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Parliament, Legislation And Public Sector

New earnings rule for non-EEA spouses shot down by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has held that changes to the Immigration Rules for non-European Economic Area (non-EEA) nationals applying to enter or remain in the UK on the family migration route – which were supposed to come into force on 9 July – are unlawful, as were all the rule changes made since 2008. The Home office was forced to take emergency action to present its rules on the so-called 'points-based system' – applied since 2008 – to the House of Lords, as the Commons was already in recess.

The proposed changes included introducing a new minimum income threshold of £18,600 for sponsoring the settlement in the UK of a spouse or partner, or fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner of non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationality, with a higher threshold for any children also sponsored of £22,400 for one child and an additional £2,400 for each further child. They would also have abolished immediate settlement for the migrant spouses and partner where a couple have been living together overseas for at least four years, and requiring them to complete a five year probationary period.

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Change to law means ‘no hiding place’ for abusers

Expert Witness picture of Sir Paul BeresfordExperts in the field of child and elder abuse have hailed new legislation which means people accused of seriously abusing children or vulnerable adults can no longer escape justice by staying silent or blaming someone else.

The Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims (Amendment) Act 2012 came into effect on 2 July and extends the offence of causing or allowing the death of a child or vulnerable adult to causing or allowing serious physical harm. Those found guilty face up to 10 years in prison.

The passing of the legislation is unusual in that it began as a Private Member's Bill introduced by Sir Paul Beresford (pictured), Conservative MP for Mole Valley, which the Government backed to ensure it became law.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 July 2012 17:15

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Legal services to take the ‘Red Tape Challenge’

Your Expert Witness Challenge stickerThe Government's 'Red Tape Challenge' – the initiative aimed at simplifying regulation, reducing bureaucracy and remove unnecessary red tape for businesses has turned its sights towards the legal services sector, a sector many see as bound up with arcane regulation and downright obfuscation.

Launching the latest stage in the initiative, Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly announced plans to scrutinise, simplify or scrap more than 150 regulations that affect legal services. Consumers and businesses have been invited to comment on which regulations should be scrapped, improved or kept. Regulations will be scrapped unless there is a solid justification for why they should stay.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 June 2012 10:53

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Lansley vetoes NHS risk publication

On 10 May the Department of Health issued a statement saying that Health Secretary Andrew Lansley "...has today made a statement to Parliament explaining his decision to veto the disclosure of the Transition Risk Register. This follows the announcement on Tuesday 8 May that Cabinet had agreed to his use of the veto in this case."

The statement went on to say: "The Secretary of State for Health sought the Cabinet's views on the exercise of the Ministerial Veto in relation to the Information Tribunal's ruling that the Transition Risk Register should be released. He did so as part of a full commitment to act in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, which makes specific provision for the exercise of such a veto."

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 June 2012 11:16

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Met boss welcomes Winsor II

Your Expert Witness Bernard Hogan-HoweThe Winsor proposals are a step in the right direction for policing: that is the view of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. The opinion was offered during an appearance before the Commons Home Affairs Committee, as part of a six-month review of progress.

However, as reported in the weekly newsletter of the Police Oracle, Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe accepted that colleagues might not agree with his views on the report.

He said the Winsor proposals would reward deserving officers, with promotions being based on skill rather than longevity of service.

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 June 2012 11:19

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