supreme-courtWelcome back. The Michaelmas Term starts next Thursday (3 October 2013) with Cotter v Commissioner for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs in the Supreme Court, and Bethel & Ors v The Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Bahamas in the Privy Council. Before the Justices break for Christmas on 20 December they will consider matters including the correct approach to take in determining whether a person has been deprived of their liberty under ECHR, article 5, evidence disclosure and PACE s 9 and Schedule 1, and what to do about a disappointingly small number of grouse on a moor. Here are a few cases to watch for over the coming weeks:

Bull & Anor v Hall & Anor (9 – 10 October): The appellant hotel owners refused to let the respondent couple, who are in a civil partnership, stay in a double room in their hotel. They argue that their policy of restricting double bedrooms to married couples is based on their devout Christian belief that any sexual relations outside of marriage are sinful. The County Court held that the appellants had directly discriminated against the respondents on the grounds of their sexual orientation under the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007, and a subsequent appeal to the Court of Appeal was dismissed.

R (HS2 Action Alliance Limited) v Secretary of State for Transport & Anor (15 – 16 October): The appellants are challenging the government’s decision to proceed with the ‘High Speed Two’ railway project. The Court of Appeal dismissed their claims in July.

Agricultural Sector (Wales) Bill (5 December): The Attorney General has referred this Bill for consideration by the Supreme Court as a devolution issue; that is, whether it was outside the legislative competence of the Welsh National Assembly to pass the legislation. This Bill would allow the Welsh government to set agricultural wages, and the Attorney General argues that this legislation falls under the non-devolved area of employment law rather than agricultural policy.

R (T & Anor) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (9 – 10 December): The respondents both had police cautions/warnings given long ago appear on enhanced criminal records checks. The Court of Appeal held that the disclosure regimes in the Police Act 1997 Part V and the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (SI 1975/1023) were incompatible with the right to private life under ECHR, art 8.