The UKSC Blog will now be providing, in addition to the weekly preview of upcoming events in the Supreme Court, a summary of ‘the week that was’. Once the Court begins sitting we will be providing a summary of the cases heard and judgments handed down during the week – in addition to  general news – but for the moment we begin the New Year with a more general roundup of the past week’s events.

In the House of Commons the three main parties are preparing for a tussle over control orders as Nick Clegg outlines coalition thinking on civil liberties on Friday. The coalition plans on the use of control orders, house arrest and tagging and surveillance are eagerly awaited, but it is likely that the proposals (whatever they may be) will split the parties. The prospect of a fight over control orders has overshadowed the news that the Independent Parliamentary Standards Committee is launching a review of the MPs expenses scheme, the abuse of which was the subject of the judgment in R v Chaytor & Ors handed down in December 2010.

Following December’s tuition fee protests, it appears that Nick Clegg is attempting the re-establish his liberal credentials. The Deputy Prime Minister has announced that freedom of information laws are to be expanded and that Britain’s ‘laughing stock’ libel laws will be reformed.

New figures reveal that, following the Government’s decision in December allowing prisoners serving less than four years to vote, 28,000 prisoners will win the right to vote. The Government’s decision was a long-awaited response to the ECHR’s judgment in the 2005 case of Hirst v UK.

There are fresh calls to reopen the investigation into the News of the World phone-hacking inquiry. The scandal blew open again on Wednesday after the News of the World announced that Ian Edmondson, the paper’s assistant editor (news), had been “suspended from active duties” before Christmas following a “serious allegation” that he was involved in phone hacking. It is going to be a tough week for the News of The World, as the case of Mosley v United Kingdom, concerning the newspaper’s release in 2008 of an edited video of the formula one chief, is due to be heard in the ECHR on the 11th January.

New Year is traditionally a time to both review the past year and look to the future. The Law Society Gazette has published a list of predictions for the coming year. The legal aid cuts and the consequent effect on lawyers appears uppermost in people’s minds, with one prediction being that 2011 will be the year that the legal profession is ‘truly rocked’. Looking backwards, the latest legal ‘Blawg Review’ has been published. Inevitably, the review considered the controversial issue of the courtroom tweeting and blogging from court – coming to the unsurprising conclusion that the effect of legal blogging on the justice system is generally a positive one and that you should ‘always tweet on the bright side of life’.

On that note, the UKSC blog wishes you a Happy New Year.