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United Kingdom: Supreme Court Rules on Widowed Parent’s Allowance for the Surviving Unmarried Partner

(Sept. 18, 2018) On August 30, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom issued a ruling stating that “section 39A of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992 [the Act] is incompatible with article 14 of the ECHR [European Convention on Human Rights], read with article 8, insofar as it precludes […]

United Kingdom: Supreme Court Rules on Heterosexual Civil Partnerships

(Sept. 14, 2018) On June 27, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom issued a declaration that “sections 1 and 3 of [the Civil Partnership Act 2004, (CPA)], to the extent that they preclude a different sex couple from entering into a civil partnership, are incompatible with article 14 of [the European Convention for […]

United Kingdom: Cliff Richard Wins Privacy Case Against BBC and South Yorkshire Police

(Sept. 11, 2018) On July 18, 2018, Sir Cliff Richard OBE was awarded £210,000 (about US$270,360) in general damages after the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) was held liable for infringing his privacy rights over the filming and broadcast of a search of his UK property by South Yorkshire Police (SYP) in relation to allegations of […]

Malta: Government Passes Three Laws to Encourage Blockchain Technology

(Aug. 31, 2018) On July 4, 2018, the Maltese government enacted three laws whose goal is to make Malta a haven for projects that rely on blockchain and other distributed ledger technology (DLT). The Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act (MDIA Act), Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Act (ITAS Act), and Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFA […]

United Kingdom: Bill to Increase Penalties for Targeting Transport Operators with Lasers

(Jan. 4, 2018) A new bill before the Parliament of the United Kingdom is set to increase the penalties that can be imposed on individuals who target transport operators with laser devices. The bill encompasses operators of not just planes, but a variety of vehicles, including trains, motor vehicles, pedal cycles, boats, hovercraft, and submarines. […]

United Kingdom: High-Speed Broadband to Be a Legal Right

(Jan. 3, 2018) In 2017, the United Kingdom government passed the Digital Economy Act, which implements policies contained in the 2015 Conservative Party Manifesto and regulates a number of areas relating to online activities. The aims of the Act include, but are not limited to, ensuring that both individuals and businesses have access to high-speed […]

United Kingdom: Space Industry Bill Rocketing Through Parliament

(Jan. 2, 2018) The Space Industry Bill recently had its third reading in the United Kingdom’s House of Lords and the government is hoping that it will be enacted in early 2018. (Space Industry Bill 2017-19, HC Bill 137, PARLIAMENT.UK.) While the bill has been the subject of puns, jokes, and references to science fiction during […]

United Kingdom: New Bill Strengthens Animal Protection, Recognizes Animals as Sentient Beings

(Dec. 14, 2017) A draft bill introduced before the British Parliament on December 12, 2017, aims to strengthen animal protection and contribute to raising welfare standards for animals across the United Kingdom. The Animal Welfare (Sentencing and Recognition of Sentience) Draft Bill will increase ten-fold the maximum sentence the courts can impose under section 32 […]

United Kingdom: Proposals for Greater Online Protection for Children

(Dec. 14, 2017) The Government of the United Kingdom has recently proposed an amendment to the Data Protection Bill to provide for greater protection for the privacy of children who engage in online activities. The Data Protection Bill is currently progressing through Parliament and will implement the European Union’s Data Protection Directive, which will apply […]