AGM and Lecture on Neoliberalism and Human Rights

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The Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers invites you to join us at the next lecture in our human rights series on 6 December 2018 at 6.30pm. Our speaker, Patrick O’Connor QC of Doughty Street Chambers will be speaking on Neoliberalism and human rights.

The lecture will be followed by our Annual General Meeting. The lecture is open to all, although the AGM is open only to members.

Motions for discussion at the AGM, and candidatures for election, can be submitted up to 72 hours in advance of the AGM, or at the AGM itself.

The lecture will take place at:

Room S101
University of Law
14 Store Street
London
WC1E 7DE

Latecomers are welcome to enter quietly.

 

Free Public Lecture (MANCHESTER): Fracking and Protest

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The Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers is proud to host this meeting with speakers Richard Brigden and Anna Morris (barristers) and Ewa Barker (anti-fracking activist). The meeting will discuss the defence of protest, injunctions, and campaigning in light of the quashing of the convictions for the anti-fracking protesters - the Preston Road Three - and the resumption of fracking by Cuadrilla.

The meeting will take place from 6pm to 8pm at Garden Court North Chambers, 3rd Floor, Blackfriars House Parsonage, Machester, M3 2JA.

Latecomers are welcome to enter quietly.

Free Public Lecture: Mental Health, Austerity, and Capitalism

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The Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers invites you to our free public lecture, Mental Health, Austerity, and Capitalism. The lecture will take place on Thursday 29 November 2018 at 6.30pm to 8.30pm, at Room S101, University of Law, 14 Store Street, London, WC1E 7DE.

Speakers:

  • Rheian Davies: mental health lawyer

  • Daniel Carelli: mental health service user

  • Sophie Talbot: Disability Labour national executive member.

Latecomers are welcome to enter quietly.

Haldane Winter Party: Save the Date - 13 December 2018

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Members, comrades, and friends from across the movement are once again invited to the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers' Winter Party.

Save the date of 13 December 2018 from 6.30pm till late.  The party will take place at Garden Court Chambers, 57-60 Lincolns Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3LS (nearest tube Holborn).

Food, drink, and entertainment will be included in the ticket price, which is usually between £10-£20.  Discounted student and low-waged tickets will be available.  Cheaper early bird tickets will go on sale soon at www.haldane.org, but tickets will be on sale on the door as well.

Please share far and wide.

Socialist Lawyer Podcast, Episode 1: Deported for Sleeping Rough

The Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers is proud to present the debut episode of our new Socialist Lawyer Podcast.

Episode 1: Deported for Sleeping Rough considers the Home Office’s unlawful policy of arresting rough sleeping EEA nationals, stealing their identity papers, and then either detaining and deporting them, or releasing them back onto the streets without papers so that they cannot obtain housing or employment.

The policy itself was declared unlawful in the case of R (on the application of Gureckis, Cielecki, and Perlinski) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, a case brought by Haldane Society members, and led by the Public Interest Law Unit. Its repercussions are still being felt, with homeless charities - St Mungo’s, Thamesreach, and Change Grow Live - who helped the Home Office implement their unlawful policies, now under investigation for data protection breaches. In addition, dozens of cases are being brought against the Home Office in order to pursue compensation for those who were detained and deported.

The podcast is available from Soundcloud (below), and will shortly be available on iTunes.

Egypt and Human Rights: The Case of Haitham Mohamedain

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The Haldane Society invites you to our first lecture of our annual series, on Egypt and Human Rights: The case of Haitham Mohamedain. 
Speakers:

  • Dr Taher Mukhtar, former political prisoner and member of the Egyptian Doctors' Union

  • Anne Alexander, UCU and campaigner against repression in Egypt.

The event will take place today at 6.30pm to 8.30pm at the University of Law, 14 Store Street, London, WC1E 7DE. 
All are welcome and there is no need to book.

Latecomers are welcome to enter quietly.

Haldane Fringe at Labour Party Conference

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On 24 September 2018 at 6pm the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers will host speakers Richard Burgon MP, Shami Chakrabarti, Mark George QC, Chris Peace, and Neil Findlay MSP for a discussion on Orgreave, the miners’ strike and political policing.

Join us at the Hilton Liverpool (Grace Suite), 3 Thomas Steers Way, Liverpool, L1 8LW. No need to book in advance.

Haldane Society Statement on AGFS Cuts

The Haldane Society has for years been at the forefront of calls to protect the justice system from government cuts, and for meaningful investment to restore and expand services that were available before the start of conservative austerity politics.  We have consistently supported the Criminal Bar Association's action demanding a real terms increase in funding for the AGFS, and improvements in funding throughout the justice system.

