The Future Lawyer Weekly Update – w/c 8th May 2017

The Future Lawyer Weekly Update – w/c 8th May 2017

Your round-up of the stories that you should discuss at interview this week.

International News

Macron elected as France’s youngest ever President

Reported by Radhika Morally

After the French election on Sunday, it has been decisively established that Emmanuel Macron, the Centrist candidate, has forged ahead of Marine Le Pen, defeating the far-right candidate.

Macron won 2/3 of the vote, 66.06% to 33.94% for Le Pen. Mr Macron’s win has been described as signifying ‘a new page being turned in French history.’ Along with becoming the country’s youngest ever president at 39 years old, he has broken the decades-long tradition of the left-wing and right-wing parties dominating. As a liberal centrist, he is pro-business and a strong supporter of the European Union.

He left the socialist government of Hollande last year to form ‘en marche’ which he claimed to be neither left or right wing. His pledges therefore focused on reductions in public sector spending and unemployment rates and providing protection for the unemployed.

Ms Le Pen has responded by thanking those who voted for her, whilst acknowledging that ‘it’s the people who decide’. She has wished Mr Macron success in the ‘challenges’ that await him.

For many however, this outcome has held back ‘a tide of populism’ after the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s victory in the US.

For further information, please see our special report here.

Read more on the BBC, The Guardian and The Independent.

Criminal Law

Women commits suicide despite her abusive partner being reported to the police several times

Reported by Megan Kearns

An inquest has heard that Meera Dalal, killed herself following physical and emotional abuse from her ex-boyfriend. The 25-year-old was found dead on the 15th of February 2016 by her father at their family home in Syston, Leicestershire. The abusive partner was reported several times to Leicestershire Police Constabulary but was never charged with any domestic-abuse related offences.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigated the police’s conduct following a complaint from Dalal’s family. The investigation found several police incidents involving the couple dating back to December 2013 and incidents following the couple’s breakup. However, the investigation could not find any evidence of police misconduct. Derrick Campbell, IPCC Commissioner, commented: “My sympathies are with the family of Meera Dalal following their sad loss. We conducted a very thorough investigation and as well as regularly updating the family we have met with them to discuss our findings.” The Leicestershire police also said “following the death of Meera Dalal, the force identified issues in relation to the investigation and consulted the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Following a public complaint in the weeks following her death, the force referred itself to the IPCC, who took this as an independent investigation.”

The family of the deceased now wish to raise awareness of victims of domestic abuse and have currently raised £6000 through a fundraising page. Sonia Hindocha, Dalal’s sister, said “I wouldn’t want anyone to be in the position we’re in. I want women to know that there are so many places they can go and so much help they can get. Don’t suffer in silence because there is so much help and your family is always there.”

Read more on the BBC.


Man rapes a 24-year-old, hours before his wedding

Reported by Paige Waters

Derry McCann, 28, raped a woman just hours before he was due to get married to his pregnant fiancé. McCann has been sentenced to life and must serve at least nine years of his sentence. This decision was made as McCann was released on parole for a similar crime 13 months earlier before raping the 24-year-old victim.

The attack took place in east London where the defendant dragged the victim into Victoria park. The attack was a 2-hour long ordeal, where McCann raped her three times, and played “mind games” to taunt her. The attack came to an end with McCann stealing her bra and mobile phone.

When McCann was being sentenced, judge Martyn Zeidman said that McCann would not be considered for parole for at least nine years, but then that may never happen. He further commented saying “the parole board will need to appreciate that in my view you are, and are likely to remain, an exceptionally dangerous violent criminal who poses the most dire risk to women even after the expiry of the minimum term”. Zeidman continued to state that he had in fact took McCann’s guilty plea and remorse into account.

Kate Bex QC, prosecuting stated that McCann had been drinking with his girlfriend and family before going to Victoria Park. CCTV shows McCann following another woman before the one he targeted.

Read more in The Guardian.

Commercial Law

People on zero-hours contracts missing out on holiday pay

Reported by Ben Men

It has been reported by the Citizens Advice that nearly 900,000 people that are on zero-hours contracts are not aware of their holiday entitlement and are missing out on taking their holidays and, therefore, their right to holiday pay. The Charity has said that they believe this to be because company bosses are being “ignorant” to the worker’s rights, or are deliberately trying to “flout” the law.

People on zero-hours contracts are given work when it is available, but are entitled to basic rights such as the National Minimum Wage and paid leave. Whereas, people who are part of the so-called “gig-economy” are not entitled to any of those rights.


Why does this matter for commercial lawyers?

Lots of commercial firms have very prominent and successful employment departments, and this is the sort of issue that they would deal with. For example, a client company may approach a firm and ask them how they can lawfully avoid paying holiday pay to its employees, or may, if a claim is brought against them, have to seek advice on how to fight a claim that is brought with regards to something like this. It is for the commercial employment lawyer to be able to advise their client and get the best possible outcome for them in this case. A firm may also advise an employee who is bringing a claim based on lack of holiday pay/annual leave.


How can I use this story in applications/interview?

As previously mentioned, many firms have successful employment practice areas and this may be an area which you are interested in. In applications/interview, it would really show off your commercial awareness if you were able to talk about issues like this at interview, and link it back to a recent employment case which the firm has been involved in. Have a look at the firm’s website for more details on this.

Read more on the BBC.

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