The Ministry of Defence has been condemned by the high court for stifling legal challenges over the treatment of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan. Overturning restrictions on access to legal aid, Lord Justice Laws and Mr Justice Stadlen ruled that cutting off funding for public interest cases about allegations of UK involvement in torture was unlawful. A strongly worded judgment said the former defence secretary Bob Ainsworth lobbied behind closed doors to avoid embarrassing court decisions in a way that was damaging and “frankly inimical to the rule of law”.

Rail infrastructure company Network Rail (NR) was fined £3 million today for safety failings over the 2002 Potters Bar train crash which claimed seven lives. NR had admitted breaching health and safety regulations in the May 2002 Hertfordshire disaster. Its predecessor company Railtrack was the infrastructure company in charge at the time of the crash but NR has shouldered the responsibility.

Four men who believe the News of the World hacked their phones have applied to the High Court again for a judicial review into the police inquiry. The group, which includes Lord Prescott and Labour MP Chris Bryant, claim handling of the cases breached their rights and want to take judicial proceedings against the Metropolitan Police Commissioner. Their previous application was rejected in February.

Adam Wagner, in an excellent article on the UKHR blog, has again called upon the Supreme Court to make footage of hearings more widely available. At present all proceedings are filmed, but footage is only available upon request by broadcasters. Wagner suggests that proceedings could be streamed live, in a similar manner to the way in which parliamentary proceedings are streamed. However the Court has said that it does not have sufficient funds to do so, despite the benefits of transparency and access to judicial proceedings. The post followed news that judges are to be consulted about how cameras could be allowed into courtrooms to televise trials.

The European Court of Human Rights released its judgment in the case of Mosley v  UK on Tuesday. The Court found that Mr. Mosley had no right to prior notification from the press. The judgment was presented by many as a triumph for the press, however as Hugh Tomlinson points out, the press won the battle but the judgment confirms that it has lost the “privacy war”.  In effect, English law on the misuse of private information remains unchanged. On a related topic, a report has just been published on the ‘Legitimacy of the ECHR’, the report should be interesting reading given the hyperbole that often surrounds the Court in the British media.

The Law Society is set to launch legal proceedings against the owner of Solicitors from Hell, the website that blacklists law firms and solicitors. Chancery Lane will seek two injunctions against the site and its owner Rick Kordowski: one on behalf of solicitors and firms named on the site, and a second on behalf of the wider profession.

An independent review that could lead to a dramatic overhaul of copyright law in Britain is scheduled to be released next week. The Hargreaves Review into the country’s intellectual-property framework, launched by the Prime Minister in November, had been due for publication in April but was delayed until after the local elections.

Finally, in the latest installment of the super-injunction/twitter saga, a high court judge has issued an injunction which for the first time explicitly bans publication of information on Twitter and Facebook. The order, made by Mr Justice Baker in the court of protection places a specific ban on publishing information on any “social network or media including Twitter or Facebook”, as well as in other media.