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Serious sentence for medical negligence

In early November 2013 consultant surgeon David Sellu was convicted of manslaughter by gross negligence and sentenced to two and a half years in prison.

When presented with a patient suffering from severe abdominal pains, Sellu suspected a ruptured bowel but delayed in prescribing antibiotics and doing abdominal scans. The patient, James Hughes, went on to die and the court found that he would have stood a higher chance of surviving had Sellu treated him with the appropriate urgency.

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How serious can defamation on your blog really be?

Jail serious, that’s how serious.

Stuart Syvret, a politician and former Health Minister of Jersey, was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment on 4th November in connection with material published on his blog. He had made grave allegations against a nurse in a hospital with a high death rate, and against several individuals regarding historic child abuse in Jersey care homes.

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Criminal lawyers make a stand against legal aid reforms

Solicitors and barristers up and down the country are coming together and threatening strike action over the Government’s proposed reforms to the legal aid system in England and Wales.

Approximately 80 lawyers in Devon and Cornwall have become the latest legal professionals to make a stand against the proposals that would see criminal lawyers having to compete for a contract in order to be allowed to take on legal aid cases.

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Speeding his way to jail

Last night Chris Huhne, the former cabinet minister, spent his first night in jail for lying about who was owed the speeding points handed to him in 2003.

It is a dramatic fall from grace for a politician who was once considered one of the most dynamic ministers in the coalition. He only became an MP in 2005, but was energy secretary in the early stages of the coalition before the scandal broke.

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Chubby Checker to sue Hewlett Packard

An absolutely stonking story, this one.

Until 2012 an app, the Chubby Checker, was available to download through Hewlett Packard software for their Palm OS software. Now the original Chubby Checker is suing HP and the company that made the app, Magic Apps, for $500m.

‘Chubby’ is slang for an erection, and the app was designed to be an amusing piece of software allowing women to estimate the size of a man’s penis. You can see why they used the name – it’s great.

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Are Free Schools regulated sufficiently?

A recent development

The Information Tribunal has rejected an attempt by the Department for Education (DfE) to withhold information, concerning the identity of groups who have proposed to open so-called ‘free schools’ in England, as reported by BBC News.

The Information, including the names, location and religious affiliation of such groups, was requested in an attempt to highlight an alleged lack of transparency inherent in the system of proposing and setting up a free school.

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The word ‘insulting’ to be removed from Public Order Act

Yesterday, Teresa May, the Home Secretary, confirmed the Government would not seek to overturn an amendment supported by peers in the House of Lords in December 2012, regarding the removal of the word ‘insulting’ from Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986.

Section 5 states that: “threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour” could be deemed a criminal offence. The amendment to the Act was proposed last year by the former chief Constable of the West Midlands, Lord Dear, as part of the Crime and Courts Bill.#

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‘Unreasonable’ council fines for household-waste offences to be scrapped by Government

Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, spoke on the BBC’s Sunday Politics Show this week-end. He vowed the Government will introduce legislation, in the next session of Parliament, to stop local councils fining residents for a range of infractions in putting out their rubbish for collection.

For example, according to the Telegraph, Pickles says that it is ‘ludicrous’ fines can be issued for trivial matters such as over-filling wheelie-bins, putting yoghurt pots into the wrong recycling container, and leaving bins out too long after collections.

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Care Quality Commission warning on NHS staffing levels

A story by the Telegraph published on Sunday reveals that, according to the Care Quality Commission (CQC), 26 NHS Healthcare Providers do not have enough staff ‘to keep people safe and meet their health and welfare needs’, which is the required standard of care for all parts of the health service.

The list of Healthcare Providers, situated throughout England, was compiled from the latest CQC inspections carried out as recently as November; it was obtained and made public by the Labour party.

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What is the status of sharia law in the UK?

A recent news story about the exercise of criminal law in Saudi Arabia has generated widespread consternation in the UK. This reaction may, in part, reflect unease about the influence of Muslim rulings in this country, given the recent debate on the Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill in the House of Lords, led by Baroness Cox.

The incident was reported by the Daily Mail and concerns the beheading by sword of a Sri Lankan national, Rizana Nafeek, despite claims that she was only 17 years old in 2005 when the alleged crime was committed. Nafeek was executed this Wednesday for causing the death of a four-month-old baby in her care, while working as a housemaid in Saudi Arabia.

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The Caven Blog covers topics that relate to UK citizens most. The scope of our blog mostly covers legal issues in the UK, but also extends to important EU and international legal topics.

As well as current affairs, we cover common everyday issues raised by our readers, such as the basics on family law, employment rights, property purchases, landlord and tenancy disputes, small business issues and motoring offences.

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