• Transgender woman sues over ordeal in male prison

    Tara Hudson ‘horrified’ by Ministry of Justice’s ‘transphobic’ response to her damages claim over 2015 spell in HMP BristolOne of Britain’s most prominent transgender activists is embroiled in an extraordinary legal battle with the Ministry of Justice, in a landmark discrimination case.Tara Hudson, a trans woman, was sent to a male prison in 2015, prompting a national outcry with more than 150,000 people signing a petition calling for her to be moved to a wome
  • Judge: collapse of sex crime trials could lead to rapists going free

    Series of blunders by police and CPS may see juries doubting evidence, says Lord Judge The notable collapse of a series of rape trials could endanger future convictions of genuine rapists because of reduced public trust in the justice system, the former head of the judiciary has warned. Lord Judge, who was lord chief justice in England and Wales from 2008 to 2013, said juries may start doubting the quality of evidence presented to them in court after several high-profile rape cases collapsed owi
  • People with mental illnesses refused access to insurance cover

    Exclusive: Insurance firms deny discrimination, with 7/7 victim among those turned downCase studies: ‘I didn’t know why I’d been declined’Insurers have been accused of depriving access to life insurance and other kinds of cover to people with depression and anxiety, even for physical conditions unrelated to their mental health.People who have suffered even mild mental health conditions or one-off episodes say they have been refused life insurance altogether, aggravating t
  • 'I didn't know why I'd been declined, so I asked for my medical notes'

    Two people with a mental health history describe difficulties of seeking insurance coverExclusive: People with mental illnesses refused access to insuranceI experienced mental health problems in 2009, from which I slowly recovered over the course of a few years. I was experiencing severe anxiety and it became unbearable and I struggled to sleep. I ended up in hospital. I was there for a few days and when I was finally seen by the psychiatrist he said I should never have been admitted but instead
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  • Police accept making errors as Oxford student rape case is dropped

    Judge criticises police and CPS after no evidence is offered against Oliver Mears in latest trial collapsePolice have accepted making errors in investigating a rape claim after a student saw the case against him dropped just before he went on trial and a judge accused detectives and prosecutors of unnecessary delays.The case is the latest to raise concerns about the fairness of police investigations and prosecutorial decision-making. Continue reading...
  • ‘I began my career as a single mum’: female QCs changing the face of law

    Just 32 women are among this year’s 119 new QCs, but they hope their success will inspire othersA barrister who forged a career in law while raising her son as a single mother has said she hopes her appointment as Queen’s Counsel will be “an encouraging message to non-traditional applicants” to the prestigious title. Related: Meet the women fighting gender bias in lawContinue reading...
  • Judge accuses police after Oxford student rape case dropped

    Judge criticises police and CPS after no evidence offered against Oliver Mears in latest trial collapseA judge has accused police and prosecutors of unnecessary delays after a student spent two years facing a rape charge only for it to be dropped days before his trial began.
    The case is the latest to raise concerns about the fairness of police investigations and prosecutorial decision-making. Continue reading...
  • John Worboys release: government will not pursue judicial review

    Victims are likely to be dismayed after justice secretary decides not to go ahead with challengeThe justice secretary, David Gauke, will not pursue a judicial review to stop the release of the serial sex attacker John Worboys, he has told the House of Commons.
    Gauke has been investigating the possibility of challenging the Parole Board’s decision to release the black-cab rapist Worboys, 60, after less than 10 years in prison. Related: Worboys' victims launch crowdfunding appeal against rel
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  • Oxford student rape case dropped days before trial

    Police and CPS criticised after no evidence is offered against Oliver Mears, 19, in latest trial collapseA judge has criticised police and prosecutors after a rape case against an Oxford University student was dropped days before his trial.
    Oliver Mears, 19, spent two years on bail accused of rape and assault by penetration of a woman in July 2015. Continue reading...
  • Ryanair: HMRC and employment tsar may question airline over pay

    MPs call for cabin crew pay inquiry as airline denies failing to adhere to UK employment lawRyanair has been referred to employment and tax authorities for investigation by two parliamentary committees, citing the airline’s “refusal to cooperate” with inquiries over crew pay and conditions.Frank Field, chair of the work and pensions committee, and Rachel Reeves, chair of the business select committee, have written to HMRC and the director of labour market enforcement asking the
  • Liverpool prison has 'worst conditions inspectors have seen'

