Court reforms will restrict reporting
The Newspaper Society has warned that court cases will become increasingly closed to public scrutiny under new plans to end the reading aloud of written statements and guilty pleas. The reforms are part of the government’s draft Deregulation Bill, which aims to reduce red tape and regulation. The Newspaper Society said that the effect of the proposals for magistrates’ courts would be to place further restrictions on reporting that will make it more difficult for local newspapers in particular.
The Times, Page: 2
Protecting the justice system
The Times carries a letter from John Mack who responds to comments from John Wilson earlier this week about legal aid. Mr Mack remarks that many criminal barristers and solicitors already work for nothing and that being paid for a job is hardly a scam. He adds that if the government can find £600m for school lunches, it can afford £220m to protect the criminal justice process.
The Times, Page: 27
Regulator refuses to act on warnings
A former inspector at the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has claimed that elderly people are being left to suffer in appalling conditions because regulators refuse to act on warnings. Rebecca Prideaux told the Telegraph that poor care routinely goes unchecked because staff at the CQC are given inadequate training. She added that workers are discouraged from taking robust action when they uncover risks to the most vulnerable.
The Daily Telegraph, Page: 1, 4
QC concerned over independence
Aidan O’Neill, QC, has raised concerns about Scotland’s independence following outspoken attacks on the Supreme Court by Alex Salmond and Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill. Mr O’Neill said he feared that ministers who were prepared to “attack judges” and “intimidate individuals” would become too powerful in an independent Scotland.
The Herald, Page: 7 The Scotsman, Page: 13
Regulator moves to private sector
Paul Sharma, the deputy head of the Prudential Regulation Authority, has left the regulator to take up a post at Alvarez & Marsel, which advises on company restructurings and turnarounds. Mr Sharma formerly worked at EY and the Department for Trade & Industry.
The Times, Page: 60
Smoking ban could lead to human rights challenge
Campaign groups have warned that the Prison Service will face human rights legal challenges if a smoking ban is introduced in jails. Mark Johnson, the chief executive of prisoner charity User Voice, said smoking is a “human right” and he added that prisoners who smoke could take legal action if the ban is imposed. Meanwhile, campaigners for the victims of crime welcomed the proposed ban. Dee Edwards, of the R and K Foundation, a crime victims’ group, said: “Prisoners are already better fed and cared for than pensioners so why should they be treated any different to the rest of society?”
The Daily Telegraph, Page: 14 The Independent, Page: 12
Charity workers fear change in care law
Voluntary organisations in Scotland have warned that charity workers face being marginalised by Scottish government proposals which aim to improve social care. Martin Sime, the chief executive of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, said community voices were being excluded from the debate and he feared the Public Bodies (Joint Working) Bill would perpetuate bad care decisions.
The Herald, Page: 1-2
The FT’s Lucy Warwick-Ching comments that the Lords should act to retain manorial rights. Crispin Mahony, head of rural at Savills, and Henry Cecil, partner at Bircham Dyson Bell, provide opinion.
Financial Times, Money, Page: 4
Police officers could face charges
Two serving chief constables could face criminal charges over claims that their former force hushed up the activities of a corrupt unit to secure convictions in a gangland murder trial. The CPS will consider charging 14 officers including Gloucestershire Chief Constable Suzette Davenport and Adrian Lee, the chief constable of Northamptonshire Police, after the convictions of five men were quashed for what judges said was an “apparent serious perversion of the course of justice”. All the officers who could now face prosecution worked for Staffordshire Police during the investigation of the murder of Kevin Nunes, who was found dead in a country lane in 2002.
The Guardian, Page: 7 The Times, Page: 11 The Daily Telegraph, Page: 2 The Independent, Page: 24
Sports stores fixed prices
The Office of Fair Trading has accused three major department stores – Debenhams, John Lewis and House of Fraser – of colluding with a manufacturer to fix the price of sports bras. The agency said the trio agreed to set the prices of the Shock Absorber range of bras, made by DB Apparel UK. Ann Pope, senior director of services, infrastructure and public markets at the OFT, said: “No assumption should be made at this stage that there has been an infringement of competition law. We will carefully consider the parties’ representations to the statement of objections before deciding whether competition law has in fact been infringed.”
Financial Times, Page: 16 The Times, Page: 59 The Independent, Page: 52-53 The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 35 The Guardian, Page: 5 Daily Mail, Page: 5 Evening Standard, Page: 61 The Scotsman, Page: 11 BBC News
Ecclestone trial delayed
A decision by a German court on whether to bring Bernie Ecclestone, the F1 magnate, to trial on bribery charges has been delayed until next year after his lawyers asked for more time to prepare his arguments.
