Ban on Legal Highs Could Push Activities To the Dark Web

A new law passed May this year banned the use of all psychoactive substances including those deemed as legal highs. Much to the disappointment of young adults and ‘head’ aficionados, legal highs are going to increase in prices. Worse still, their deregulation also means riskier products at higher prices.

Banning drugs only makes it harder for consumers to get their needs and makes it easier for suppliers to earn more for their keep as prices push up.

According to the National Strategic Assessment of Serious and Organised Crime in the United Kingdom, the trade of legal highs would move online.

2

“Change in legislation around NPS in May 2016 effectively banning so-called ‘legal highs’ is likely to see a large increase in these drugs being offered through the dark web instead,” the report, published late last week, reads. According to the report’s methodology, “likely” refers to an “associated probability range” of 75-85 percent.

UK-based sellers are now selling at higher prices for synthetic cannabis using bitcoin — a crpytograph-based currency — to sell their products.

“This was a legal high in the UK untill [sic] very recently, it is extremely strong and unless you are an experienced user of this type of product I would strongly urge you not to order this, it will be too strong for you to enjoy and certainly not a drug you would want to take up as a new user,” the product description reads.

Researchers in the dark web according to Vice.com found many legal highs being sold in the black market.

Before the ban, digital shops on the mainstream web sold these products. Even before, the shops existed as actual establishments all throughout London.

UK Law Firms Sign Up Irish Solicitors Post-Brexit

European Law is still booming business for legal firms. A circle of the United Kingdom’s biggest lawyer firms — Freshfields, Hogan Lovells, Slaughter and May, and Allen & Overy — had announced a recruitment drive for legal solicitors in the Republic of Ireland.

The firms had even begun their drive for Irish solicitors before the EU referendum on June 23. Slaughter and May had partnered up with its competition to join the growing number of Irish solicitors from Freshfields and Hogan Lovells.

Allen & Overy had registered a small number of English competition lawyers before the referendum.

The Law Society of Ireland said it receives about 30 initial queries a day from UK solicitors since the Brexit. About 219 English solicitors were admitted to the Roll of Solicitors in England compared with 70 in 2015.

Brexit is the primary reason of seeking admission in Ireland for many of these UK firms.

Solicitors qualified in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will undergo a process that allows them to practice as solicitors in Ireland.

According to Hogan Lovells, the firm is in the process of registering lawyers from its competition practice in London and Brussels in Ireland.

No Points-Based System for New UK Immigration System

Tags

According to Immigration Minister James Brokenshire, a points-based immigration system similar to Australia is something the UK will not adopted despite the latter being promised by leading Leave campaigners.

Mr Brokenshire said Britain’s new immigration system would still filter the free-flowing migration to the United Kingdom from the European Union. However, the model would be slightly different.

The Immigration Minister also said that the estimated 2.9 million EU nationals in Britain do not have a guarantee to their position until the position of UK citizens in EU countries is also secured. Even long-term EU citizens in the United Kingdom might still be removed, although Mr Brokenshire said it would be very difficult.

Under EU law, EU citizens from other countries within the block have a right to live permanently in the UK if they had lived for five years.

“Having established that right, I think, as a matter of law, it would be virtually impossible … to then take that away from them,” said Brokenshire.

He disclosed that a Home Office “international immigration group” has already started work on mapping out the options for a post-Brexit immigration system that is feeding into the Cabinet Office’s central co-ordination Brexit unit under Olly Martins.

UK Government Promises Discussion Over Snooper’s Charter

The increasing debate regarding the implementation of the new Investigatory Powers Bill or “Snooper’s Charter” had many human rights advocates clamouring for better discussion.

The bill has reached the higher levels of Parliament, concerning many professionals from almost all fields.

Many from the legal profession had spoken about the issue. Solicitor General For England and Wales Robert Buckland QC said to the House of Commons “Dialogue will continue and will allow for meaningful scrutiny and debate” amid a grilling from MPs across the political spectrum.

