Displaying items by tag: court case
Adam Smith-Connor has pleaded not guilty to charges related to breaking a local ‘buffer zone’ around an abortion clinic and praying silently outside the medical facility. He was approached by police outside the clinic earlier this year. He thought he would not be prosecuted, as the statutory time-limit for pressing charges had elapsed. At his hearing on 9 August he said, ‘We are standing in the nation of the Magna Carta, the nation which has championed democracy and freedom. We have a history of upholding human rights we can be proud of and a respect for freedom that I fought to uphold when I served this country for twenty years in the army reserves, including in Afghanistan. Yet here I stand before you, being prosecuted for a thought crime.’ His legal team contend that freedom of thought is protected absolutely through the Human Rights Act and therefore, the local council has no power to prohibit silent prayer.
Prince Harry has been on a collision course with the tabloid press for years - and finally he is pressing charges of phone hacking. He has said that changing the media landscape is his ‘life's work’, and this gladiatorial courtroom encounter could be one of his own defining moments. He has a single-minded determination to keep going without settling and is rich enough to take the financial hit if he loses. He has found this wasn’t like taking questions from Oprah Winfrey in a celebrity interview. He had a hostile encounter with a highly-skilled cross-examiner armed with a battery of techniques to undermine credibility. Giving evidence is daunting.
Two activists who successfully fought against mining on their ancestral lands have won an international environmental prize. Alex Lucitante, 29, and Alexandra Narváez, 32, led the Cofan indigenous community which used drones and camera traps to collect crucial evidence in securing a legal victory which resulted in 79,000 acres of rainforest being protected from gold mining. In 2017, they found out that the government had issued 20 mining licences, with 32 more waiting to be approved. After a legal battle which lasted almost a year, the community achieved a remarkable victory. A provincial court ruled that the authorities had failed to seek the consent of the Cofan, nullified both the existing and pending licences, and ordered that the mining activities be stopped.
Mary Onuoha, an operating theatre specialist at Croydon University Hospital, was bullied and pressured to remove her cross necklace while on duty. Mary says she was forced out of the job she loved after working there for 18 years. She is challenging the NHS trust for harassment, victimisation, and constructive unfair dismissal as they had breached her freedom to express her faith under the European Convention of Human Rights and the Equality Act. In August 2018 bosses ordered her to remove the cross which was a breach of NHS dress code and a ‘health risk’ to her and to patients. Mary argues that the dress code was applied inconsistently. Other nurses were not asked to remove jewellery, hijabs, saris, turbans or religious bracelets. Also Mary wore several lanyards at the same time with no anti-strangle clasps, yet her cross supposedly posed ‘a risk of injury or infection’.
On 17 August the Assyrian Church of the East Relief Organisation (ACERO) applied to Westminster magistrates court to have its funds released, so that it can send money to victims of the Beirut explosion and a Covid-19 relief project in Armenia. ACERO’s accounts were frozen in 2019 after a judge ruled that the police should be allowed to look into allegations that it funded Islamic terrorism by paying ransom money for the release of 223 Christian hostages held by IS. The charity claims money was sent to help rehabilitate Christian Assyrian hostages following their release. Lawyers argued that there is no longer reason to suspect funds were or will be used for terrorist financing, and it is unconscionable to prevent them any longer from being put to humanitarian use.’
Two high court judges have upheld the Government’s decision to allow at-home abortions during lockdown. But it is not over yet. Christian Concern said that their legal challenge has exposed how the abortion industry has captured the Department of Health. The case showed that if pro-abortion lobbyists want something to happen, they can contact their insiders and get it done. One key civil servant in the case worked simultaneously for Public Health England and abortion provider Marie Stopes UK. These are not clinical experts simply advising on best practice; they are campaigners like BPAS executive Ann Furedi, who calls for abortion at any stage, for any reason. Christian Concern want to appeal this case, but more than that, they need to continue to expose the abortion industry’s privileged access to the heart of government and the untold damage caused to women and babies because of their influence.
Anna-Maria Tudor, 32, had an abortion at 23 weeks that she now regrets after learning that her unborn child may have felt pain while being aborted. Medical researchers say there is now ‘good evidence’ that the brain and nervous system, which start developing at 12 weeks, are adequate for the baby to feel pain at 23 weeks. They argue that women considering an abortion at this stage of pregnancy should be told about the pain their unborn baby could experience while being terminated. Ms Tudor is launching a landmark abortion court case. She is seeking a declaration that current NICE guidelines, not requiring women to be informed that an unborn child could suffer pain during an abortion, are unlawful. Pain relief during an abortion is not required by law, but painkillers are given to unborn babies receiving surgery in the womb for spina bifida.
A 23-year-old woman taking legal action against an NHS gender clinic says she should have been challenged more by medical staff over her decision to transition to a male as a 16-year-old teenager. At the hearing, lawyers will argue that children cannot give informed consent to treatment delaying puberty or helping them to transition. The clinic runs the UK's only gender-identity development service. Pray for the two claimants, Keira Bell and Mum A - the mother of a 15-year-old girl with autism who is awaiting treatment at the clinic. Pray for stricter control of the puberty blockers that pause the development of breasts, periods, facial hair and voice-breaking. They are meant to give children more time to weigh up their options before going through the physical changes of puberty. Their impact on brain development and psychological health is not fully known.
IJM wants God to bring justice and closure in the case of its staff lawyer Willie Kimani, client Josephat Mwenda, and trusted taxi driver Joseph Muiruri, who were kidnapped and murdered in 2016. Their bodies were dumped in gun bags in a river. Four police officers and one police informant were charged with their murders, and the informant confessed. 38 witnesses have testified over three years, but only eight remain. The court will sit soon, and the judge will decide whether to admit as evidence a video of a crime scene reconstruction involving the informant. This is a critical moment: the trial has been plagued by adjournments each time the confession evidence was due to be heard. Please pray against health problems, legal issues, witness challenges, or anything which could give reason to adjourn the case again.
The BBC has to pay Sir Cliff Richard £850,000 to cover legal costs, following his privacy case against them. He had already been awarded £210,000 damages when the court ruled that the BBC infringed his privacy when reporting a 2014 police raid on his home. Sir Cliff was never charged or arrested. The BBC is also going to pay £315,000 to South Yorkshire Police for legal costs. However the BBC is seeking leave to appeal against the judgment, and wants to challenge Sir Cliff’s right to privacy while a suspect in a police investigation - trumping the broadcaster's right to freedom of expression to publish his name and cover the raid. Lord Patten, former chairman of the BBC Trust, said the BBC would be ‘crazy’ to appeal against the High Court's ruling in this case, saying they should ‘swallow hard, say they made a mistake, apologise, as they have, to Cliff Richard and not to do it again’. See https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-44884477/cliff-richard-bbc-would-be-crazy-to-appeal-lord-patten