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Archive for November 12th, 2009

Man sacked for belief in psychics backed by judge (but, of course, he knew that would happen)

Independent: A police worker who was sacked because he believed psychics can help solve criminal investigations is to go to court today to defend his right to legal protection from religious discrimination.

In the first case of its kind Alan Power, a trainer with Greater Manchester Police, will rely on a previous judgment that found his belief in mediums who contact the dead is akin to a religious or philosophical conviction.

In an unpublished judgement in Mr Power’s favour seen by The Independent, the employment specialist Judge Peter Russell said that psychic beliefs are capable of being religious beliefs for the purpose of the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003. This is the same law which was used by the environmental campaigner Tim Nicholson when he successfully argued that green beliefs were the same as religious beliefs in a case decided last week.

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Teen committed rape days after sex assault conviction

Independent: A teenager who raped a five-year-old boy days after being spared custody for a sex assault on another youngster was locked up for almost three years yesterday.

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Gordon Brown pledges new migrant limits

Guardian: Migrant workers will only fill jobs temporarily in parts of the economy where there are labour shortages, says PM

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European Commission flexes its muscles over British banks

Times: The move last week by the European Commission to break up the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds TSB, the bloated beneficiaries of state aid, may be a clue as to the future and unexpected direction of the banking sector.

In the past two years the sector in Europe and America has moved from an idyll of market-driven, light-touch regulation to a regime of control and diktat by bureaucrats and regulators.

How is it going to shape up in the medium to long term? The commission’s intervention was not in itself unexpected and talk of RBS and Lloyds being “penalised” (as some commentators described it) may be slightly wide of the mark.

Michael Grenfell, of Norton Rose, says: “The UK had to get the approval of the European Commission to make rescue aid available to the banks last autumn. This normally lasts for six months. However, because of the scale of the crisis Neelie Kroes, the European Commissioner for Competition, took a pragmatic view and permitted it to be extended to 12 months.”

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Setback for Government over ‘secret evidence’ for control orders

Times: The Government’s attempt to restrict the movements of terror suspects through “control-lite” orders suffered another setback at the High Court yesterday.

The new orders are an attempt by the Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, to maintain the beleaguered control order system after they were condemned in July by the House of Lords.

The system came under fire because it relies on the use of “secret evidence” to restrict the freedom of suspects who cannot be prosecuted for reasons of national security.

Ministers recently sought a way around the problem by introducing the concept of orders imposing lighter, more limited obligations on controlees that they said did not require them to disclose further evidence.

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Whatever happened to the radical lawyers?

Times: Michael Mansfield’s autobiography is called Memoirs of a Radical Lawyer. For many, the juxtaposition of the two words “radical” and “lawyer” is a contradiction in terms, possibly, even a bit of a joke. But if anyone can carry off that tricky 1960s label, then Mansfield can.

So what — if anything — does it mean to be a radical lawyer?

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