23rd November 2018
This week, the Justice Beat focuses on suspicious deaths, online hate crimes and an attempt to block a Brexit case from going to the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Full steam ahead
1. As officials meet in Europe to discuss Theresa May’s proposed Brexit deal, the courts are grappling with an important question: can the UK’s Article 50 notification be revoked if we change our minds about leaving? This question will be answered by the Court of Justice of the European Union, after the Supreme Court dismissed an attempt by the Brexit Secretary to stop the question going to the European court, the Guardian reports. A group of Scottish MPs are raising funds on CrowdJustice to bring the case.
Looking for answers
2. A public inquiry is needed, after the police drop a two-year investigation into the deaths of 25 people in NHS mental health services, bereaved families say. The Independent reports that the investigation - launched following the death of 20-year-old Matthew Leahy, who was found hanged in a mental health unit - uncovered “clear and basic failings” in care, but Essex police have decided that there is not enough evidence to bring manslaughter charges.
3. Meanwhile, the family of Anwaar Lahrichi-Greenwood, who was found dead several hours after going missing in Ibiza, are seeking answers from Spanish authorities about the mysterious circumstances of his death, Metro reports. Months after Anwaar’s death, the family were shocked to discover that his heart was missing from his body after it was returned to the UK. The family are raising funds on CrowdJustice to pay for legal representation.
4. Posting abuse online can land you in a prison cell, as a man from Northumberland learned this week. According to the Crown Prosecution Service, 38-year-old Paul Hind was sentenced to 14 months’ imprisonment after posting abusive comments on Facebook pages commemorating young men and women who died in tragic circumstances. Meanwhile, the Home Office is rolling out a nationwide campaign to increase awareness that online abuse can constitute a hate crime.
5. We're proud to say that our founder and CEO, Julia Salasky, delivered the keynote speech in the Law Society’s Future of Law lecture series this week. Julia spoke about the role of technology in increasing access to justice. Also this week, the Economist published an article on how CrowdJustice is opening up access to Britain’s justice system.
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This week on CrowdJustice, a lecturer subjected to a “violent and degrading” strip search is raising funds to challenge the decision of a police misconduct panel dismissing her case against the custody sergeant and a Community Councillor in Falkirk, Scotland, is crowdfunding to give local communities a voice in achieving an enforceable ban on fracking.
The Parole Board has ruled that the ‘black cab rapist’ John Worboys must remain in prison, after the High Court overturned its previous decision to release him. His victims raised over £66,000 on CrowdJustice to challenge the decision to release Worboys. They were represented by Harriet Wistrich, solicitor at Birnberg Pierce and Director of the Centre for Women’s Justice, and Phillippa Kaufmann QC of Matrix Chambers.
Image credit: Flickr / Number 10