7th December 2018
This week, the Justice Beat covers the latest Brexit courtroom drama, an ethical vegan claiming discrimination by his employer and a controversial Voter ID scheme.
Brexit bust up
Brexit continues to dominate headlines, but perhaps less well-known is the fact that many of the legal challenges shaping Brexit were made possible by crowdfunding.
1. It is “very likely” that excessive spending by Vote Leave altered the result of the referendum, an Oxford professor claims. The Independent reports that Professor Philip Howard, Director of the Oxford Internet Institute, makes this statement in an expert report given in evidence at a landmark case in the High Court today, on whether the Brexit Referendum should be declared void because electoral spending laws were broken. The claimants are crowdfunding on CrowdJustice.
2. Meanwhile, a top European Court advisor has said that the UK should be able to cancel Brexit, the BBC reports. A non-binding opinion by Advocate General Campos Sánchez-Bordona expresses his belief that the UK can withdraw Article 50 notification without needing the approval of other EU member states. The Court’s decision is expected to follow soon. The Good Law Project, which got the case to the European Court, are raising funds on CrowdJustice to continue the fight.
Do you believe?
3. Is veganism a philosophical belief? An employment tribunal will soon have to decide. The claim is being brought by Jordi Casamitjana, who was dismissed by his employer after he raised concerns that its pension fund was being invested into companies using animal testing, the Law Society Gazette reports. Jordi considers his dismissal was based on his belief in ethical veganism. His employer, the League Against Cruel Sports, rejects that. Jordi is raising funds on CrowdJustice to cover his legal fees.
Get out the vote
4. Ministers are acting unlawfully by introducing a scheme requiring people to show ID before they vote, claims Neil Coughlan, a man from Essex who possesses no photo ID. According to the Guardian, critics of the scheme say that it will disproportionately affect vulnerable people, including the elderly. Neil argues that, by making it harder for people to vote, ministers are acting outside of their powers. He is raising funds on CrowdJustice to challenge the Voter ID scheme.
5. Meanwhile, US elections are being influenced by partisan electoral constituency lines, the New York Times reports. Elections in North Carolina involving gerrymandering - the partisan manipulation of electoral district boundaries - have been declared unconstitutional by federal judges. Commentators are concerned that gerrymandering results in "firewalls in key states" which no amount of campaigning could overcome.
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This week on CrowdJustice, PhD student Matthew Hedges, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in the UAE on suspicion of spying, is raising funds to clear his name, two dads who set up Monsta Pizza are crowdfunding to defend their business from US drinks giant Monster Energy in intellectual property proceedings, and a retired care worker is raising funds to take a case to the Supreme Court arguing that live-in carers should be paid the National Minimum Wage.
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Want to learn more about crowdfunding for legal action? Get in touch: email@example.com
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