Tonight I had the honour of taking part in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. This fantastic spectacle, watched by millions, begins a sporting extravaganza involving athletes from across the globe. Competitors from over two 200 countries will strive to take home medals and pride in the pursuit and achievement of excellence at the global level.
Yesterday was a historic day for rights and freedoms in the United Kingdom as the Scottish Government announced plans to legalise same-sex marriage. Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon vowed that her administration was “committed to a Scotland that is fair and equal”; stressing that allowing gay couples to marry at religious ceremonies was “the right thing to do”.
With yet another appearance before the High Court yesterday Gary McKinnon’s extradition nightmare continues to rumble on. This latest hearing closely follows a Home Office request for him to see yet another medical expert – even though Gary, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, has already undergone a number of assessments by medical experts in the field. These experts concluded Gary would be at serious risk of suicide if extradited. They also concluded he is unfit for trial.
It’s just over seven years since International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge announced to the world that London would host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The capital triumphed in a close-run duel with Paris, securing 54 votes to its French counterpart’s 50, following an impassioned presentation emphasising the international nature of the city, its people and values. In the years that followed, new stadia and arenas have been erected and part of east London transformed under a billion-pound project in preparation for the global spotlight.
During the last decade or so the UK has been the stage for a legislation extravaganza in the name of counter-terrorism and national security. Such laws, often hastily passed and draconian in nature, have been the source of much debate. Twelve years ago today Parliament passed the first in this controversial series of statutes – the Terrorism Act 2000.
If a nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members, then the case of Liberty client "FGP" should be serious cause for concern. FGP was detained in an immigration detention centre pending his removal from the UK. During his detention he developed severe abdominal pains and had to be rushed to hospital, where he was admitted for almost nine days. FGP was not a criminal. He was not a risk to the public.
It’s a common myth that slavery is a thing of the past; an ancient matter consigned to the history books. But in reality millions across the globe are still forced to lead lives as slaves. The practice persists despite the fact it’s banned in most countries and outlawed by instruments including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And as we’ve seen this week it still rears its ugly head here at home.
With Lords’ reform hitting the headlines it’s easy to forget that the Justice and Security Bill has reached committee stage in the upper house this week. Peers’ line-by-line scrutiny of the proposed legislation, which got underway on Monday, continues today as Part 2 of the Bill goes under the microscope and further amendments are discussed.
In July 2010 staff nurse Jane Clough was violently murdered by former partner Jonathan Vass. He’d previously been charged with raping her after Jane ended their relationship. But when Vass pleaded guilty to murder at trial, the prosecution opted to let the outstanding rape charges lie on file.