Financial Times, Page: 4
The FT carries a series of legal questions from readers: Michelle Chance, employment partner at Kingsley Napley, responds to a query about working hours; Yuri Korchuganov, a senior Advocate and the head of the IP practice at MGAP Attorneys at Law, offers advice on intellectual property rights in Russia; And Stephen Moore, head of employment and HR at Ashfords, outlines best practice with regard to restrictive covenants in the workplace.
Financial Times, Page: 25
Ashfords has elected Mark Lomas as its new chairman.
Sheikh owes £261k in unpaid fees
A member of the Qatari royal family, Sheikh Saud Bin Mohammed Bin Ali Al-Thani, has been ordered to pay SJ Berwin £261,279 in unpaid fees for advice given when his assets were frozen after he failed to pay auction houses for bids he won.
Labour has no intention of taxing the middle
Rachel Reeves, the deputy shadow chancellor, is interviewed in the Telegraph ahead of the Labour party conference next week. Ms Reeves comments that only the “privileged few” on salaries of more than £150,000 should be expected to contribute more. She said: “I think the focus should be on those privileged few right at the top, and that’s not people earning £50,000 or £60,000 a year. We don’t have any plans or desire to increase taxes amongst people in that band of income.” Ms Reeves also signals that Labour will seek to raise the minimum wage quicker, obliging many employers to pay staff more. Elsewhere, the Times carries an interview with Ed Balls, the Shadow Chancellor, who says the party supports a mansion tax on homes worth more than £2m and it would also look to amend the government’s Help to Buy scheme, so as only first time buyers can participate. He also promises to build 400,000 new homes.
The Daily Telegraph, Page: 12 The Times, Page: 8-9
Miliband pledges to reverse social housing changes
The Labour leader Ed Miliband has pledged to reverse changes to housing benefit if his party wins the next election. He said the cuts affecting social tenants in England, Scotland and Wales deemed to have spare bedrooms was unfair. Labour aims to fund its change by blocking tax cuts for businesses, namely by scrapping a tax break for hedge funds and the Treasury’s new shares-for-rights scheme.
The Independent, Page: 1, 7 The Times, Page: 8-9 Daily Express, Page: 4 Daily Mirror, Page: 1, 8-9, 12 The Sun, Page: 2 The Herald, Page: 1-2 BBC News
France and Britain set to spar
The Telegraph reports that France will clash with Britain and other countries next week over its proposals for a new data levy on Google and other U.S. digital technology companies. France is expected to be at odds with Britain over its plans to establish a tax regime for digital companies that ensures that the profits they make in Europe are subject to taxation and shared between EU member states. Britain will reportedly oppose the proposal on legal and economic grounds and because it would give taxation powers to the EU.
The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 35
Cash purchases at record high
A new report from Savills and Hometrack shows that the share of UK homes being purchased entirely with cash has risen to a record high of more than a third. In the past year, £83bn of houses were bought without debt out of a total of £237bn. The total amount of equity funded expenditure, including mortgage deposits and cash, now stands at 62%, compared to the historical average of below 50%. The FT comments that the figures cast a doubt on fears of a new debt-fuelled bubble. “A housing bubble is defined by prices rising at unsustainable levels and people taking on too much debt,” said Richard Donnell, research director at Hometrack, “neither of those things is happening”. Lucian Cook, residential research director at Savills, said: “There needs to be some reality check about what a housing bubble is; we are, at best, in a moderate recovery.”
Financial Times, Page: 1
Migrant check plans to be scaled back
Plans to fine landlords up to £3,000 if they fail to check their tenants’ immigration status are in chaos and will have to be dramatically scaled back, according to government sources. One senior source told the Mail that the proposal, contained in a new Immigration Bill, would have to be amended to exclude nine out of ten people with second homes – focusing it narrowly on industrial landlords with large chains of properties.
Daily Mail, Page: 30
Government spending cuts reduce debt burden
The Office for National Statistics has reported that public sector net borrowing fell to £13.2bn in August, from £14.4bn in the same month last year. The better than expected numbers were mainly driven by a drop in central government spending, which was down by 2.2%. For the first five months of the current tax year, the deficit on this measure came in at £46.8bn, compared to £50.5bn at the same point last year. The ONS also lowered the government’s borrowing for the 2012-13 financial year by £900m to £115.7bn.
Financial Times, Page: 4 The Times, Page: 57 The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 35-36
Office worker inspired by Erin
A bullied secretary quit her job to take up a law degree to fight her bosses in court after being inspired by the movie Erin Brockovich. Dyslexic Alex Gibson said she was determined to get justice after suffering taunts at work so she studied law just like the real-life environmental campaigner, who was played by Julia Roberts in the film. Ms Gibson was doubly successful after receiving a first-class degree in law and winning her case against her former employers.
The Daily Telegraph, Page: 7 The Times, Page: 15 Daily Mail, Page: 11 Daily Express, Page: 21