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United Kingdom: Bill Introduces New Agency for Cutting-Edge Scientific Research

(Apr. 8, 2021) On March 2, 2021, the government of the United Kingdom (UK) introduced the Advanced Research and Invention Agency Bill. The bill provides for the establishment of an independent agency known as the Advanced Research and Invention Agency (ARIA) and sets out the legislative framework that details how the agency should be governed. […]

United Kingdom: New Law Provides Framework for Covert Human Intelligence

(Mar. 31, 2021) The United Kingdom enacted the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Act (the CHIS Act) on March 1, 2021. The CHIS Act provides a framework to provide a criminal conduct authorization (CCA) that enables covert human intelligence sources (CHIS) to participate in actions during the course of their work that would otherwise constitute a […]

England: “Nightingale Courts” Aim to Relieve Pandemic Backlog of Court Cases

(Mar. 29, 2021) England’s court administration agency, Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS), has introduced additional venues to be used as temporary courts to ease pressure on the courts and clear a backlog of cases. The backlog was caused in part by the closure of half the courts across England in March 2020 in […]

England: Permission to Appeal Granted in Case Requiring Court Order for Puberty-Blocking Treatment for Transgender Teenagers

(Mar. 19, 2021) On January 18, 2021, the High Court in England granted the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust permission to appeal a High Court ruling that children under 16 cannot give informed consent to receive puberty-blocking treatments, which effectively stopped both treatment and referrals for children under the age of 16 to the trust’s […]

England: Government Introduces Law to Allow More Flexible Proxy Voting in Local Elections Due to COVID-19

(Mar. 18, 2021) In England on February 23, 2021, the Representation of the People (Proxy Vote Applications) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021 were laid before Parliament. If enacted, the regulations will enable individuals who are self-quarantining or “shielding” due to COVID-19 to vote in local elections, scheduled for May 6, 2021, via a last minute proxy vote […]

United Kingdom: Uber Drivers Are Workers Entitled to Employment Law Protections, Supreme Court Rules

(Mar. 17, 2021) The Supreme Court, the United Kingdom’s highest court, upheld on February 19, 2021, a ruling from the Court of Appeal that drivers who brought an employment law claim against Uber in 2016 were not independent contractors and were entitled to the protections afforded workers under U.K. employment law. The high court rejected […]

England: Restrictions on Privacy in Parole Hearings Loosened

(Mar. 15, 2021) On February 8, 2021, England’s government announced its intention to amend rule 15 of the Parole Board Rules 2019, which provide that, with limited exceptions, all parole hearings should be held in private, to provide transparency and confidence in the parole system. Changes to the rules will end what is effectively a […]

England: Government Proposes Ban on Housing Children Under 16 in Unregulated Accommodations

(Mar. 11, 2021) In response to a consultation (survey) launched on February 12, 2021, on the provision of unregulated accommodations for children in care, England’s government recently announced its intention to amend regulations to prohibit children under 16 years old from being placed in independent or semi-independent accommodations. This type of accommodation is not required […]

Great Britain: New Regulations Aim to Prevent Plant Bacteria Xyella from Entering Country

(Mar. 9, 2021) Amidst a backdrop of outbreaks in continental Europe of Xyella fastidiosa (Xyella), a bacterium that causes plant diseases, Great Britain has introduced the Official Controls and Phytosanitary Conditions (Amendment) Regulations 2021 to strengthen biosecurity controls. Xyella causes diseases in commercially grown crops like citrus, olive, and grapevine, and in a number of […]