    Official report highlights broken windows, rats, cockroaches, damp, dirt and leaking toiletsPrison chiefs have been summoned next week to explain to MPs their “abject failure” over living conditions in Liverpool prison, which have been described by inspectors as the worst they can recall.Their official inspection report, published on Friday, highlights the plight of one prisoner with complex mental health needs who was left for weeks in a dark and damp cell with no furniture other th
  • Falling forensics standards 'making miscarriages of justice inevitable'

    Regulator says UK forces failing to meet standards, with routine outsourcing of great concern Police forces are failing to meet the official standards for forensics, making miscarriages of justice inevitable, the government’s forensic regulator has said. In her annual report, Gillian Tully highlighted her growing concerns about the failure of some forensic firms used by the police to meet basic quality standards. It means innocent people could be wrongly convicted and offenders escaping ju
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  • Falling forensic science standards 'making miscarriages of justice inevitable'

    Regulator says UK forces failing to meet standards, with routine outsourcing of great concern Police forces are failing to meet the official standards for forensic science, making miscarriages of justice inevitable, the government’s forensic regulator has said. In her annual report, Gillian Tully highlighted her growing concerns about the failure of some forensic firms used by the police to meet basic quality standards. It means innocent people could be wrongly convicted and offenders esca
  • Taxpayers face £4m bill as landlord refuses to make tower block safe

    Slough council poised to take over freehold of property and pay for safety work as current owner refuses to foot billA landlord who is refusing to pay an estimated £4m bill to make safe a block of flats built with Grenfell-style cladding is likely to be bailed out by the taxpayer.Robert Steinhouse, a London-based director of 91 companies, is the ultimate owner of the freehold of Nova House in Slough, a complex of 68 privately owned apartments which has flammable cladding and substandard in
  • Council set to take on tower block that landlord refuses to make safe

    Slough council poised to take over freehold of property and pay for safety work because current owner is refusing to foot billA landlord who is refusing to pay an estimated £4m bill to make safe a block of flats built with Grenfell-style cladding is likely to be bailed out by the taxpayer.Robert Steinhouse, a London-based director of 91 companies, is the ultimate owner of the freehold of Nova House in Slough, a complex of 68 privately owned apartments which has flammable cladding and subst
  • Ryanair referred to HMRC and labour market tsar over pay

    Airline says it complies with UK employment law, despite MPs’ call for cabin crew pay probeRyanair has been referred to employment and tax authorities for investigation by two parliamentary committees, citing the airline’s “refusal to cooperate” with inquiries over crew pay and conditions.Frank Field, chair of the work and pensions committee, and Rachel Reeves, chair of the business select committee, have written to HMRC and the director of labour market enforcement askin
  • Surrogate mother calls for 'old-fashioned' laws on births to be changed

    Surrogacy UK chair Sarah Jones says genetic parents should have legal authority over new babiesCampaigners have called for urgent reform of “old-fashioned” laws that make surrogate mothers the legal parents of the children they deliver.Sarah Jones, four-time surrogate mother and chair of the charity Surrogacy UK, said current legislation was old fashioned and did not reflect the fact that surrogate mothers often “have absolutely no wish to keep the baby”. Continue reading
  • HMP Nottingham: action demanded to prevent more deaths

    Prisons inspector fears ‘further tragedies’ after eight deaths at east Midland jail in two yearsThe chief inspector of prisons has demanded the justice secretary, David Gauke, take immediate action to safeguard lives at Nottingham prison which he describes as “fundamentally unsafe” and “in a dangerous state”.It is the first time Peter Clarke has invoked the urgent notification process requiring the justice secretary to respond publicly since it was introduced
  • Why I helped bring the Dutch case over Britons’ EU rights | Jolyon Maugham

    This could transform the Brexit fate of UK citizens abroad, and also the negotiations as a wholeSpare a thought for the million-odd UK citizens living in Europe.The Conservative manifesto of 2015 promised to scrap the rules barring those who had lived abroad for more than 15 years from voting. Still, long-term British expats were denied the chance to vote in the EU referendum the following year. Related: Through humility and understanding, we can still stop Brexit | Andrew AdonisContinue reading
  • How has Donald Trump's first year affected women?

