Detention of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

British-Iranian dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been detained in Iran since 2016. The UK Government has called her detention arbitrary and has lobbied the Iranian Government for her release. Her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, and her MP, Tulip Siddiq, have called on the Government to do more to secure her freedom.

Detention of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Misogyny: a new hate crime?

‘Hate crime’ is used to describe a range of criminal behaviour that a victim or other person perceives to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards a person’s disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity. These aspects of a person’s identity are referred to as ‘protected characteristics’. There have been recent calls to extend the protected characteristics to cover sex and gender. This would see misogyny become a hate crime.

Misogyny: a new hate crime?

Accusations of genocide against Uyghurs in Xinjiang, China

Several countries and parliaments have accused China of committing genocide against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. The UK Government maintains that only a competent court can make this determination. However, the Times reported that the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Elizabeth Truss, had previously accused China of committing genocide. The House of Lords is due to take note of these reported remarks on 25 November 2021.

Accusations of genocide against Uyghurs in Xinjiang, China
  • In Focus

    Coroners (Determination of Suicide) Bill [HL]

    This private member’s bill would enable a coroner to record gambling addiction as a relevant factor to a death by suicide. Currently, data on the correlation between problem gambling and deaths by suicide remains limited. Public Health England’s recent evidence review on gambling-related harms concluded that problem gambling should be deemed a public health issue. The bill will receive its second reading in the House of Lords on 19 November 2021.

  • In Focus

    Forensic science services and the criminal justice system

    Forensic science services are a key part of the criminal justice system in England and Wales. The provision of such services has been the subject of scrutiny in recent years. This article considers recent developments in the area, including the Forensic Capability Network and the latest appointment of the Forensic Science Regulator. It also considers the House of Lords debate on forensic science services in the criminal justice system that took place in April 2021.

  • In Focus

    Black History Month: racism in football

    Racist abuse continues to blight English football. The three England players who missed a penalty in the UEFA Euro 2020 final were subject to online racist abuse from supporters after the match. To mark Black History Month 2021, this article looks at the personal experiences of some former players who experienced racist discrimination. It also examines the history of legislation around tackling racism in football and takes a brief look at what social media companies are doing to tackle online abuse.

  • In Focus

    Coronavirus Act 2020: debate on temporary provisions

    As the Covid-19 pandemic progressed in March 2020, the Coronavirus Act 2020 came into force. This provided UK public bodies with a suite of powers to respond to the situation. Most provisions within the act are temporary and set to expire automatically in March 2022. The act requires these provisions to be scrutinised by Parliament periodically. This article considers what the act does, how it is scrutinised, and the UK and devolved governments’ Covid-19 plans for autumn/winter 2021–22.

  • In Focus

    Assisted Dying Bill [HL]

    This private member’s bill would create a legal framework to allow a terminally ill patient to end their life, provided they have the consent of two medical practitioners. The High Court would also have to provide consent. The form of death would be prescribed, self-administered life-ending drugs. The bill is scheduled to have its second reading in the House of Lords on 22 October 2021.

  • Research Briefing

    Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Bill [HL]

    This proposed law seeks to reform pensions across the public sector. It would also make other changes to the rules related to judicial offices. The pension reforms partly respond to a finding of unlawful discrimination in existing schemes and are partly aimed at improving the operation of public sector pensions. The changes relating to judicial offices are intended to improve recruitment and retention in the judiciary.

  • In Focus

    Human rights concerns in India

    For several years, concerns have been raised by international governments and human rights organisations about alleged human rights violations in India. Concerns include the protection of religious minorities in the country. India has disputed the allegations, reiterating its commitment to human rights. This article looks at some of those incidences, as well as concerns raised by human rights organisations.

  • Research Briefing

    Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

    The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is a wide-ranging piece of legislation that would make changes across the criminal justice system. This briefing considers: the background to the bill; what it would do; and what happened during its passage through the House of Commons.

  • In Focus

    Domestic abuse of older people

    Evidence suggests domestic abuse affects hundreds of thousands of older people in the UK every year. Reports since the first national lockdowns have also drawn attention to how the situation for many older victims has deteriorated due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This article examines what constitutes ‘elder abuse’, as well as risk factors, prevalence rates, and government action.

  • In Focus

    Magnitsky sanctions

    ‘Magnitsky’ sanctions target those responsible for human rights violations or corruption. The UK established a global human rights sanctions regime in 2020 and a global anti-corruption sanction regime this year, using powers in the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2021: justice

    The Queen’s Speech is taking place on 11 May 2021. This will set out the Government’s legislative and policy programme for the new parliamentary session. This article provides a summary of legislative proposals for justice and other announcements that may be included in the speech.

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