Relatives of those who lost their lives in 1948 in a massacre in what was then the Federation of Malaya have lost their High Court action. The Court held that although the British Government had command and control over the battalion of Scots Guards responsible, there was no legal obligation to hold a public inquiry into the killings.
In considering the temporal scope of art 2 it was held that the Supreme Court’s decision in Re McCaughey  UKSC 20 was clear that there was no obligation to conduct an inquiry into a death occurring before the HRA came into force, and so the Court did not consider arguments relating to the territorial scope of the ECHR. Also, due to the binding decision in Re McKerr  UKHL 12 that there was no common law right to an inquiry into a death the Court could not consider whether there was a duty at common law through interpretation of international law.
However, as a result of the action it was not disputed that there was now a duty under customary international law to conduct independent and effective investigations into wrongful deaths.
The Home Secretary will announce her decision on the extradition of Gary McKinnon by 16 October 2012. The US has sought his extradition to face trial for matters relating to computer hacking. The Independent reports that McKinnon’s solicitor has said that should the extradition be allowed, a pre-emptive application for judicial review of the decision has been fixed at the High Court in November.
Four cases relating to freedom of religion were heard at the European Court of Human Rights – Eweida, Chaplin, Ladele and McFarlane. This analysis on Halsbury’s blog divides the cases into two categories – those relating to the applicants wishing to wear religious symbols at work and those relating to the applicants not wanting to carry out duties which may imply they condone homosexuality. All four applicants invoke ECHR art 9 (freedom of religion) and art 14 (prohibition of discrimination).
The Home Office is correcting its records by abolishing historic convictions for gay sex. Men with criminal records relating to consensual gay sex can apply to have them deleted, a welcome and overdue development for those that have previously had to disclose their records in CRB checks.
A British businessman has begun a private prosecution against two British terror suspects in an attempt to prevent them being tried in America. Karl Watkin, an MBE holder who opposes the UK’s extradition agreement with the US, has applied to Westminster Magistrates’ Court for the issuing of a summons for the prosecution of two men (who are currently detained pending extradition) for supporting terrorist activity. The application is under consideration.
On Thursday the Supreme Court issued revised Practice Directions, in effect from 1 October 2012. The changes to Practice Directions 6 and 7 amend the timetable for filing cases – meaning the respondent’s case can be filed up to two weeks after the appellant’s, and then a full two weeks will be allowed after that date for filing the core and authorities volumes.