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The Future Lawyer Weekly Update – w/c 9th July 2018

The Future Lawyer Weekly Update – w/c 9th July 2018

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

Technology/Business

Reported by Anna Flaherty

Facebook to receive £500,000 fine for the misuse of users’ data

The UK data protection watchdog has said that it intends to fine Facebook £500,000 for data breaches. This is the maximum fine that is allowed. The Information Commissioner’s Office said that Facebook had failed to prevent Cambridge Analytica from misusing data, when it should have ensured that the company deleted said data. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will also be bringing criminal action against Cambridge Analytica’s parent company, SCL Elections. A particular concern of the ICO was that political parties could purchase the data from these companies. A Spokesperson from Vote Fair UK said that, under the recently brought in data protection rules, Facebook could have been fined £479 million.

Bidding war continues over purchase of Sky

Fox, predominantly owned by Rupert Murdoch, has increased its bid for sky to £24.5 billion. This challenges the £22 billion which Comcast recently offered, an offer which itself had outdone a previous offer of £18.5 billion from Fox. This bid has come just as Fox is expecting to receive regulatory approval from Britain this week. This prospectively means we can see an end to the bidding war. The next question on everyone’s mind is whether this deal will mean that Murdoch has too much power over the UK media? In order to reduce these fears, it has been agreed that Sky News will be sold to Disney. Whether this action is enough, only time will tell.

For more information, see the BBC, here and here.

The Judiciary

Reported by Sarah Mullane

Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court

US President Donald Trump has named “brilliant jurist” Brett Kavanaugh as nominee for the next US Supreme Court justice. The appeals court judge from the District of Columbia would be set to replace retiring justice Anthony Kennedy, who has served as a justice over the last three decades and has often provided the swing vote in key court rulings. Should the nomination be confirmed by the Senate, concern has been raised that the appointment could set the court on a more conservative course for the future.

Mr Kavanaugh, a former adviser to ex-president George W Bush, has demonstrated controversial stances on topics ranging from abortion to executive power to gun rights. As he is fairly young, and each Supreme Court justice holds a lifetime appointment, his views are likely to tilt and solidify the rulings of the court conservatively for many years to come, as he could potentially serve for decades. Some of Kavanaugh’s outspoken opinions include his thoughts in a 2009 article that acting Presidents ought to be protected from indictment while serving in office, indicating that any action brought to the court regarding Trump’s campaign ties to Russia would not be supported. He has also previously objected against the right of an undocumented immigrant to seek an abortion, and has defended a US citizen’s second amendment right to keep and bear arms.

Trump’s decision is likely to be met with concern by environmental activists, as Kavanaugh has regularly issued rulings against environmental regulations, such as those to curb air pollution. Despite this, and the other concerns raised, President Trump has praised Judge Kavanaugh as having “impeccable credentials, unsurpassed qualifications and a proven commitment to equal justice under the law.”

It is now for the Senate Judiciary Committee to question the judge nominee during what is often long, drawn-out hearings, before a vote can be held securing his future.

For more information, see the Guardian and the Times

International Trade

Reported by Nathan Gore

USA steps up trade war with new tariffs on China

The US has recently announced $200bn (£150bn) worth of additional products that it will be placing more tariffs on, as soon as September. In response, China have stated that they are ‘shocked’ by these continued tariffs, and that they are “unacceptable”.

“The behaviour of the US is hurting China, hurting the world and hurting itself,” a spokesperson for China’s commerce ministry said in a statement.

The spokesperson also said the government would have to take the “necessary counter-measures” in response to the actions being carried about by Donald Trump’s administration.

These recent developments have come merely days after the two countries imposed tit-for-tat tariffs of $34bn on each other’s goods.

For more information, see the BBC.

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