20th April - This week the Justice Beat focuses on the ministry of (in)justice, renting arrangements and chocolate wars.
Ministry of Injustice
1. A ‘vigil for justice’ attracted over 100 lawyers on Wednesday evening, a protest at the 40% real-terms budget cut to the Ministry of Justice, reports the Law Society Gazette. The event coincided with an announcement by the Law Society that the criminal defence profession would die out unless serious action is taken.
2. Not shocked, just angry: that’s how immigration lawyers have reacted to the Windrush scandal, says the Gazette. They’re surprised the press are treating the news as a novelty, with Windrush immigrants being denied access to housing, benefits and employment for decades.
Chocolate and the EU
3. How well do you know your chocolate bars? Not well enough, according to the European Court of Justice who took away KitKat’s EU trademark this week because the shape was not recognised as distinctive in some EU countries, reports the Guardian. The ruling is part of a wider trademark battle between Nestlé and Mondelez, who own Cadbury.
4. At least KitKat got their day in (the European) court...The Dutch government are standing in the way of British nationals attempting to clarify their rights as EU citizens, reports the Times. Yes you heard that right: the nation’s ministers are appealing a decision to allow the crowdfunded case to be heard at the European Court of Justice.
5. Unluckily for millennials, apparently a third will still be renting by the time they retire. In response, calls have been made for the UK to adopt a more European approach to long-term renting contracts, reports the Indy. The style of “indeterminate tenancy” contract in Germany allows for much longer term renting arrangements and limits on rent increases, claims a top think tank.
6. A committee of MPs has proposed that landlords who break the law by exploiting their tenants should have their properties confiscated, reports the BBC. This suggestion is part of a project to provide vulnerable tenants with greater protection, with some being crammed in to 3 bedroom houses with 25 residents.
This week on CrowdJustice, Vote Leave whistleblower Shahmir Sanni sues No 10 for outing him, Bring Back British Rail challenge Chris Grayling over the Virgin Trains East Coast contract, the Law Centre Network takes legal action against cuts to housing services, residents in Cirencester fight against new homes, and law students in Sussex fight against PSPOs used to deter the homeless.