Post-Brexit ferry chartering, a trial of major constitutional significance for Spain, and an IS bride who wants out of Syria and back to the UK - they all feature in this week’s Justice Beat.
No deal and no ships?
1. The Government has used a“secretive and flawed procurement exercise” to charter back-up ferries in case of a no-deal Brexit, according to the companies which run Eurotunnel. They are suing the government over its award of ferry contracts, Bloomberg reports. One contract, worth £13.8m and awarded to UK-based Seaborne Freight, was scrapped when it became clear that the company didn’t own any ships.
Spanish “trial of the century”
2. Will the Spanish Supreme Court find former Catalan government ministers guilty of rebellion and sedition? A dozen civic leaders are on trial this week after holding a referendum in Catalonia and declaring independence from the rest of Spain in October 2017, the New York Times reports. One former minister, Clara Ponsati, raised almost £300,000 on CrowdJustice to fight extradition to Spain.
IS bride to return to UK?
3. Should a young woman who left Britain to join the so-called Islamic State in Syria be permitted to return to the UK? Shamima Begum is now 19, pregnant and residing in a refugee camp. She wants to return for the safety of her unborn child, the Independent reports. Security Minister Ben Wallace confirmed that, as a British citizen, Ms Begum “has a right to come home”, but he would not put British lives at risk to facilitate her return.
Tech giants under pressure
4. There's a growing case for regulating social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, writes legal scholar Cass Sunstein in Bloomberg Opinion. In light of the potential for social media to influence the democratic process, Sunsteinbelieves that targeted regulation could increase transparency and consumer protection, despite concerns that Government intervention could jeopardise free speech.
5. Meanwhile, Amazon has axed plans to build new Headquarters in New York City, after Queens residents took to the streets in protest, CNN reports. The locals believe that the HQ deal would be bad for the neighbourhood, but others lament the loss of jobs arising from Amazon's change of plan. A New Yorker columnist writes (jokingly) that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is eying up President Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Florida as a replacement.
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This week on CrowdJustice, an NHS radiographer with 34 years’ experience who believes she has been victimised since she raised concerns about patient safety is fundraising for an employment tribunal claim and the mother of 28-year old Hannah Warren, who died after disappearing from London, is raising funds for legal representation at an inquest into Hannah’s death.
In case you missed it, take a look at our latest blog - Equal love: three stories of how legal fundraising supported equal marriage, civil partnerships and unmarried couples.
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