The Supreme Court faced hostility from Parliament and the press as David Cameron announced that the government would comply with the Court’s ruling in JF (by his litigation friend OF)) & Anor v SSHD [2010] UKSC 17 that allows sex offenders to challenge their inclusion in the sex offenders’ register.  Theresa May said that she was ‘appalled’ by the decision but the Government had no choice but to implement it. The varying media coverage of recent judicial decisions has been the subject of a number of legal blog posts, which have criticised certain papers for characterizing judges both here and abroad as unelected dictators. The Guardian picked up on the issue in an editorial piece, which sought to refute claims of ‘judicial overreach’.

The Supreme Court has refused BAA leave to appeal against the ruling of Court of Appeal that it must sell Stansted and either Glasgow or Edinburgh Airport. BAA has mounted a string of legal challenges in an attempt to keep them ever since the Competition Commission ruled in 2009 that BAA must sell three of its seven UK airports.

The debate over Britain’s relationship with the ECHR continues. Jean Paul Costa, the president of the ECtHR, said that Britain shows signs of dictatorship if it rejects the ECtHR’s ruling on prisoner’s votes, a statement which did not go down too well with the government or MPs. Cian Murphy has accused politicians of ‘constitutional chauvinism’ in their attitude to the ECHR and Joshua Rozenberg has suggested that the Court should make Sir Nicholas Bratza its next president in order to boost its credibility in the UK.

This week saw a number of public figures speak out in defence of legal aid. Baroness Butler Sloss warned that the government’s planned legal aid cuts will have a ‘serious adverse long-term effect’ on the justice system. The Bar Standards Board has published its response to the proposed cuts. Baroness Deech, Chair of the Bar Standards Board, said that the BSB is ‘alarmed that these proposals will disproportionately affect the most vulnerable consumers at a time when they need the most protection’.

Two interesting speeches were given last week, Keir Starmer QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions, made a speech on the topic of Equality and Diversity to the Bar Standards Board. The DPP said that “Equality and Diversity should not only be a commitment for the public sector but fairness and diversity should be mandatory across the Bar.” Lord Justice Carnwath, speaking at the Hyderabad Commonwealth Law Conference, gave a speech on the topic of ‘Rethinking the legal profession in the 21st century’.