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The Future Lawyer Weekly Update – w/c 23rd April 2018

The Future Lawyer Weekly Update – w/c 23rd April 2018

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

Technology/Tort Law

Reported by Radhika Morally

Britain’s most well-known finance expert sues Facebook for defamation

Martin Lewis, who is known for his knowledge of all things financial, is suing Facebook for defamation after they failed to respond to his complaints about him being falsely represented on the social media site. Lewis has a website (moneysavingexpert.com), TV shows and he continues to make countless media appearances addressing a huge range of financial topics in a manner that allows regular consumers to successfully manage their financial affairs.

The claim has arisen as a result of businesses using Lewis to promote high-risk financial products, as well as scams, on Facebook. Some of the adverts even have links to fake news articles which falsely claim Martin Lewis’ endorsement, from which he claims some have invested money with as a result.

Lewis claims that that he has told Facebook several times he does not do adverts, and that the company should be able either to quickly remove the content or stop it from appearing at all by using facial recognition technology. However, insufficient action has been taken in response to his complaints. Many of the adverts stay online for days or weeks after being reported, which has led to more than 50 fake Martin Lewis adverts being seen by millions of people across the UK over the last year.

Martin Lewis has promised to donate the entirety of any pay-out from his exemplary damages claim to anti-scam charities and has stated that ‘it’s time Facebook was made to take responsibility’ as it ‘claims to be a platform not a publisher.’

If Martin Lewis is able to win his legal battle, quite a precedent will be set in regard to the responsibility a platform has for the material published on its site.

For more information, see The Independent and Digital Trends.

Family/Medical Law

Reported by Anna-Mei Harvey

Court rules Alfie Evans cannot leave the country

Tom Evans and Kate James, parents of severely ill toddler Alfie Evans, have lost their latest appeal to fly Alfie to Italy in search of treatment. Alfie Evans has an undiagnosed, degenerative neurological condition. His parents have been appealing the decision to withdraw life support since February 20th, 2018.

Following the decision of Mr Justice Hayden to discontinue Alfie’s life support, his parents went to the Court of Appeal in March. The appeal judges upheld the decision of the trial judge Hayden. It was found that medical evidence presents a very poor prognosis for Alfie. His condition is expected to deteriorate. Doctors warn there is ‘no chance of recovery.’

Kate and Tom Evans, appealed again to the Supreme Court and the ECHR back in March. The pair were told that their applications were refused as the hospital’s proposals did not appear to violate any human rights, making their case inadmissible.

A last-ditch habeas corpus application was made last Monday. The application demanded that the court examine and rule over the detention of Alfie at Alder Hey hospital.  His parents intended to move him to Italy in search of further treatment.  Lady Hale, Lord Kerr and Lord Wilson’s judgment highlighted that the “gold standard” in the case had to be Alfie’s best interests.  In accordance with Section 1 of the Children Act 1989, the child’s welfare is, and must be, the paramount consideration.

It is on these grounds that the appeal was not allowed. Yesterday, the family were told that they may not move Alfie to Italy, but provisions may be made to allow him to continue palliative care at home.

See the Supreme Court’s judgmentThe Independent, and The Guardian for more.

Criminal Law

Reported by Nathan Gore 

Upskirting: Government considering creating specific offence

Justice Secretary David Gauke has signalled the Government may support creating an offence to deal with ‘upskirting’. Upskirting – secretly photographing underneath a skirt – is not currently a specific offence in England and Wales.

The Justice Secretary told MPs that “I share the outrage at the distress that this intrusive behaviour can cause to victims and I’m determined to ensure that victims have confidence that their complaints will be taken seriously.

“I am sympathetic to the calls to change the law and my officials are reviewing the current law to make sure it is fit for purpose.

“As part of this work, we are considering the Private Member’s Bill put forward by (Wera Hobhouse, Liberal Democrat MP for Bath).”

Last month, Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse tabled a parliamentary bill to make upskirting illegal.

This particular issue was brought into the national spotlight by Gina Martin. She started campaigning to make upskirting illegal after police said they would not be able to charge a man who took a photo of her in public in in July last year at a concert in Hyde Park, London. Ms Martin, whose petition for a change in the law has nearly reached 100,000 signatures, has been helped in the campaign by her lawyer Ryan Whelan.

Currently, there are instances where existing legislation has been applied in order to successfully prosecuted offenders for upskirting, such as in terms of outraging public decency. Voyeurism can also be something that falls under the Sexual Offences Act.

Read more here and here.

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