Category: Law

US-Europe Data Agreement Fails

US and European Senior Officials failed to reach an agreement on financial information, social media and other digital information can be transferred between the two regions. The two sides had opposing views on many specific details to reach a proper deal.

The deal would help US-based tech firms such as Google, Facebook and other tech companies avoid legal troubles in the EU.

The transfer of vital online business financial information has been a big issue for most European businesses. Google’s long-running case with Europe involved the use of information that favoured certain businesses, according to European officials.

Non-tech companies, such as GE, move data related to customers and employees and how well their products are used.

According to Global Head Of Privacy And Data Protection In Linklaters law firm Tanguy Van Overstraeten, many uncertainties are happening and a solution is needed.

American officials proposed the creation of a Data Ombudsman within the State Department. The office would give Europeans a direct contact point with the United States should information have been mismanaged. Europeans are also advised to seek arbitration with American companies should digital information be perceived as misused.

However, officials from Europe said the moves wouldn’t hold up should it be challenged in European courts.

Europeans also want more information on American limits to intelligence agency intelligence gathering and methods to allow Europeans to file legal claims to US tech companies or any firm that had misused their data.

Homeowner Rights Now Include Disarming Burglars With “Disproportionate Force”

A ruling that allows homeowners to disable or attack intruders with ‘disproportionate force’ will not be abused as it would only be valid “under the circumstances”, according to the Supreme Court.

Should an intruder or burglar be found in a home, homeowners will have the right to ‘householder defence.’ The new homeowner right to defend self and property was declared compatible with European human rights laws.

However, the right to do so is only available depending on the circumstances.

The legal landmark case of Denby Collins, an intruder wherein homeowners of a property he trespassed had placed him in a headlock that resulted to his current coma, gave the homeowner’s family the right to self-defence through “disproportionate force.”

Collins’ family took the case against the homeowner, arguing their son’s human rights had been breached. Collins’ right under Article 2(1) of the ECHR. However, the judges rejected the case on grounds that the homeowner’s actions are permitted by Section 76 (5A) of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008.

President of the Queen’s Bench Division Sir Brian Leveson said:

“In the circumstances I conclude that the criminal law of England and Wales on self defence in householder cases, taken as a whole, fulfils the framework obligation under Article 2(1).

“The headline message is and remains clear: a householder will only be able to avail himself of the defence if the degree of force he used was reasonable in the circumstances as he believed them to be.”

Small Claims Limits Rise To £5000 Unfair To Motor Accident Personal Injury Victims

Chancellor George Osborne has announced plans to raise the small claims court limit from £1000 to £5000 to address minor soft tissue personal injuries caused by motor accidents. The plans were to help the insurance industry recuperate from losing almost £2 billion yearly from exaggerated and fraudulent claims. Motorists are also forced to pay an additional £90 in insurance premiums because of the large illicit payouts to exaggerators.

The Law Society condemned the proposal, stating that victims will not have sufficient legal advice as they step into the small claims court. According to analysts, the £5000 limit will not guarantee legal representation as the defending insurer will not pay for your legal representative.

According to analysts, the small claims process is also insufficient in dissecting all aspects of personal injury involved.

The Law Society also condemned the proposals as it would disable legal assistance for many victims. Victims without any previous experience of claiming for an injury will have no proper idea of their injury’s value. It would also mean defending insurers can compress everything below £5000 for your injuries.

It would also force many victims to settle their claims with the insurer without any legal advice.

Russia and France Hold Talks Amid Syrian Action

France, one of the first countries to ally with the United States to conduct airstrikes against IS targets in Iraq and Syria, intends to clarify whether Russian airstrikes were “indiscriminate” towards West and Arab-sponsored rebels.

The United States pointed out Russian airstrikes have targeted civilians and other neutral targets in Jisr al-Shughour. Russia said the first airstrike destroyed 12 ISIS infrastructures, including a command centre. Russia had denied the claims and said it is attacking US targets only

Peace Efforts For Ukraine

French President Francois Hollande and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet in Paris to discuss peace efforts involving the rebellion in Ukraine and the Russian Crimea annexation, which violates several UN regulations. However, analysts believe the two would discuss in majority Russia’s actions in the Syrian crisis.

