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News Round-Up Week Ending 22.1.16

(Posted on 22/01/16)


Parliamentary launch of Joint Enterprise and racism report:

On Monday and Tuesday in Manchester and London, the Centre for Crime & Justice Studies will be launching a new research report, ‘Dangerous associations: Joint enterprise, gangs and racism’, written by experts from Manchester Metropolitan University, that raises serious concerns about the impact of Joint Enterprise prosecutions on Black, Asian and Minority ethnic communities.

Focusing on Manchester, Nottingham and London, the report will reveal new findings that give strong grounds for concluding that black people are systematically discriminated against in joint enterprise prosecutions.

Register here:

A Thorn in Their Side

In 1984 Hilda Murrell, a 78-year-old rose-grower turned anti-nuclear campaigner, was found brutally murdered outside her home town of Shrewsbury, England. The case became one of the biggest, most bizarre and baffling British murders of the 20th century involving political conspiracies surrounding the nuclear industry and the Falklands War.

After a cold case review, in 2005 Andrew George, who was a 16-year-old petty thief from a foster home, was convicted. 

Kate Dewes and Robert Green have written a book about the murder of Robert's aunt Hilda Murrell published by the UK publishers John Blake in 2012. 

‘We believe that Andrew George, who was imprisoned for her murder for 15 years in 2005 is innocent of the murder. On the website, look under news/reviews for a lot of media coverage in New Zealand and UK about the case and the intimidation we continue to suffer due to our attempts, as next of kin, to get this case solved properly.’ for details of the case and the book

Syrian Refugees Win Right to Enter UK

An immigration judge ruled on Wednesday that four Syrian refugees in Calais’ ‘jungle’ camp are entitled to join relatives in the UK while their asylum applications are processed.

The three teenagers and a 26-year old man suffering from post-traumatic stress have now arrived in London.

“I feel so thankful because I would never have imagined I would be reunited with my brother,” one of the teenagers declared, on arriving at St Pancras.”I thank every person who was part of this process - they have saved lives. They have saved people from death... I thank Britain as a whole.”

The case may pave the way for many other refugees.

PM Calls for End to ‘Spurious’ Iraq Abuse Claims Against Soldiers

The prime minister has asked ministers to draw up plans to restrict abuse claims against Iraq War veterans, including curbing financial incentives for ‘no win, no fee’ cases.

“Our armed forces are rightly held to the highest standards,” David Cameron argued. “But I want our troops to know that when they get home from action overseas this government will protect them from being hounded by lawyers over claims that are totally without foundation.”

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has criticised ‘ambulance-chasing British law firms’ and suggested there is ‘a strong case’ for suspending the European human rights law when sending forces into action overseas.

Law firm Leigh Day was singled out for criticism earlier this month: 

“I do think that this organisation, Leigh Day, has questions to answer,” the PM told the Commons. “Not least because it was deeply involved in the al-Sweady inquiry, where a lot of claims completely fell apart and there was, it seems, evidence that could have shown that those claims were false.”

A spokesperson for Leigh Day said: "We have a system in this country that enables people to obtain justice if they have suffered abuse, damage or loss at the hands of anyone.  No-one is above the law, not us, not the British Army and not the Government. We cannot imagine that the Prime Minister is proposing that this should change.

“Over the last 12 years many cases of abuse made against the MoD during the course of the occupation of Iraq have come to light and been accepted by the government. They include the appalling torture and murder of Baha Mousa in 2003. In addition, the government has paid compensation for over 300 other cases relating to abuse and unlawful detention of Iraqis.

“The vast majority of serving army soldiers do a first-class job in protecting this country but the evidence shows that this is by no means the case for all.”