Opposition to the government’s legal aid, sentencing and punishment of offenders bill continues to grow. The family of Milly Dowler, the murdered teenager whose mobile phone was hacked by the News of the World, has written to the prime minister urging him to abandon legal reforms that will prevent victims suing for compensation. In addition, Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) has issued judicial review proceedings against the government on the basis that the cuts are “irrational and unfair”, and will prevent patients mentally or physically damaged by the NHS from bringing claims. It has also been suggested that the government’s plans to remove legal aid in private law family cases will place the UK in breach of its obligations under a United Nations convention to prevent discrimination against women. Cris McCurley, partner and head of international family law at north-east firm Ben Hoare Bell, said that the Legal Aid Bill contravenes the UK’s obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). If the bill is enacted as it stands, McCurley said a judicial review on the domestic violence provisions is ‘inevitable’.

The debate over the reform of the ECtHR continues following a ruling that a young Nigerian convicted of rape could not be deported, on the grounds that it would violate his right to family life. How much of a precedent the case will set was not immediately clear. The man was convicted of rape at the age of 15 but parole reports showed he had responded “positively” to rehabilitation and was subsequently deemed to pose a low risk of reoffending. Unsurprisingly, the case received vehement criticism from some quarters, but Simon Hetherington on the Halsburys Law Exchange argued that it should not be allowed to distort the debate over the true reforms required by the ECtHR, namely that the cases that the ECtHR can hear should be limited and it should be ensured that member states carry out their role in implementing and enforcing the convention.

An equal pay claim by hundreds of women working at Sheffield City Council has been settled before it reached a Supreme Court hearing next month. About 900 women, including dinner ladies and care workers, had claimed they were paid less than male workers. Sheffield City Council faced making payments of about £20m if it lost the case at the Supreme Court. Julie Toner, director of human resources at Sheffield City Council, said the council had carried out an exhaustive process to reach an “amicable and positive” settlement.

David Cameron and his most senior aides face being forced to open up their private email accounts to see if they contain details of sensitive government business hidden from the Civil Service, The Independent reports. A meeting of permanent secretaries yesterday discussed ordering a “trawl” of personal email accounts held by Mr Cameron, senior aides and government ministers to see if they contain messages which fall within the remit of the Freedom of Information Act.

The first appeals by people convicted of being involved in the August riots are due to be heard this week. They will include challenges by two men who were jailed for four years for setting up Facebook pages inciting others to riot. A Judicial Office spokesman confirmed today that 10 cases stemming from the rioting and looting in several English cities have so far been listed in the Court of Appeal for Tuesday. One of the key issues for the appeal court will be whether tough sentences handed down were “proportionate” in the light of the seriousness of the riots, or whether they were excessive.

The Metropolitan police has dropped its attempt to force the Guardian to reveal confidential sources for stories relating to the phone-hacking scandal. Scotland Yard wanted a court order to force reporters to reveal confidential sources for articles disclosing that the murdered teenager Milly Dowler’s phone was hacked on behalf of the News of the World.

Finally, BBC Worldwide is suing an Italian television network owned by Silvio Berlusconi over claims that it has copied Strictly Come Dancing. The case concerns a new show called Baila!, which is set to debut on Mediaset’s Canale 5 later this month. BBC Worldwide contends it copies Strictly’s concept.