    A year since women marched across the world in protest of Trump, many view his presidency as ‘the worst we’ve ever seen for women’On the day after Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States last January, millions of women took to the streets in pink-knitted “pussy hats” in protests that marked the birth of the so-called “resistance” to the incoming administration.One year later, the #MeToo movement has spawned a moment of reckon
  • Terminally ill man can appeal against right-to-die ruling, say judges

    Retired lecturer Noel Conway, 68, is granted right to challenge high court judgmentA man with motor neurone disease who says that he faces unbearable suffering has won his court of appeal bid to challenge a court ruling over his wish for a “peaceful and dignified” death.Noel Conway, a 68-year-old retired lecturer, is likely to die within the next 12 months. He says he wants to be able to enlist help from medical professionals to bring about his death at a time of his own choosing.Con
  • The YouTube star who fought back against revenge porn – and won

    Four years after her ex posted explicit videos filmed without her consent, Chrissy Chambers talks about the gruelling legal battle that nearly destroyed her. By Jenny KleemanChrissy Chambers will never forget 11 June 2013. She was in Las Vegas recording her first album with her girlfriend, Bria Kam. The YouTube channel they ran together was taking off – a video they had posted the day before, titled 10 Worst Ways to Come Out, had already been viewed half a million times – and less th
  • Canada's use of lengthy solitary confinement in jails is unconstitutional – judge

    Campaigners hope the judgment will end the controversial practice under which some inmates have been kept alone for four yearsCanada’s use of prolonged or indefinite solitary confinement in federal prisons is unconstitutional, a judge has said in a ruling that could end the controversial practice unless Ottawa appeals the decision. Related: Margaret Atwood faces feminist backlash on social media over #MeTooContinue reading...
  • Home Office pays out £15,500 to asylum seeker over data breach

    Sensitive information given by government staff to officials in man’s Middle East home country The Home Office has paid out £15,500 in compensation after admitting handing over sensitive information about an asylum seeker to the government of his Middle East home country, a move which could have endangered his life and that of his family. The settlement relates to confidential proof of his persecution in his home country which was wrongly shared with the authorities there. The case h
  • Software 'no more accurate than untrained humans' at judging reoffending risk

    Program used to assess more than a million US defendants may not be accurate enough for potentially life-changing decisions, say expertsThe credibility of a computer program used for bail and sentencing decisions has been called into question after it was found to be no more accurate at predicting the risk of reoffending than people with no criminal justice experience provided with only the defendant’s age, sex and criminal history.The algorithm, called Compas (Correctional Offender Manage
  • Private probation firms face huge losses despite £342m 'bailout'

    Probation chief for England and Wales says ministry payments come from windfall savings
    Private probation companies responsible for supervising more than 200,000 offenders in England and Wales face total losses of more than £100m, even after a £342m “bailout” by the Ministry of Justice, MPs have been told.
    Ministry of Justice officials acknowledged on Wednesday that 14 of the 21 community rehabilitation companies were expected to make losses ranging from £2.3m to &p
  • Worboys' victims launch crowdfunding appeal against sex attacker's release

    Two women hope to raise £10,000 to pay for a judicial review over controversial parole board decisionTwo victims of the black-cab serial sex attacker John Worboys have launched a crowdfunded appeal for a legal challenge against the controversial decision to free him from prison.The two women are aiming to raise £10,000 to pay for a judicial review that would initially force the parole board to reveal its reasons for releasing the 60-year-old serial sex offender who has served 10 year
  • Worboys' victims launch crowdfunding appeal against release

    Two women hope to raise £10,000 for judicial review of decision to free sexual attacker
    Two victims of the serial sexual attacker John Worboys have launched a crowdfunding appeal for a legal challenge against the controversial decision to free him from prison.The women are aiming to raise £10,000 to pay for a judicial review that would initially force the Parole Board to reveal its reasons for releasing the 60-year-old, who has served 10 years in jail.The Parole Board is able to asse
  • Serial sex attacker Kirk Reid to be considered for release from jail

    Parole Board to review second case of London man jailed for assaults after police failures
    A serial sex attacker who was allowed to continue his spree of violence after police failures is being considered for release by the Parole Board.
    Kirk Reid, a chef and football referee from south London, was jailed for life in 2009 for 24 sexual assaults and two rapes, with a recommendation he serve seven and a half years.Related: Life for rapist left free to attack women after police blundersContinue rea
  • Serial sex attacker Kirk Reid to be considered for release by parole board

    Series of failings by Scotland Yard left Reid free to attack women for four years after he was identified as a suspectA serial sex attacker who was allowed to continue his spree of violence after police failures is being considered for release by the parole board.
    Kirk Reid, a chef and football referee from south London, was jailed for life with a recommendation he serve seven and a half years in 2009 for 24 sexual assaults and two rapes.Related: Life for rapist left free to attack women after p
  • Man convicted of theft in 1976 cleared after Googling his arresting officer

