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The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child provides that anyone under the age of 18 is a child. It further provides that in regard to the age of criminal responsibility, countries should “consider whether a child can live up to the moral and psychological components of criminal responsibility.” In the UK, the minimum age of criminal responsibility in England and Wales was raised from 8 to 10 years old in 1963 and the legislation included a rebuttable presumption that a child aged between 10 and 14 years was incapable of committing an offence (doctrine of doli incapax). However, this presumption was abolished by s.
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill 2012-13 was introduced in the House of Commons in January 2013. The Bill is intended to make provision for the marriage of same sex couples in England and Wales as well as provisions about gender change by married persons and civil partners. If passed, it would allow same-sex couples to get married in both civil and religious ceremonies, where a religious institution has formally consented. The Church of England will be banned from offering same-sex marriages because of their strongly stated opinion. The Bill has led to much debate but was approved by the House of Commons on second reading on 5 February 2013 by a 225 vote margin.
Spring will soon be upon us, and we can therefore reflect on how the winter has affected legal services to clients. Winter is the most common time for personal injury accidents to happen due to slipping on ice and snow. The first question on most people’s minds would be “Whom can I sue?” Whilst a civil litigation personal injury claim may be considered, one must not forget that there are also other aspects of private law which could be considered, including Occupier’s Liability.
While not the most glamorous of subjects in Conveyancing terms, who owns the sewers to a property is very important. Few people will have realised that just over a year ago the ownership of more than 200,000km of private sewers and drains transferred from property owners to six water companies.
This mass transfer of ownership is actually a good thing for property owners, as in the future it may save owners from having to pay costly repair bills if things go wrong. The reason for the change was to make ownership of the sewer network clear and help improve long-term maintenance.
When studying Land Law, few students expect to come across what ordinary people might regard as legalised theft. The part of the law I am referring to is known as adverse possession, which can allow a squatter to obtain rights over land – commonly referred to as ‘squatter’s rights’. This concept may seem controversial, but it is based on the notion that unused land does not benefit society as a whole. In other words, on some occasions it is better for everyone that a limited resource like land should be used by someone rather than by no one.
The basic rules for someone to gain adverse possession are that they must prove the following:
On 21 January 2013, the Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRAE) published its ‘Review of Government action on United Nations’ recommendations for strengthening children’s rights in the UK’. The report criticises the Government for failing to implement the changes recommended in a 2008 report by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child – changes which, in 2010, the Government had committed to take into consideration when enacting law and policy.
In its autumn 2012 budget statement, the Government announced a 1% increase per annum in the rate of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for the next three years. SSP is meant to “provide a measure of earnings replacement for employees who are off work through illness.” From 6 April 2013, the SSP is due to rise by 85p, from £85.75 to £86.80 per week. The length of time that SSP will be paid to sick employees has remained at 28 weeks, and in order to qualify for SSP, the employee will need to have been off work for four or more working days.
Buying and selling a property has long been regarded as one of the most stressful things you will ever do in life. After all, you are dealing with the most important and costly financial asset you are ever likely to own, and you want any such conveyancing transaction to go as smoothly as possible. Of course one hopes the instructed conveyance firm will be able to deal with the transaction as professionally and expeditiously as you deserve; however, according to the Legal Ombudsman, in an increasing number of cases this is not proving to be the reality.