Category Archives: Northampton

Human rights, the law, common sense and the question of freedom.

imagesOn Friday 3rd October the Conservatives published a paper ironically but presumably unintentionally, entitled ‘Protecting Human Rights in the UK’ [1]. The aim of the proposal set out in the paper is to restore “common sense” and to “put Britain first” in relation to the legal protection of human rights.

As we shall see, the somewhat ill thought out proposal, seemingly largely driven by fear of increasing popularity of the UKIP party, seeks to restore the UK Parliament to full vigour, protecting our UK laws and UK constitution from interference by the Strasbourg Court and dastardly European human rights law.

In the paper the Conservative Party sets out its plans for the next Parliament for human rights law in UK. They propose:-

  1. to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998[2],
  2. incorporate the European Convention on Human Rights into primary legislation, and
  3. to pass a new British Bill of Rights to set out a “proper balance between rights and responsibilities”.

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Filed under Democracy, European Convention on Human Rights, European Court of Human Rights, Ghaidan v Gobin-Mendoza, Human Rights Act 1989, Law, Northampton, Parliamentary sovereignty, Protecting Human Rights in UK, Rule of Law, Uncategorized, Vinter and Others v United Kingdom

Aysha King – Medical Treatment and the notion of ‘neglect’.

????????????????????????On 3 September 2014 I was interviewed by Helen Blaby of BBC Radio Northampton [1] on the legal and social issues arising from the case of Aysha King.

The story, although not establishing any legal precedent in UK, raises a number of interesting legal and moral issues.

The primary point was whether the parents were entitled to remove their 5 year old son from the hospital care on the basis that the treatment they felt was appropriate for Aysha was not offered in UK by the National Health Service, (‘NHS’). Unfortunately, in absence of a Court order that specific medical treatment is provided and which can only be granted in judicial review proceedings, a doctor cannot be lawfully compelled by the parents to provide specific medical treatment at the behest of the parents.

It remains a matter of professional medial judgment as to what treatment is appropriate for a particular patient. However, the parents with parental responsibility powers are entitled to remove their child from the hospital in face of medical advice, similarly to any adult who can discharge themselves from hospital in face of contrary medical advice.

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Filed under Children Act 1989, Children and Young Persons Act 1933, European Convention on Human Rights, Law, Medical treatment, Northampton, Radio Prague, Uncategorized

The “52 week, 24 hour” University.

On 7 May 2014 The Northampton Chronicle & Echo reported that: “The University of Northampton has unveiled plans to dispense with the traditional three-month student summer holiday and move towards a “52-week, 24 hour” campus arrangement.”[1]

The newspaper reports a rather fascinating but potentially disruptive and revolutionary notion . If on the one hand the report of the alleged proposal is factually accurate, in Kuhnian[2] terms the proposal would amount to as yet undiscovered ‘paradigm to shift’ and one unsustainable by any credible evidence, quite consistent with Kuhnian theory.

If, on the other hand, the Northampton Chronicle is reporting an ideological (im)position seeking to articulate an expression of bare power, that is quite a different matter. As we know, statements of belief, especially those ‘religiously’ held as matters of fundamentalist principle, are not by definition capable of rational critique or analysis. Such statements owe their existence and justification to the potentiality and the politico-juridical actuality of pure violence. Continue reading

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Filed under Higher Education, Northampton, Uncategorized, Universities

Digital media and altered states.

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Recently I came across copies of a couple of my popular legal articles published by the Northampton Chronicle & Echo in April and June 2009. It came as a shock to discover that the newspaper no longer publishes printed papers on a daily basis and is no longer even printed in Northampton. We may reflect on whether technology has altered our perception of the spaces surrounding us and those we make, how we express ourselves and how we interact with our experiences. 

‘The law aims for a clean break’
Northampton Chronicle & Echo – 24 April 2009

Chronicle clean break

The history of the Chronicle & Echo, (The Chron) a well-liked local daily newspaper, mirrors the trajectory of many a printed paper in analogy with creative expression of ideas: a trajectory taking it from predictable public everyday local spaces to private and yet omnipresent existence. There is no doubt that the dematerialisation of the printed word by digital technology has altered our states of perception and of our self-expression.

A brief glance at the history of The Chron offers an example of such transformation. The paper was established in 1931 from a merger of two weekly and two monthly papers. And one could say it was the precursor of modern-day political coalitions: the original Chronicle was a Tory and the Echo was a  Liberal paper [1].

It asserted its physical and geographical existence in a strikingly visible architectural presence symbolising local endeavor, political and social identity and local sovereignty. Until 1970’s The Chron was published out of its striking Art Deco offices overlooking Northampton’s famous Market Square.

In 1978 it moved to brand new purpose built offices in Upper Mounts boasting the most up to date computerised printing presses [2].  On 26 May 2012 it ceased daily print publication. And now it is printed only a weekly basis and in Peterborough.

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Filed under Media, Northampton, Uncategorized