That-was-the-weekSchedule 7 to the Terrorism Act 2000 was in the news again this week. In Beghal v Director of Public Prosecutions the compatibility of the powers to “stop, question and detain” contained in Schedule 7 were tested against articles 5, 6 and 8 of the ECHR. The High Court distinguished Gillan v UK and found that the powers in Sch 7 were a fair balance between the rights of the individual and the interests of the community. However, although Schedule 7 “survived” this particular challenge, it was remarked that there was certainly room for improvement, and that legislative amendments should be considered.

Two CPS employees who defrauded the government department out of over £1 million over five years were each sentenced to six years imprisonment. The finance manager and office worker had created invoices for a fictitious cab firm that catered for witnesses and banked the remittance. In his sentencing remarks Judge Davis QC mentioned that the CPS’s substantial losses at a time when it is already under serious financial pressure were an aggravating factor. Large sums of the money lost remain unaccounted for.

One of the Greenpeace protesters who climbed the Shard in London Bridge last month appeared at Camberwell Green Magistrates’ Court charged with obstructing or disrupting a person engaged in a lawful activity. She is the only one of the six women who climbed the outside of the building to be charged – the others were cautioned. She was bailed on the condition that she does not get involved in any climbing protests, and a condition that she must not be in possession of any climbing equipment outside a climbing wall other than in certain areas was dropped.

The Ministry of Justice asked the police to investigate alleged fraudulent behaviour by prisoner escorting contractor Serco’s staff. A disparity between Serco’s records of delivering prisoners ready for court – a key element of measuring contract performance – and the actual situation had become apparent. The contract between the Ministry and Serco has been put under administrative supervision, and Serco have been notified that they will have to undergo an overhaul of the management responsible and open their accounts to government scrutiny.

A patents court ruled on a dispute between the designer of a “Kinky Bed” and a manufacturer of bondage slings. A frame was commissioned by the sling seller, but the two men later fell out and the designer marketed his own frame complete with a sling. It was held that the designer had infringed a right to the frame, but not to the sling.