Welcome to the Justice Beat, CrowdJustice’s weekly roundup of the most important legal stories from around the web. This week we focus on the gender pay gap, energy company showdowns and Donald Trump.
Mind the Gender Pay Gap
1. The BBC’s China editor, Carrie Gracie, made waves this week after resigning from her post in protest over the gender pay gap within the BBC. In an open letter, she accused the corporation of continuing a “secretive and illegal” culture of unequal salaries, with male international editors earning at least 50% more than women in the same job.
2. Meanwhile UK law firms have begun to release figures on their gender pay gaps, ahead of the deadline for all organisations with over 250 employees to publish pay differentials in April. Women at Herbert Smith Freehills are paid a fifth less than male counterparts, reports the Lawyer, while the Law Society Gazette reports that at CMS, women are paid 32.8% less; the Ministry of Justice pays 10.6% less to women per hour, and at the Crown Prosecution Service the gap is 25.3%.
Energy companies in court
3. New York City is set to sue the world’s five largest publicly traded oil companies over climate change, reports the Washington Post. Bill de Blasio, New York’s mayor, has accused the companies of being complicit in climate change and seeks compensation for the billions of dollars spent on protecting coastlines, infrastructure and citizens. Michael Burger, director of the Sabin Centre, told the Post that the case was significant because it was the first of its kind outside California.
4. Back in the UK, energy group INEOS has applied for a judicial review against the Scottish government’s ban on fracking. Scotland decided to enforce the ban after a public survey showed that an overwhelming 99% of Scottish people oppose fracking. Separately, a crowdfunded case to fight INEOS's injunction against protest is underway.
5. Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the US election, has told White House lawyers he is likely to want to interview Trump. However according to CNN, Trump's lawyers and close friends are advising him not to sit for an interview with Mueller– at least not voluntarily. The Hill reports that such an interview would be "fraught with peril for Trump."
6. In that vein, the Atlantic reads Michael Wolff's book so that you don't have to: "With the release of Fire and Fury—the gist of which is that even those in Trumpworld consider Trump unfit for office—Wolff is getting hammered by the president’s protectors." Whether Trump will try to use – or change – libel laws to retaliate, is yet to be seen.
This week on CrowdJustice, the UK’s only Latin American village fights for survival, an independent company defends their patent for an ecocompatible sunscreen formula, and residents in Bath and North Somerset fight to protect their social housing.