John Downes's blog

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UK: Bad Taste Tweets Not Criminal

Pau Chambers, from Corby, England was due to fly from the local airport in January, 2010 when it began to snow heavily. He tweeted "Crap! Robin Hood Airport is closed. You've got a week and a bit to get your shit together, otherwise I am blowing the airport sky high!!". The tweet was read by 600 followers. He was reported to the police and was conviceted at Doncaster Magistrates Court for sending a "menacing communication". He insisted that it was just a joke. He was fined £350 ($547/€442) and ordered to pay £600 costs ($938/€758).

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Civil Juries to Receive Guidance on Damages in Scotland

The Court of Session (the Supreme Civil Court in Scotland) has declared that better guidance as to the appropriate level of damages should in future be given to juries in civil damages cases. A five judge bench under the retiring Lord President, Lord Hamilton, made the ruling in allowing two appeals by defenders who claimed that jury awards of compensation for the death of a relative were excessive.


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Scotland: Human Trafficking Report

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has published its findings from its Inquiry into Human Trafficking in Scotland. The Commission inquired into the nature and extent of human trafficking in Scotland. It focused on trafficking for the purposes of forced labour, domestic servitude and criminal exploitation, but more explicitly on commercial sexual exploitation, which Baroness Kennedy QC called ‘the most prevalent and pernicious manifestation of human enslavement’.

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Scottish Legislation to Tackle Football Sectarianism

The report at Stage 2 on the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Bill was published on 6 October 2011. It had been introduced to the Scottish Parliament on 16 June 2011 and it was subsequently agreed that it would be considered as an emergency bill.

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Albania's Impressive Tourism Statistics

Albania's tourism industry continues to impress, with a record number of visitors crossing the border this weekend, according to a report in regional news portal on August 8 2011.  According to the report, some 57,255 people entered the country over the weekend, with the main activity recorded at the Morine crossing bordering Kosovo, where some 22,000 people entered on one day.

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Humour in Court

The Procurator Fiscal, Aberdeen v Thomas Scott Forrester, [2011] HCJAC 71

The respondent, a police chief Inspector, was charged with dangerous driving after allegedly instructing a police constable driving a police car, in which he was travelling to catch a plane, to put the sirens on and move to the wrong side of the road. When the constable did so, a collision occurred between two cars travelling in the opposite direction.

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Bribery and Corruption

The Bribery Act 2010 came into force on 1 July 2011. This is a UK-wide statute which I have discussed on the IFTTA

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UK: Office of Fair Trading Provides New Guidance on Competition Law

The Office of Fair Trading has issued new guidelines to help businesses comply with EU and UK Competition Law. There is also a helpful video