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United Kingdom: Chagos Islanders Prohibited from Returning Home amid Diego Garcia Security Concerns

(Oct. 24, 2008) The House of Lords, the highest court in the United Kingdom, has overturned a ruling that permitted islanders removed from the Chagos Islands (now known as the British Indian Ocean Territory) in the 1960s to return home. The Islanders were removed as part of an agreement between the UK and the United […]

United Kingdom: Icelandic Banks’; UK Firms' Assets Frozen in Response to Bank Collapse

(Oct. 17, 2008) The collapse of several of Iceland's banks has led to a highly charged diplomatic dispute and intensive negotiations between Icelandic and British authorities. A delegation of British Treasury officials was in Iceland over the weekend of October 10, 2008, to attempt to resolve the issue. The failed Icelandic banks reportedly hold over […]

United Kingdom: Competition Laws Waived to Allow Bank Merger

(Oct. 17, 2008) The Government of the United Kingdom is currently in the process of amending its competition laws to facilitate the proposed merger of two large banking establishments in the UK, Lloyds TSB and Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS). On September 17, 2008, the Secretary of State for Business and Enterprise issued an Intervention […]

United Kingdom: Ruling Opens the Door for Families of Deceased Troops to Sue the Military

(Aug. 26, 2008) A High Court ruling of April 11, 2008, on the conduct of inquests into the deaths of soldiers serving overseas has paved the way for families of British troops killed in action due to faulty equipment to sue the government. The ruling notes that the army has a broad duty of care […]

United Kingdom: Commons Passes Pre-Charge Detention Bill

(July 2, 2008) On June 11, 2008, a bill to extend the time period that terrorist suspects can be held without charge to gather evidence for criminal cases was passed by a narrow majority in the House of Commons. The counter-terrorism bill extends the period of pre-charge detention from 28 days to 42. The extension […]

United Kingdom: Unmarried Couples Allowed to Adopt in Northern Ireland

(July 2, 2008) Northern Irish adoption law has been brought into line with that of the rest of the United Kingdom, after the House of Lords declared on June 18, 2008, that sections 14 and 15 of the Adoption (Northern Ireland) Order (SI 1987 No2203 (NI22)) contravened article 8 (the right to family life) and […]

United Kingdom: Terrorist Loses US Extradition Appeal

(July 2, 2008) A controversial Muslim cleric, Abu Hamza, currently imprisoned in the United Kingdom for stirring up racial hatred, recently had his appeal against extradition to the United States rejected by the English High Court. Hamza was the first person to be arrested under the Anglo-American extradition treaty and is sought in the United […]

United Kingdom: Enforcement of Female Circumcision Laws

(July 2, 2008) The British police are reportedly increasing checks on flights leaving for nations that are known to continue the practice of female circumcision. This practice was made unlawful in the United Kingdom in 1985, through the Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act. There were no prosecutions under this Act, and in response to concerns […]

United Kingdom: Points-Based Immigration System Declared Unlawful

(June 2, 2008) The recently introduced points-based immigration system in the UK, under which migrants are awarded points for meeting various criteria to obtain entry into the UK, has been introduced unlawfully, according to British courts. The new regime unlawfully prejudiced migrants already in the country under the old system by increasing the requirements to […]

United Kingdom: Terrorism Laws Continue to Be Implemented

(May 2, 2008) The terrorism laws of the United Kingdom are continuing to be implemented in the courts, with individuals prosecuted frequently being jailed under these provisions. Most recently, a male, British-born Muslim convert has been jailed for four and a half years for terrorism-related offenses that occurred during an inflammatory speech in a London […]