    Stephen Simmons was convicted of mailbag theft over 40 years ago but a chance discovery led to his acquittalA man found guilty of stealing mailbags more than 40 years ago has had his conviction quashed in what the lord chief justice described as an exceptional case. The appeal court heard that the arresting officer in the original trial had died in prison not long afterwards while also serving a sentence for mailbag theft.Stephen Simmons, now 62, a businessman from Dorking in Surrey, was arreste
  • Victim of van attack by Britain First supporter criticises leniency of sentence

    Kamal Ahmed says a Muslim who carried out such an attack would be treated differently, after Marek Zakrocki walks freeA restaurant owner who was the target of a van attack by a Britain First supporter has said he fears for his safety after his assailant walked free.Marek Zakrocki, 48 who drove his van at Kamal Ahmed after telling police he was “going to kill a Muslim”, was sentenced to 33 weeks in prison on Friday but was released for time spent on remand.Continue reading...
  • YouTube star wins damages in landmark UK 'revenge porn' case

    Chrissy Chambers brought civil case after ex-boyfriend posted videos of them having sex online‘Revenge pornography’: follow Chrissy Chambers’ search for justiceA YouTube celebrity has won unprecedented damages against her ex-boyfriend after he admitted uploading “revenge pornography” videos of her to the internet.In the first civil case of its kind to be brought in England and Wales, 26-year-old Chrissy Chambers sued her former partner for harassment, breach of conf
  • Former prostitutes launch high court challenge to UK law

    Women say requirement to disclose past convictions criminalises trafficking victimsA group of former prostitutes have taken a ground-breaking legal challenge to the high court, arguing that government policy criminalises victims of abuse and trafficking.The women argue they have been stigmatised by the existing law, which requires people convicted of crimes to disclose their past when applying for a range of jobs or volunteering activity after DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks. Continu
  • Woman sues man acquitted of rape in Scottish court trial

    Former student sues Stephen Coxen for damages two years after jury found case against him not provenA former university student in Scotland is suing her alleged rapist for £100,000 in damages after he walked free following a high court trial two years ago.Stephen Coxen, 23, from Bury in Lancashire, was charged with raping the then student at her flat while she was drunk and stealing her phone during freshers’ week at the University of St Andrews in September 2013. Continue reading...
  • Migration targets are a form of calculated inhumanity | Nesrine Malik

    Unlawful detention by the Home Office has reached a new level – and it’s being done on purposeBuried on page 89 of the Home Office’s annual accounts for 2016-2017 is a seemingly anodyne entry under “special payments”. The line details that the Home Office, in a single year, paid £1.8m in legal compensation for 32 cases of unlawful detention. More bewildering than the number is the fact that there is no further explanation in the document.I have a long, ri
  • Child victims let down by lack of help in court, says UK watchdog

    System of intermediaries helping to give evidence is struggling to cope, says commissionerHundreds of the most vulnerable victims of crime are being prevented from testifying against their attackers because of a shortage of experts to help them give evidence, the victims’ commissioner warns in a report on Wednesday.Helen Newlove is calling for extra support and funding for registered intermediaries (RIs) who give a voice in court to those, such as the very young or adults with learning dif
  • The Guardian view on returning the Rohingya: a bad deal, worsened by haste | Editorial

    Myanmar and Bangladesh have agreed to repatriate the 650,000 refugees who have fled violence in Rakhine state within two years. Many are concerned – and rightly soThe 650,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees who have fled what the UN human rights chief has called “a textbook case of ethnic cleansing” must have the right to return to their homes in northern Rakhine state, Myanmar. To say otherwise would be to concede to those who forced them out – the security forces and militias
  • Stop and search not the solution | Letters

    Last year black people were stopped by the Metropolitan police on 30,000 occasions without any further actionDavid Lammy is right to express scepticism about the mayor of London’s recent enthusiasm for the increased use of stop and search (Lammy says Khan wrong to increase use of stop and search, 15 January). For five years Londoners have been told that stop and search was being better targeted. Yet last year black people were stopped by the Metropolitan police on 30,000 occasions without
  • Gerry Adams appeals 1975 convictions for Maze escape attempts

    Lawyers say Sinn Féin leader was unlawfully interned without trial at time of planned jail breaks
    The Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams, has launched a legal attempt to overturn two convictions connected to a planned IRA jail break at the height of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.Adams’s lawyers argued at the court of appeal in Belfast on Tuesday that the 1975 convictions for earlier escape attempts from the Maze prison, then known as Long Kesh, should be quashed. Related: Ho
  • John Worboys case: politicians must not interfere, says parole board chief

