex-minister’s personal view, UK court told

High court told emergency order banning drugs for young people with gender dysphoria not backed by evidenceA ban on prescribing puberty blockers to children was motivated by the then UK health secretary’s personal view and not backed by evidence, the high court has heard.The advocacy group TransActual and a young person who cannot be named are challenging the emergency order issued on 29 May that temporarily banned the drugs for young people with gender dysphoria in England, Scotland and Wales, which they say has had “a very real human cost” on more than 1,000 under-18s. Continue reading...

The Guardian > Law Puberty blockers ban motivated by ex-minister’s personal view, UK court told

Contempt, gagging and UN intervention: inside the UK’s wildest climate trial

Prosecution of five Just Stop Oil activists over M25 protest led to chaotic scenes in court and concerns about ‘judicial persecution’As part of his role as UN rapporteur for environmental defenders, Michel Forst has been watching proceedings against climate activists at courts across Europe.But he may not have seen anything like what unfolded at Southwark crown court in London over the past two and a half weeks, where five Just Stop Oil activists were convicted for conspiring to cause gridlock on the M25 in November 2022. Continue reading...

The Guardian > Law Contempt, gagging and UN intervention: inside the UK’s wildest climate trial

Sunak government freed more than 10,000 prisoners up to 70 days early

New justice secretary preparing to announce further emergency measures to ease overcrowding crisis in jailsUK politics live – latest updatesRishi Sunak’s government released more than 10,000 prisoners up to 70 days early, figures reveal, as the new justice secretary prepares to announce further emergency measures to ease another overcrowding crisis in jails.Ministry of Justice figures show that 10,083 prisoners were allowed to walk free under the end of custody supervised licence (ECSL) scheme between October 2023 and June 2024 in England and Wales. Continue reading...

The Guardian > Law Sunak government freed more than 10,000 prisoners up to 70 days early

Could Britain solve its prisons crisis by going Dutch?

After the UK prisons minister praised the system in the Netherlands, experts there say the reality is more complexEarlier this year, before he became the UK prisons minister, James Timpson described how Britain should follow the Dutch example of mild sentencing to help solve the prisons crisis.“They have shut half their prisons not because people are less naughty in Holland,” he told Channel 4. “It’s because they have a different way of sentencing, which is community sentencing so people can stay at home, keep their jobs, keep their homes, keep reading their children bedtime stories, and it means they are far less likely to commit crime again. A custodial sentence is not always the r..

The Guardian > Law Could Britain solve its prisons crisis by going Dutch?