That-was-the-week-150x150Baroness Neuberger (sister-in-law of Supreme Court President Lord Neuberger) was announced as the chair of an independent review into the Liverpool Care Pathway, a care plan for the dying that avoids unnecessary treatment and focuses on palliative measures. Neuberger will sit with a panel of experts and oversee investigations into complaints brought by bereaved relatives. The panel will report to MPs and the NHS Commissioning Board in the summer.

An internal Whitehall pamphlet showing the extent to which the Royal family have the power to consent to or block the progress of new laws was released. Laws shown to have been vetoed by the Queen included a private member’s bill laid before parliament during the Iraq war, which sought to transfer the power to authorise military strikes from the monarch to parliament. Andrew George MP was quoted in the Guardian:

“This is opening the eyes of those who believe the Queen only has a ceremonial role.”

“It shows the royals are playing an active role in the democratic process and we need greater transparency in parliament so we can be fully appraised of whether these powers of influence and veto are really appropriate. At any stage this issue could come up and surprise us and we could find parliament is less powerful than we thought it was.”

Laws on driving licences will be changed after it was found that there was a loophole which facilitated illegal trade in UK licences. A BBC investigation revealed that agencies were obtaining UK licences for foreign drivers via a Hong Kong licence, which can be automatically swapped for a UK licence. The new restrictions will mean that requests to exchange licences from outside the EU will only be accepted if the licence holder can prove that they have passed a driving test in a country where the testing standards are equivalent.

The High Court rejected the Met police’s attempt to strike out claims brought by women who claim they were tricked into relationships with undercover officers tasked with spying on their activist groups. Mr Justice Tugendhat held that the Investigatory Powers Tribunal had jurisdiction over the Human Rights Act 1998 claims but did not have any jurisdiction in regards to the common law claims for damages, which would have to be heard in the High Court. QBD proceedings were temporarily stayed pending the IPT’s decision.

Finally, a professor at the University of Newcastle has admitted to four counts of damaging cars after a late-night spree of scratching graffiti onto expensive cars. Luxury models had polite phrases such as “very silly”, “really wrong”, and “arbitrary” scratched into them with a screwdriver.