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The banking inquiry: judges apply the law, MPs make it


On BBC News 24 at 3pm today, I was asked about the debate over whether to have a Parliamentary or a judge-led inquiry into banking. I made the point that judges apply the law and MPs make it. (In relation to banking, we are far beyond matters of judge-made common law.) Whereas Leveson is primarily about the law as it is, any inquiry into banking must look at the institutional framework which has allowed ordinary and predictable self interest to […]

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How to repatriate 130 EU laws


This week Open Europe published a new report that shows how the Government could repatriate 130 EU laws on crime and policing, including the controversial European Arrest Warrant. The Government must decide before June 2014 whether a whole raft of EU police and justice laws, adopted before the Lisbon Treaty took force, will continue to apply in the UK beyond December 2014. Under Lisbon, if the Government opts out of any one of the existing laws, it has to opt […]

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What is “reasonable force” in a riot?


As Londoners take to defending their own lives, property and communities, it seems the state is failing in its first duty: to defend life, liberty and property. A good number of my constituents have written — dismayed by the shameful, reckless behaviour they have seen on TV — demanding that tougher action be taken with rioters. My understanding of the law (and I am not a lawyer) is that “A person may use such force as is reasonable in the […]

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The Financial Services (Regulation of Derivatives) Bill


Steve Baker (Wycombe) (Con): I beg to move, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to require certain financial institutions to prepare parallel accounts on the basis of the lower of historic cost and mark to market for their exposure to derivatives; and for connected purposes. I rise not as an expert in derivatives or derivative accounting, but as someone who has wrestled with the problems of the banking system in the company of experts, both academic and […]

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Philip Lawrence’s widow urges reform of human rights laws after killer Learco Chindamo recalled to prison – Telegraph


David Cameron is under pressure to deliver on a promise to reform the Human Rights Act following the disclosure that the foreign-born murderer of Philip Lawrence has been arrested on suspicion of another violent attack. via Philip Lawrence’s widow urges reform of human rights laws after killer Learco Chindamo recalled to prison – Telegraph. I will be joining colleagues in calling for reform of the Human Rights Act to deliver a classical English Bill of Rights.  I have great respect […]

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Rivlin, Understanding the Law


I first mentioned Understanding the Law by Geoffrey Rivlin after observing the proceedings of Wycombe Magistrates’ Court. At last, I have finished it. The book is a tour de force covering the law and its importance, the courts, the constitution, Parliament, the police, the judiciary, human rights, discrimination, the legal profession, the work of the courts and various historical, practical and ancillary subjects. At 370 pages, it is a considerable read but a triumph of brevity and wit in view […]

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How do we win back our freedom? – Telegraph


the insidious accretion of power to a benign and democratic state, through the use of the legislative process to restrict what we do and shape who we are, is more destructive in the long run because it creates a society of pliant individuals who look for someone else to help them out. Personal responsibility is destroyed and gives way to a notion that the state or one of its many agencies will provide everything. We become dependent upon others rather […]

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David Cameron: Reducing the burden and impact of health and safety


Via The Conservative Party | News | Speeches | David Cameron: Reducing the burden and impact of health and safety, David Cameron further sets out his vision to turn Britain around: Three weeks ago at the Young Lecture I said that the ultimate ambition of a future Conservative Government was to create the big society… …a thick, intricate web of mutual obligation in which we fulfil our responsibilities to ourselves and each other. I argued that achieving this vision requires […]

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How to avoid future encounters with financial meltdown » The Cobden Centre


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My Cobden Centre colleague and Chief Executive of Tyler Capital, James Tyler, explains how we came close to financial collapse and what to do about it: Fractional Reserve Banking (FRB) is an inherently unstable complex system. Each and every bubble and crisis has some kind of link to FRB, going back thousands of years. Even where financial crises are caused by natural disasters (the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 being a prime example), the financial crisis only followed because banks […]

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EU: is Britain still a sovereign state? – Telegraph


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Very nearly beyond parody: According to research by the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA), there are currently 16,980 EU acts in force and between 1998 and 2007 there was a net gain of 9,415 EU laws. In 2007, 3,010 EU laws became UK law, while only 993 EU regulations were repealed – a net gain of 2,017 extra laws. The pace at which new EU laws were promulgated also increased at a record speed, with a net gain of over 2,000 new […]

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