Law Society Legal News Summary 10 May 2022

Assault on Human Rights Act 

Boris Johnson has been warned that watering down human rights protections could risk sanctions from Europe, reports Independent, the Daily ExpressTWNews, the California Sun, the New York Times Post, the Daily Start post, the Washington Time, the Daily Sun Post, the Balkan TimesIndependent EagleAmed PostKnowlediaBestinau and Quick Telecast. 

Sue Willman, chair of our human rights committee told the Independent: "In theory, a British Bill of Rights could be an opportunity to introduce new additional rights, such as the right to a healthy environment which is currently being debated by the Council of Europe. 

"But there aren't any proposals for additional rights in the proposals, just plans to erode the rights we already have. 

"It will detract from our role as a perceived leader of international human rights, rule of law and democracy. We will end up with a dwindling international role by going off on our own course." 

Read our press release

Rwanda asylum deal 

Priti Patel insists that the plan to send asylum seeker's to Rwanda will send a "clear signal" according to the IndependentYahooMSNWiredFocus, the World NewsTech RegisterPlainsmen PostVerified News Explorer NetworkUniversal PersonalitySwift TelecastPhone Week and Today UK News. The home office has announced that it will inform the first group of migrants that they will be relocated to Rwanda. 

Boris Johnson had criticised "lefty lawyers" who he believe will attempt to scupper the Rwanda deal. 

Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce said "Anyone at risk of such a life-changing order has a right to challenge its legality with the assistance of a lawyer, who has a duty to advise their client on their rights." 

"It is misleading and dangerous for the prime minister to name-call lawyers who are doing their job and upholding the law." 

Law Society immigration committee member spoke to LBC (from 1:34:45) about the Home Office's announcement that the first asylum-seekers in the UK have been told of the government's intention to send them to Rwanda.

Queen's Speech 

The GazetteBusiness Mayor and Business Fast cover our briefing ahead of today's Queen's speech. The speech, which will be given by Prince Charles, is likely to feature proposals for a Brexit Freedoms Bill, a Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, an Economic Crime Bill, a Mental Health Act (Reform) Bill and a Counter-State Threats Bill.

Mental health awareness 

The TelegraphCity A.M., YahooBusiness MayorBusiness FastNewsRLegal Brief and the Gazette report that we are working with LawCare and calling for a 'change of culture' to fix the legal profession's mental health crisis. 

LawCare's Life in the Law report revealed that 69% of lawyers experienced poor mental health in the last year. 

Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce said "We need to start talking about how some working practices contribute to an increased risk of poor mental health and how we can work together to change things. 

"Tackling excessive working hours and workloads, as well as ensuring better supervision and support, especially for younger lawyers, are essential." 

Read our press release

Legal services excluded from sanctions 

Today's Conveyancer and Today's Wills and Probate report that legal services were not included in the latest sanctions announced on Russia. 

In March, I. Stephanie Boyce said "While it is right the horrors in Ukraine prompt fundamental questions about relations between the UK and Russia, it is dangerous to seek scapegoats and single out British lawyers. The reason UK law firms engaged with Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union was because that was the direction of successive British governments as well as of business."

Airport delays 

Gary Rycroft, a member of our council membership committee, answers questions about airport delays and missing flights in Bestinau and Olxpraca.

Also worth a read: 

  • Priti Patel blames lawyers as she admits Rwanda plan will 'take time' – Guardian
  • Rwanda: First group of illegal migrants will be told this week – Sky News
  • UK spouse visas: 'This admin issue has stopped our lives' – BBC
  • Liz Truss 'preparing to tear up Northern Ireland protocol' – Guardian
  • UK's rising cost of living puts brakes on consumer spending – FT (£)

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