Law and Rights
Money, money, money ....
Money, money, money ?.. a lot of stories are linked to it. Here are the lyrics to the well-known ABBA song. They seem to fit some of the news items currently in the media.
The Crown Prosecution Service has announced that 3 MPs and a Peer will be prosecuted under the Theft Act 1968 section 17 (?False Accounting?). The alleged offences relate to claims for expenses. The accused men are claiming that the Bill of Rights 1689 will protect them - Independent 6th February. Bill of Rights Article 9 - "That the freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in Parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament."
Next there is British Aerospace Systems. It would appear that the criminal investigations by the Serious Fraud Office are being halted under a ?settlement? by which British Aerospace pay, in total, some £285 million. How this works is described in a Press release on the SFO website. This has been a lengthy and difficult matter. In December 2006 the Attorney-General stopped the SFO investigating allegations of corrupt dealings with Saudi Arabia - the "al Yamamah" deal.
We also see that the Bar Council is considering a judicial review of two consultations on Advocates Graduated Fees and Very High Cost Cases (VHCCs) which are being conducted by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and the Legal Services Commission (LSC) respectively. The Bar Council refer to the 9th Report (HC 322), the Public Accounts Committee which heavily criticised the MoJ and the LSC for the confusion and uncertainty about their respective roles in relation to legal aid, the absence of a clear strategic direction and poor management of legal aid changes at the Commission and the LSC?s lack of understanding of the legal services market. Maybe it is Parliament itself which ought to be bringing the responsible Ministers to heel?
Finally, we have all heard of the (now former) England Football team captain, John Terry. The idea of using a so-called ?super injunction? to prevent publicity of his extra-marital affair came to an end before Mr Justice Tugendhat in Terry v Persons Unknown  119 (QB). No doubt we will hear more of this matter because it certainly sells newspapers!
If the need for all this money continues, we will need some more quantitative easing!Addendum 7th February
- In 1998-99, the meaning of "proceedings in Parliament" was considered by a Joint Committee on Parliamentary Privilege. Report.
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Law and Rights