Concerned as we are about the erosion of access to justice here in the UK, we should not forget the plight of those in other parts of the world; and the very real dangers faced by those working to enable access to justice.
Colombia is recognised as the most dangerous place in the world for lawyers and the risks they face is the focus of the work of the Colombian Caravana which visited Colombia for the third time in August last year.
The delegation’s report will be launched on 29 April and the launch event promises to be a lively and interesting discussion around the challenges facing Colombian human rights lawyers and defenders as the Peace Process progresses, and ways in which we can raise awareness and support them at the international level.
The impressive line up of speakers comprises Ed Vulliamy (Guardian and Observer journalist), Adam Wagner (barrister and human rights blogger), Patricia Ayodeji (Barcelona-based British lawyer and Caravana delegate), and Caravana directors Sue Willman and Professor Sara Chandler.
There are more details below about the event which takes place on Wednesday 29 April from 6.30-8.30pm at The Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, London W2 1QJ. If you’d like to come along please email firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure a place.
Caravana Report Launch Event
Safer but not negligent not to mandate its use
In Nicholls v Ladbrokes  EWCA Civ 1963, a majority decision handed down on 11 July, Ladbrokes overturned an award of damages to Kerry Nicholls who had suffered psychiatric injury following a robbery at a betting shop in Walsall.
The original award rested on the decision of the trial judge that it was negligent of Ladbrokes not to have had in place a policy requiring the door to the shop to be kept shut with a magnetic lock during the hours of darkness. The shop in question had a magnetic lock but its use was inconsistent; one manager routinely used it at night while another did not.
The trial judge agreed with the case that the lock should have been used and Jackson LJ, giving the leading judgment in the Court of Appeal agreed and certainly felt that it was a decision the Judge was entitled to reach and so the appeal court should not interfere. Continue reading
Following the Scottish decision in Vaickuviene a couple of weeks ago, here is an English case on vicarious liability for harassment, which has also failed.
In Allen v Chief Constable of Hampshire Constabulary  EWCA Civ 967, the Claimant brought a claim that the Police Force was vicariously liable for a course of conduct of harassment by a serving Police Officer. Continue reading
Deutsch: J Sainsbury Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As reported here, last June, in Vaickuviene v Sainsbury the Outer House of the Court of Session in Scotland refused to strike out a case claiming Sainsbury was vicariously liable for the murder of one employee by another. On 11 July, the Inner House ( CSIH 67), the equivalent of the English Court of Appeal, overturned that decision. Continue reading
Much to my disappointment, it was announced last month that Carina Trimingham’s well founded (in my view at any rate) appeal was withdrawn shortly before it was due to be heard.
It was widely recognised that the case raised important issues about the interaction between harassment, privacy and freedom of expression. I was not alone in considering that the conduct of the Daily Mail had been unacceptable and that the judgment of Tugendhat J was vulnerable.
A post on the Inforrm blog, suggests that it was withdrawn for financial reasons which is a great shame. I’d like to think that her lawyers might have been willing to conduct the case on a conditional fee basis (and if they weren’t she should have called me!) but that alone is not enough. Conditional fees only work if there is insurance against liability for your opponent’s costs (or you are willing to take an enormous risk) and if the Daily Mail were lining up the big guns, their costs risked being very significant.
So not only does this important issue not get the hearing it deserves but Carina Trimingham herself remains without a remedy for the vilification to which she was exposed and all for financial reasons. Shame.