Last month, children’s rights campaigners, social workers and hundreds of thousands of members of the public breathed a tentative sigh of relief when Lords took a stand against dangerous Government plans to let councils opt out of eighty years’ worth of child protection laws.
The London borough of Enfield boasts beautiful parks, great shopping and good schools. You can be in the countryside in 15 minutes or central London in under 30. It’s one of those places Sky News describes as “leafy”.
It had the world’s first ATM machine and designed the Lee-Enfield rifle. There’s that house in Brimsdown where a demon once possessed the furniture – seriously – and there’s a late-night Krispy Kreme drive-thru.
New Home Office policy increases the risk of vulnerable people, including torture survivors, being detained and harmed. Kris Harris, Research and Policy Worker at Medical Justice, felt they had no choice but to challenge the policy in court.
Enforcement officers are experienced and will only take action when there is an obvious problem. We expect them to use their common sense in applying these measures and they have been trained to do so. So said a Gravesham Borough Council spokesperson following mass criticism of Gravesend’s Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), which criminalises lying down or sleeping in public.
Last week, judges were asked to perform their centuries-old role of applying the law to the facts of a case before them. Quite apart from the merits or otherwise of the decision made, what had for hundreds of years been a cherished pillar of our democracy, the envy of many less fortunate around the world, suddenly became the focus of outrage, indignation and vicious personal attack.
Modern Britain was built on two principles: that every citizen, including those in power, is governed by the law, and that those laws are applied by independent judges – not by partisan politicians.
It should go without saying that the human rights of our service men and woman deserve to be protected as much as everyone else’s. And today – following another major victory for our Military Justice campaign – a truly fair and independent justice system for our troops is a step closer.
Yesterday Defence Minister Mark Lancaster announced that allegations of sexual assault, exposure and voyeurism made within the Armed Forces will soon have to be referred to the relevant service police force.