Caven blog

International law

HSBC to pay £1.2bn fine over money laundering

HSBC has announced it will pay $1.9bn (£1.2bn) to US authorities in a settlement over poor money laundering controls, according to the BBC.

The news originally broke in July, when HSBC executives appeared at a US senate hearing following a subcommittee report which highlighted serious issues with the bank’s American operation.


European Court of Human Rights upholds illegality of incest

This week the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) upheld a German man’s conviction for conducting an incestuous relationship with his sister. The relationship resulted in the birth of four children, two of whom are handicapped.

Patrick Stuebing, of Leipzig in eastern Germany, was convicted more than once for the crime, eventually being sentenced to a jail term in 2005 by the district court of the city. The sister was not tried for incest as she suffers from a personality disorder. (more…)

Icelandic ash cloud still hanging over European law

The eruption in 2010 of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull, and the subsequent cost to airline companies whose passengers suffered from the consequent disruption, have prompted a re-think of the European rules covering such unusual occurrences. European Commission officials indicated that they have been listening to the airline companies’ arguments, regarding the length of time they should be expected to fund stranded passengers when such ‘extraordinary’ events occur.

Siim Kallas, Europe’s transport commissioner, has launched a review of the passenger-rights laws that were passed in 2005. As a result, the Commission is expected to put forward new legislation this year. (more…)

UK Attorney General to Challenge power of European Court of Human Rights

The Government’s main legal advisor, the Attorney General Dominic Grieve, is to address the European Court of Human Rights on two key issues in November. Firstly, he both is critical of the Court’s view on prisoners’ voting rights and also believes that the principle of subsidiarity should be further emphasised.

The principle of subsidiarity is a core principle of the European Convention of Human Rights. It ensures that the Strasbourg Court does not impose itself on national courts. Grieve believes that this principle needs to be clarified and that national Courts should have the final say on matters. (more…)

Controversial ECJ ruling on legal privilege jeopardises in-house legal advice

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that legal privilege does not extend to the advice of in-house lawyers in antitrust cases.

Legal privilege is a long-established legal principle that allows litigants protection from disclosing documents on the grounds that they were privileged communications between the litigant and their legal support. The rationale behind it is that all parties should have a right to receive legal advice without fear that the information disclosed to their legal team could be used against them. The case before the ECJ concerned the use of this principle to allow companies to prevent disclosure of such documents in antitrust investigations concerning them.

In what ways is my privacy protected by UK law?

The key pieces of legislation regarding privacy protection in the UK are the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Data protection Act 1998. The Data Protection Act concerns the protection of information and data about a person and breaches can occur if a business or body stores information without permission, stores more information than they require, does not have suitable systems in place to prevent breaches or stores information for longer than necessary. The Data Protection Act aimed to reduce the amount of irrelevant information held about people and went some way to protecting privacy. (more…)

Issues in international law are always raised in our news and current affairs. In this section of the blog, we explore current issues as well as discuss general questions about the international legal system, international organisations, international criminal law, EU law and resolving international disputes. Many topics in EU law and policy are discussed that may have relevance for UK citizens and businesses.

Have a browse for topics of interest.

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