The Criminal Bar Association is now consulting (including through a Heads of Chambers meeting being convened today) on ending the strike in the criminal courts.  The Haldane Society is strongly opposed to this course of action for the following reasons:

  • The government's proposals are for a small immediate increase in funding in the AGFS for some practitioners.  However, this does little other than replace funding that was cut in the post-1 April 2018 scheme, and is a drop in the ocean.
  • The government then propose a 1% increase in funding next year.  RPI is currently at 2.2%: as such, a 1% increase is a real terms cut of approximately 1.2%.
  • After the first year, the government does not envisage any further increases, or index linking to the AGFS. This means year on year real terms cuts will continue.  No other sector of the economy would tolerate this.
  • The government proposes to continue cuts in other areas of the justice system.  They also propose no new funding for the justice system as a whole.
  • Finally, the government expects criminal advocates to work under the reduced fees of the post-1 April 2018 scheme until November.

The reality is that the proposals to be put to CBA members amount to accepting cuts, and giving up on a strike which has seen unprecedented unity.  We have the advantage now.  There is no conceivable reason why we should throw that advantage away.

The Haldane Society backs those chambers who will continue and escalate the present action, implementing no returns immediately, and calling for:

  • An immediate real terms increase in fees, not just restoration of fees already cut.
  • Index linking of future fees.
  • Restoration of funding for solicitors in the LGFS.
  • Investment throughout the justice system, particularly in court infrastructure.
  • Meaningful improvements in work-life balance, in particular the abolition of warned lists and the abandoment of court closures and longer sitting hours.

We look forward to the continuation of the current no returns policy, rather than its suspension, and to the calling of whole strike days.  Only such a policy can deliver victory, rather than defeat dressed up as success.

Haldane and COPS joint public meeting 23 June 2018

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The Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers and Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance will be hosting a joint public meeting at The Pearce Institute, 840-860 Govan Road, Glasgow, GS51 3UU from 11:00 am on Saturday 23 June.  The meeting will hear from activists and victims of police spying in Scotland, in particular:

  • Neil Findlay, Labour MSP, at the forefront of raising these issues in the Scottish Parliament;
  • Tilly Gifford, social justice activist bringing a judicial review against the UK and Scottish governments for their failure to act.
  • Andrea, woman activist from Police Spies Out Of Our Lives.
  • Eveline Lubbers, Undercover Research Group.

All enquiries about the event should be addressed to copsscotland@gmail.com.

Click here for tickets.

The Undercover Policing Inquiry...

In March 2015, Theresa May, then Home Secretary, announced her intention to set up an Inquiry into undercover policing. This announcement followed revelations that police officers, as early as 1968, had spied on political campaigners and had used the names of dead children to create their identities they had deceived women into forming long-term intimate relationships and had fathered children. They had befriended grieving families, including the parents of Stephen Lawrence, and had acted as agents provocateurs.

…but no public inquiry in Scotland!

The undercover police operations under scrutiny by the Inquiry are limited to those conducted in England and Wales. However, much evidence has come to light demonstrating that the Metropolitan Police’s SDS had in fact operated in Scotland, and possibly without the permission of the Scottish authorities.

During the G8 Summit at Gleneagles in 2005, the Metropolitan Police sent undercover police officers into Scotland to spy on activists, amongst these officers was known undercover officer Mark Kennedy, who had between 2003 and 2010 infiltrated numerous campaign groups and had formed intimate relationships with women. Undercover officer Carlo Neri targeted a woman known publicly as ‘Andrea’, and had been welcomed into her Scottish family.

However it is not just the UK government that has declined the need for a public inquiry in Scotland. Sadly, the SNP have followed suit, and following the release of the HMICS report, they have also rejected the need for Scotland to hold its own inquiry.

Legal challenge and building a campaign.

On 14 September 2017, Lord Brailsford of Edinburgh’s Court of Session agreed to grant permission for a full judicial review hearing to take place. The case brought by Tilly Gifford, a social justice activist, is important. The full hearing is due to be heard on the 19-20th July 2018. Have the UK Government acted unlawfully in refusing to extend the terms of reference of the Inquiry to Scotland? Have the Scottish Government in refusing to set up its own inquiry acted unlawfully? We think so.

Whether we win this case or not – we must build a campaign to force the UK government and the Scottish government to concede to a proper inquiry. Truth and justice are demanded by trade unionists, environmentalists, women activists, blacklisted workers, and social justice campaigners!