Aside from Robert Buckland, the Law Society of England and Wales, the Bar Council of England and Wales, the Law Society of Scotland and Faculty of Advocates had raised issues about the privileges that could be abused with the new bill.

The Solicitor General has already met with the Bar Council to discuss the bill and is due to meet the Law Society of England and Wales today.

He said the Bar Council “have kindly undertaken to come up with further proposals by which the issues that took up so much time in Committee might be resolved”.

He added: “It is perhaps a little unfortunate that those particular proposals were not crystallised prior to today’s debate, but there will of course be more time. If clear proposals come forward—I am sure that they will—they can be subject to full, proper scrutiny in the other place.”

Lauri Love Favoured by Judges Over Password Row

Tags

,

A Westminster judge ruled that hacktivist Lauri Love, involved in the operation tagged online as #OpLastResort, does not need to cooperate with the NCA’s requirement to give up his passwords to decrypt his computer equipment and other files.

District Judge Nina Tempia said she refused the NCA’s request because it attempted to use case management powers of thecourt. The judge said the department intended to bypass specific legislation to immediately reach the information required.

Legal journalist David Allen Green said the NCA was trying to bypass the RIPA scheme. This contains 55 safeguards that protect civilians from police and authorities handing over their encryption keys.

Green said the “sidestepping of the RIPA scheme” would prevent police and authorities from respecting the Code of Practice

Lauri Love is charged with one count of “conspiracy”, six counts of “damage to a protected computer and aiding and abetting” another count of “access device fraud and aiding and abetting” and a final count of “aggravated identity theft, and aiding and abetting.”

Love’s lawyer Karen Todner said:

“Mr Love is very pleased with the decision of District Judge Tempia today not to grant the direction requested by the NCA. This was clearly the right outcome. A decision in the NCA’s favour would have set a worrying precedent for future investigations of this nature and the protection of these important human rights.”

“The NCA first served a RIPA Notice on Mr Love in February 2014 but took no further action to continue it after he did not comply. Over two years later, by seeking a direction from the court for Mr Love to disclose the encryption keys and passwords, the NCA were clearly attempting to circumvent the proper statutory mechanisms put in place by Parliament for the investigation of encrypted data and the important safeguards tied in with these. The District Judge rightly saw through this approach and found in Mr Love’s favour.”

“We continue to defend his extradition proceedings which are ongoing.”

Jeremy Corbyn To State His Position Regarding Brexit

Arguably the biggest legal and political issue in the country today, the Brexit has left many weighing the pros and cons of staying in and staying out of the European Union.

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, repeatedly criticised for not taking his stance on the referendum, has finally come out to say his wishes to remain in the European Union.

According to Corbyn, Labour intends to stay because the EU has brought much of the UK’s benefits including investment, jobs, British worker protection, consumers and the environment.

He said:

“Over the years I have continued to be critical of many decisions taken by the EU  and I remain critical of its shortcomings, from its lack of democratic accountability to the institutional pressure to deregulate or privatise public services . . . Europe needs to change. But that change can only come from working with our allies in the EU.”

Corbyn said that Vote Leave, which includes the neutral Tory Government that wishes the UK to stay in the EU, intends for Britain to become a safe haven for “dodgy oligarch, dictator, rogue corporation or anyone with ill-gotten gains”.

Many believe the statement is about the expose of the Panama papers.

Corbyn argues the EU has successfully protected their steel industries especially from China’s possible steel dumping. With higher tariffs on Chinese steel, which the UK government did not cooperate with, the EU countries including Germany, Italy, France and Spain had successfully protected the entire industry.

It’s Important to Listen To Both Sides of The Sharia Argument

I’ll admit.

It’s a tough issue to discuss the Sharia courts’ increasing influence in the UK legal geography. However, Britons like us should accept the idea that we’re living with Muslims in our country. Listening to Sharia representatives is a sign of cultural respect on our behalf.

It’s really tough and it’s easier said than done.

With all the talk of Sharia courts after MPs listened to a bid to ban Muslims from replacing British law with Sharia law can be a big issue for the entire country.

Right now, the UK has 85 Sharia courts in Britain.

