Showing posts from 2019

Councils or the Courts – Who reigns Supreme?

In the case of Samuels v. Birmingham City Council (2019), the councils’ duties to provide suitable accommodation to those declared homeless were explored by the supreme court. The Supreme Court investigates how far they must acknowledge the guidance given in legislation and from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the interaction between benefits and the council’s ultimate decision to provide aid.  The label of intentional homelessness came to light following the case with much criticism from the media, due to the fact it seemed almost impossible in reality. Ms. Samuels Situation In a privately rented house in Birmingham, Ms Terryanne Samuels and her 4 children were found to be short on their rent payment for the month by just over £150. This caused them to enter financial difficulties and with nowhere to turn following this, Ms Samuels made an application to the council declaring her and her children homeless. Due to the fact that Ms Samuels was ac

Taming the Social Media Giants: How far should the state go in regulating online content?

The law, history teaches us, lags inevitably behind technological change. In respect of no development is this more true than the ‘Information Revolution,’ those sweeping and manifold transformations brought about by popular and near-instantaneous access to the internet. Proving a particular challenge to regulators is social media. Compare, by way of illustration, the regulatory scheme governing more traditional media with that applicable to the media of this new digital age. Whereas television content is beholden to a comprehensive set of guidelines and overseen by a government-approved regulator, content published via social media exists in what may more accurately be described as a regulatory ‘wild west’. It is my argument that more stringent legal safeguards need to be built into the online sphere, and that this is a challenge that the state cannot shy away from. In my view, the most insidious by-products of this technological revolution is the emergence of ‘fake

Law Reform: Psychiatric Harm and Secondary Victims

In the spring of 1989, ninety-six Liverpool fans were killed and many hundreds more seriously injured in a human crush during the team’s FA Cup semi-final match against Nottingham Forest. This tragic event, known as the Hillsborough disaster, is indelibly scarred on the national collective memory; as are the shortcomings of the police, the press and the public inquiries. What is less well known – at least outside of legal circles – is that many of the friends and family of the victims have faced further bitter disappointment in their attempts to win compensation for the intense psychiatric harm they suffered, and continue to suffer, as a result of the disaster. The key legal starting point is the decision of the House of Lords in Alcock v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire [1992]. In this case, the court set out three criteria for a successful claim by secondary victims of psychiatric harm; those who suffer psychiatric damage as a result of injury to, or death or imper