New Supreme Court

There have, in recent years, been mounting calls for the creation of a new free-standing Supreme Court. This court would separate the highest appeal court from the second house of Parliament (the House of Lords). On 12 June 2003 the Government announced its intention to do so, and eventually the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 was enacted. This Act paved the way for the creation of a new Supreme Court for the United Kingdom. Below we examine the existing system and consider what will change (if anything) when the new Supreme Court opens for business this year in October.

The Existing System – The House of Lords

How to Pursue a Judicial Review

Judicial ReviewDealing with a public body can become a very awkward and frustrating process. Indeed, it often feels as though such an entity is a law unto itself. People can become confused as to whether or not they are able to pursue any official action against such an organisation when they believe that it has acted unlawfully in some way.

Is there some form of action that you can take if you find yourself in this situation? The simple answer to this question is ‘possibly’.

First, though, it is necessary to consider what is meant by the term ‘public body’. This category would include the following:

Advance Your Career with Continuing Professional Development

Continuing Professional Development is a continuing learning process that helps members of professional organisations maintain and advance their professional knowledge and skills. Our CPD programme is designed to improve the quality of our Members’ work as well as support and recognise their career progression.

One of the Institute’s aims is to provide our Members with professional recognition for the quality of their qualifications, standards, skills and expertise, so we actively encourage professional development through our CPD programme and our online journal. We feel that it is important for legal secretaries and PAs to develop their role in order to ensure their success and that of their firms.

10 Things to Check Before Calling the IT Helpdesk

1. Is it plugged in and turned on? This may sound like an obvious thing to check, but you would be surprised how many ‘broken’ printers and ‘dead’ monitors were simply unplugged by the cleaning contractor the night before.

2. Have you tried Ctrl+Alt+Delete? If an application hangs, hold down these three keys and then end the application. Remember: Ctrl+Alt+Delete is your friend!

Defining Assaults

Defining AssultsWith so many different classifications of assaults, it can often be very confusing to determine the actual extent of an offence that may have occurred. To do so, it is necessary to consider a number of crucial aspects. These include the level and nature of any injuries sustained (i.e. the actus reus) and the offender’s intention to inflict these injuries in the first instance (i.e. the mens rea).

Security of Tenure: Refresh Your Knowledge

Any legal secretaries and PAs accustomed to working within this particular area of law will realise that it is essential to maintain an appreciation of the main types of security of tenure. It is imperative to stay on the ball if you are not dealing with this type of case on a regular basis, as this knowledge will soon become hazy and may even be forgotten.

A tenant’s security of tenure dictates the lengths to which a landlord will need to go in order to legally evict. Generally speaking, tenants who have local authorities as their landlord enjoy the most security and are often able to remain with their property even if they breach the terms of their tenancy agreement in any way. Private tenants are usually far less protected and it is often much easier for their landlord to evict them.

The Changing Face of Media Distribution

New forms of media distribution.On 17 April 2009, four men were sentenced to a year in prison and ordered to pay fines to the sum of $905,000 each for the crime of piracy on the stormy seas of the Internet. This group, of course, are the infamous collaborators behind The Pirate Bay, a website dedicated to indexing music, movies, television programs, software and books that are being shared by users of BitTorrent all over the world. The same men are also the founding members of the first political party dedicated to copyright reform, aptly titled The Pirate Party.

Realistic ‘To-Do’ Lists

Creating To Do ListsA ‘to-do’ list is a powerful way to organise yourself and to reduce stress.  Have you ever written one and never achieved what’s on it?  Or maybe you’ve written a to-do list but kept putting off the tasks to another day because something ‘more urgent’ cropped up?  If either of these sounds familiar, perhaps you need to consider whether you’re writing a to-do list or a ‘wish-to-do’ list.  Being realistic with what you put on a ‘to-do’ list is key to being able to achieve it.  The sense of achievement at the end of the day is motivating, so you’ll want to do it again the next day!  Here are the top ten tips to help you do that:

New Rules for HIPs: Introduced at the Worst Time!

HipsIt may be fair to say that Home Information Packs (HIPs) have not exactly been the most popular move of our Labour government in recent years. In fact, many estate agents, who have been questioned about these, have stipulated that HIPs are of no real benefit to buyers at the moment. Furthermore, they are an additional expense that people looking to sell their home can ill afford as the country enters an increasingly deepening recession.

New Powers for HMRC Inspectors

HM Revenue and CustomsAs of 1 April 2009, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) inspectors will have more powers to help them to deal with corporation and income tax evaders. In fact, inspectors will have the same right of entry to business premises or even home offices as is currently relevant in relation to VAT tax investigations.