Sharia courts are hard-line Muslims courts focused on retaining culture by allowing Islam to use its beliefs in the development of law.

Everybody understands that Islam can be a bit discriminating against the rights of women. This is what Baroness Caroline Cox wants to bring into the fray.

The Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill will force the 85 registered Sharia courts to stop discriminating against women.

While I know there’s a serious concern over the manner Sharia Courts have rulings especially situations involving women, this bill, if it does not reach compromise, would only increase social divide between other religions.

Yes, it will help if women in Sharia courts understood their British legal rights. News about Sharia courts intimidating women into submission with the Sharia law have been plentiful in the United Kingdom.

But, we still have to listen and we have to decide which allows us to be more human rather than methodical in this aspect.

What Is This Spy Law Business About?

The Investigatory Powers Act is widely controversial for citizens concerned about their privacy along with MPs worried that the government may abuse its power once it is implemented.

The bill gives the police, military and intelligence services access Internet connection records. Telcom companies will also need to keep records of their customer’s web histories for a year to help security services gain access to electronic devices used by possible culprits.

However, the loophole would leave many online services, service providers  and software vulnerable.

Tech giants Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo had voiced out against the IPA because it would force the introduction of a backdoor.

Apple CEO Tim Cook pointed out that “a backdoor for one is a backdoor for everyone”.

According to the Parliament Intelligence and Security Committee, which is responsible for overseeing the draft Investigatory Powers Bill, said the current draft is just an “add-on”.  Similar to a software update in our applications, the bill just replaces a patchwork of laws during the time the Internet came to light in the early 90s.

The Committee also said some portions of the draft were inconsistent. Hmm. For lawyers and legal-industry individuals running the government, that’s a bit of a bugger.

The Committee also said it finds the restraints on intelligence agency’s powers lacking. In the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelation about the GCHQ’s extensive power over networks, the Committee said the draft should protect citizens  effectively rather than encourage intelligence agencies.

UN Human Rights Experts Call Review Of Investigatory Powers Bill

The increasing threat of terrorist attacks has prompted the United Kingdom to employ new rules that would allow government agencies access to every Briton’s private information. The United Nations’ human rights experts have called for the government to review the law. They said in its current form, the Investigatory Powers Bill can immediately threaten its citizens’ rights to freedoms of expression and self-associations inside and outside the country.

2

In a six-page letter to the Parliamentary Committee, the experts said:

“The lack of transparency could prevent individuals from ever knowing they are subject to such surveillance.

“This will ultimately stifle fundamental freedoms and exert a deterrent effect on the legitimate exercise of these rights and the work of civil society and human rights defenders.”

Balance of Power

The Investigatory Powers Bill, also known as “Snooper’s Charter”, is something most experts admit to be useful for any country. However, because it gives powers and access to government agencies, animosity can breed mistrust against the government.

Broad definitions included in the first draft of the law should be made more specific to the situation at hand. Standard operating procedures, according to the experts, must define itself while being balanced and fair among citizens and legal personnel.

Drone Injury Liability And What You Need To Know

Drones are becoming increasingly popular as evolved helicopter toys for young adults. It also serves as useful tools for adults, businesses and even consumers.

These small, flying, battery-operated machines do more than just traverse the air. In many occasions, drones can display advertisements, carry cameras and follow their target or even spray paint in one occasion.

According to the law firm Geoff McDonald & Associates this is “George Jetson Stuff” referring to the old cartoon. However, because they are unmanned, other unscrupulous hands at work may use this clause to escape legal responsibility, particularly personal injury.

Most drones are made of carbon fiber, aluminium or heavy plastic. Common designs have four rotating blades attached to propeller engines. McDonald said carbon fiber could cause injuries in the event of a loose drone or a sudden shut-down drone falling over someone’s head.

The problem is that individuals and businesses can escape responsibility. While it still accounts for personal injuries brought about by an individual’s assets, alibis are plentiful in using drones.

McDonald’s company intends to educate the public about drone safety, how to use drones and representing company drones in personal injury cases.