That-was-the-week-150x150The High Court dismissed five judicial review challenges to the Transport Secretary’s decisions to proceed with the HS2 railway plan, but upheld a sixth challenge to the Government’s proposed compensation scheme for homeowners affected by the plans on the grounds that its consultation process was so unfair as to be unlawful. However, despite the compensation ruling, the rail minister described the judgment as a “landmark victory” for the HS2 project.

Coroner Sir Robert Owen announced “with great reluctance” that the start of the inquest into the death of murdered spy Alexander Litvinenko will be delayed until 2 October 2013. The pre-inquest review heard that the coroner had considered hearing some parts of the inquest until the relevant evidence was compiled, but it was simply not possible. Both the UK government and Russia’s investigative committee have been slow to disclose documents, and tens of thousands of pages of documents will need to be translated from Russian.

The Sentencing Council opened a consultation on sentences for offences committed under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010, such as fly tipping. Responses are invited from the public before 6 June 2013 on factors that make environmental offences more or less serious. You can respond to the online survey here.

Lady Hale appeared at a question and answer session at the London School of Economics. Asked about a statement made by the justice secretary about repealing the Human Rights Act, she explained that it would allow parliament to pass laws incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights, which would be regretful. Following on from this, she explained that if the UK were to leave the human rights convention it would have to leave other European institutions, such as the Council of Europe and the EU. She said:

“I leave it to the politicians to decide whether that would be a price worth paying for it becoming easier to get rid of certain unpopular foreigners.”

MP for Falkirk Eric Joyce was alleged to have caused another pub brawl in a House of Commons bar. A fracas was reported at a karaoke night held at the Sports and Social Club on Thursday and police were called. He has now been barred from buying or being served alcohol anywhere in the Palace of Westminster.