Civil Litigation

Concerned About Squatters’ Rights

Concerned About Squatters’ Rights? It’s a Case of ‘Use It or Lose It’

The law relating to squatters’ rights is not straightforward and concerned landowners should always seek legal advice. As an Upper Tribunal (UT) ruling showed, however, they can give themselves at least some protection by following a simple rule: use it or lose it. The case concerned a narrow strip of land that once formed part of a railway track that was dismantled following the Beeching reforms. In 1987, the owner of adjoining land bought the strip from the British Railways Board. Possessory title to it was later registered in his name and that title passed to his daughter on his …

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BBC Fined for Breaching Embargo on Recording of Court Proceedings

BBC Fined for Breaching Embargo on Recording of Court Proceedings

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of court hearings have been conducted remotely, via online video link, but the strict ban on any private recording of legal proceedings has throughout remained fully in force. In a case on point, the BBC received a stiff fine for breaching that embargo. The case concerned the remote hearing of a judicial review challenge to a grant of planning permission for a so-called fracking operation. BBC technicians recorded part of the proceedings and a six-second clip was broadcast to about 500,000 viewers. That was despite a clear warning, given by the judge at the …

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Do Your Medical Records Stay Confidential Forever

Do Your Medical Records Stay Confidential Forever?

Your privacy rights will die with you, but that does not mean that just anyone will be permitted access to your medical records after you are gone. The extent to which such records should remain under wraps post mortem was analysed in a High Court test case. A man believed that his brother had, some years prior to his death, arranged to have samples of his sperm frozen at a fertility clinic. As personal representative of his brother’s estate, he asked the clinic to provide him with copies of all records relating to the storage of those samples and any …

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Dismissed Evangelical Vicar Fails in Rare Marriage Discrimination Claim

Dismissed Evangelical Vicar Fails in Rare ‘Marriage Discrimination’ Claim

Every employer presumably knows that sex and race discrimination are unlawful, but fewer may be aware that marriage and civil partnership are also protected characteristics. An unusual case on point concerned a vicar who claimed that his dismissal was an act of discrimination arising from the acrimonious breakdown of his marriage. The ethos of the vicar’s church was conservative and evangelical and tensions arose after the breakdown of his marriage was played out in a very public way. There were various other concerns about his conduct and, after attempts at mediation failed, the church’s senior leadership team resigned en masse. …

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