    Nick Hardwick criticises Probation Service for failing to inform rapist’s victims about planned releaseThe head of the parole board has issued a strong warning to politicians not to interfere in the independence of the justice system in the John Worboys case and sharply criticised the National probation service’s failure to inform or consult about the terms of his release.Prof Nick Hardwick said the justice secretary should order an independent investigation into the failure to ensur
  • Co-op launches even quicker online divorce service

    Couples in England and Wales seeking ‘quickie divorce’ could cut processing time by a thirdCouples seeking “quickie divorces” can make the process even speedier as a result of a new online service launched by the Co-op.
    The fixed-fee digital service from Co-op Legal Services enables people to start uncontested divorces online from home, supported by phone-based advice from experienced solicitors.Related: Co-op launches £160m expansion plan for 2018Continue reading..
  • Britons in Netherlands take fight for their EU rights to Dutch court

    Lawyer says favourable ruling could lead to UK citizens keeping generous EU rights while EU citizens have meagre UK rightsA group of UK nationals living in the Netherlands are going to court to challenge the right of the British government and the European commission to negotiate away their rights as EU citizens in the Brexit talks.The claimants will argue that the rights of UK citizens are independent of the country’s EU membership, according to legal documents seen by the Guardian. Conti
  • UK training body took out superinjunction to block critical report

    Learndirect got special treatment to suppress damning assessment of its training, says Ofsted chiefBritain’s biggest training provider successfully applied for a superinjunction that stopped official inspectors from passing on a critical report to the government, it has emerged.It allowed Learndirect, which is mostly funded by the Department for Education, to suppress a damning assessment of its training for four months, Ofsted’s chief inspector, Amanda Spielman, told the House of Co
  • Britain’s shameful treatment of Chagos islanders must end | Benjamin Zephaniah

    A bill going before parliament today will cut the prohibitive cost of UK citizenship for families, victims of a disgraceful exileI bang on about the plight of the people of the Chagos Islands a lot, and sometimes even I might use statistics too much, so let me tell you about Jeanette. Jeanette’s mother, Monique, was born on the Chagos Islands and was therefore a British subject. But her time living there was destined to be short. In the late 1960s, she, like the rest of the population, was
  • Congolese government in rent arrears for London embassy

    Owners of building on Great Portland Street reveal rent issue during successful legal action to remove human rights activistsThe Congolese government is facing legal action for failing to pay rent on its embassy in London, it has emerged.The step taken by the owners of the property on Great Portland Street was revealed in a court case against a group of squatters who have been occupying part of the building.Continue reading...
  • London law firm accused over role in South Africa scandal

    Lord Hain says report by Hogan Lovell into ‘money laundering’ at tax agency was a whitewashCity law firm Hogan Lovells has been accused of helping enable the Gupta brothers’ “state capture”, and corruption in South Africa.
    Peter Hain, a former Labour cabinet minister and veteran anti-apartheid campaigner, told the House of Lords on Monday that he had reported Hogan Lovells to the UK’s Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) over concerns that the firm produced a
  • Woman jailed for setting bed on fire 'killed herself in prison'

    Inquest hears Emily Hartley, 21, had been sentenced for breaking bail conditions after setting herself alightA 21-year-old woman was found dead in prison while serving a sentence for arson after setting herself on fire, an inquest jury has heard.Emily Hartley died in the grounds of HMP New Hall near Wakefield on 23 April 2016. She had been allowed into the exercise yard of the women’s prison at about 3pm and was found hanged. Continue reading...
  • Here’s why Aziz Ansari’s behaviour matters | Emily Reynolds

    We need a profound cultural shift in our sexual politics – and that means recognising the smaller abuses of power too
    By now we’ve all become depressingly acclimatised to our favourite celebrities being outed as behaving less than perfectly in their private lives – and this week, it’s an account of an alleged incident involving comic and writer Aziz Ansari that’s gone viral. In a date described as “violating and painful”, a young woman says Ansari repeat
  • Poppi Worthington inquest verdict unlikely to lead to trial

    Coroner says toddler was probably sexually abused by her father but is not able to conclude that girl was unlawfully killedThe first inquest into Poppi Worthington’s sudden and unusual death was so short that when the coroner concluded, everyone in court gave each other the same look: was that it? The hearing, at Barrow town hall on 21 October 2014, lasted just seven minutes. Related: Poppi Worthington was sexually abused by father, coroner rulesContinue reading...

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