Russia claims to have hit several IS resource centres and command centres. Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia is fighting other terrorist groups. he said Russia is not supporting anyone against their own people.

Russian Dangers

Russia’s continuous airstrikes, which Russian officials estimate to last from three to four months, could have grave implications against the country.

US intelligence points out Russia did not target IS-held areas. Russia’s attack on Jisr al-Shughour, where no IS rebels reside, could mean devastating consequences for Russia. The US also reported a US-trained rebel group was hit by the Russian airstrikes.

Syrian opposition groups said the airstrikes had killed civilians, which Russia denies.

Big changes ahead for Personal Injury Claims

In the UK a new law will come into effect from April 1st 2013 called the LASPO – which stands for The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offences Act. This has come about following an ongoing investigation regarding pricing by Lord Jackson, which started 3 years ago.

There will also be other changes taking place including the possibility of reduction to Road Traffic Accidents fixed pricing, from £1200 to £500, although this hasn’t been confirmed just yet.

The overall compensation commission to solicitors schedule to rise by 10% after April 1st. This contradicts the contingency fees which are in place at present where a solicitor can charge any fee “up to a maximum of 25%”, this is known as a success fee. This is to cover the risk element that the solicitor takes if the case is unsuccessful and therefore the solicitor doesn’t make any money.

‘Referral fees’ will also come to an end from April 1st 2013 which will largely affect how Claims Management Companies will deal with new claims.

This will have a huge impact on the “compensation culture” some suggest has come over from the way things work in the USA.  It has been reported that Claims Management Companies were passing on personal injury claims without being checked first, on to solicitors to obtain a referral fee.

Under the new legislation on April 1st, a person will no longer be in a position to become insured to cover them losing if their case is unsuccessful and so will be liable for their own cost.

Despite these plans, the future of personal injury claims remain unpredictable as it is still important to promote justice to innocent and trustworthy people who have genuine cases of personal injury. What will happen still remains to be seen.

A $12 Million fund for a U.S. Gun Law Campaign

A $12 Million fund allotted for a U.S. Gun Law Campaign coming from the Mayor of New York City. Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to push through with a campaign that would enable control the use and owning of guns in the U.S. The advertisement will be seen on the television in different states in the U.S. This Ad Campaign will influence the voters to convince their Senators to have a tougher law for gun buyers and owners.

The Mayor of New York City has been supporting the gun control and he is positive that this will win in the Congress. The voting of the law will occur in April. Unfortunately, the Ad campaign that aimed for tougher laws on gun usage was said to be dismissed by the NRA or the National Rifle Association. The CEO or NRA said that the Mayor could not simply impose his own will to the Americans because they have their freedom to choose what to support. The Mayor in a counter statement released through NBC said that he was trying to do everything to make the Senator feel impressed about the law because it is what the public really wants, a law that would control the guns in the U.S.

The Congress will already consider legislation next month. This said legislation was drafted by the Administration of President Obama because of the number of gun violence in the Unites States that occurred in December. The numerous shooting incidents that involved a lot of innocent people including children were already a wake-up call that something should be done. Gun control has been a famous issue in the U.S.

Japan’s New Anti-Piracy Penalties Invokes Civil Wrath

Japan’s Internet users now face charges should they infringe or pirate music and movie files online. Headed by the Recording Industry Association of Japan and voted by Japanese politicians in June, users are filed a criminal charge that could have them face two years in prison or two million yen fines should they be found engaging in deemed atrocious activities.

Japanese citizens are complaining about the new law being a criminal charge. Critics and organizations such as the Japan Federation of Bar Associations have mentioned that the offense could have been civil rather than criminal. Internet use and downloading is deemed as a personal activity and illegal downloads by private individuals is still insignificant to the damage done to the industry.

Japan is the world’s second largest music market next to the United States. Illegal media downloads in the country were plentiful than legal downloads that have been paid for by consumers in the past two years. Citizens called for action against the providers of such illegal downloads rather than having the individual punished for personal downloads.

Japan’s own Anonymous movement has attacked and defaced websites of government agencies such as the Supereme Court, the DPJ and LDP and the Japanese Society for the Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers. Citizens have protested in Tokyo and 80 participants picked up garbage from the ground in Shibuya against the new law.

Source: BBC

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