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  • Jonathan Sumption, Trials of the State: Law and the Decline of Politics, London: Profile Books, 2019, 112 pp, hb £9.99.
  • Mavis Maclean and Bregie Dijksterhuis (eds), Digital Family Justice: From Alternative Dispute Resolution to Online Dispute Resolution? Oxford: Hart, 2019, 244 pp, hb £55.00.
  • Northern Ireland Dimensions to the First Decade of the United Kingdom Supreme Court

    This article focuses on the relationship between the United Kingdom Supreme Court and Northern Ireland over the course of a constitutionally significant period of time, namely the first decade of the Court's existence. It does this by exploring what difference the Court has made to the law of Northern Ireland, what significance the cases from Northern Ireland have had for the law in other parts of the United Kingdom, and what part has been played in the Court's work by the sole Justice from Northern Ireland, Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore, and by the Attorney General for Northern Ireland, John Larkin QC. It concludes that the Court has established itself as an indispensable component of the legal system of Northern Ireland.

  • Mistakes in Algorithmic Trading of Cryptocurrencies

    How should the doctrine of unilateral mistake apply when a programming error results in a buyer's algorithmic trading programme accepting an offer generated by the seller's trading programme to exchange cryptocurrencies at 250 times the current market rate? How should the knowledge element be adapted given that algorithmic trading necessarily means that the traders’ minds were not engaged at the moment the contract was formed? These novel issues came before the Singapore Court of Appeal in Quoine Pte Ltd v B2C2 Ltd. The decision further cautions customers of cryptocurrency exchanges not to assume that they have property rights in the cryptocurrencies held by the exchange and to examine carefully the nature of asset holding arrangement found in the documentation.

  • Private Law and Housing Justice in Europe

    This article explores the different meanings of the right to housing in Europe in public and private relations with housing providers. In light of the fundamental right to housing's meaning in the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union, we offer a new reading of the CJEU judgments that have hitherto been heralded as extending the social dimension of EU (private) law. We submit that the emphasis on economic and procedural rights risks further ‘economisation’ of housing relations in Europe. While the possibilities to grant direct horizontal effect to the right to housing in EU law currently offer limited potential to counter this trend, private law provides part of the framework for a further balancing of social and economic elements in housing cases. Accordingly, we call for a debate on the specific aspects of horizontal relationships in the complex system of housing justice.

  • Re‐Evaluating ‘Best Interests’ in the Wake of Raqeeb v Barts NHS Foundation Trust & Anors

    In Raqeeb v Barts NHS Foundation Trust, the latest of a number of cases concerning whether a child can travel abroad for treatment that doctors in the UK do not consider to be in their best interests, the High Court held that the hospital had acted unlawfully by failing to consider the child's rights under EU law when refusing to allow her to travel. Although this derogation could be justified on public policy grounds, as such treatment was, on the facts, in her best interests, no further interference with her rights was justified. In making this finding, the court recognised the ‘stress’ that such a case placed on the best interests test, lending weight to the argument for moving instead to a risk of significant harm threshold for judicial intervention in parental decisions, which better accounts for legitimate differences of value and strikes a better balance under Article 8 ECHR.

  • Fingerprint Comparison and Adversarialism: The Scientific and Historical Evidence

    This article suggests that lawyers and courts are largely oblivious to scientific insights regarding the value and limitations of latent fingerprint evidence. It proceeds through a detailed historical analysis of the way fingerprint evidence has been reported and challenged. It compares legal responses with mainstream scientific research. Our analysis shows that fingerprint evidence is routinely equated with categorical proof of identity notwithstanding scientific warnings that such an approach is ‘indefensible’. We find that legal challenges to latent fingerprint evidence have been uniformly focused on adjectival issues (e.g. compliance with enabling legislation), leaving the validity and accuracy of this subjective comparison technique virtually unexamined since its first reception at the very beginning of the twentieth century. Lack of legal engagement with validity, error and scientific research suggest that adversarial procedures have not worked effectively to secure scientifically reliable expert evidence and that legal personnel struggle with elementary scientific reasoning.

  • John Frow, On Interpretive Conflict, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019, 223 pp, pb £19.50.
  • A Case Against Crippling Compensation in International Law of State Responsibility

    The obligation of States to provide full reparation for internationally wrongful acts, including by full compensation, is one of the bedrock principles of international law. The article challenges this principle for cases where compensation is crippling for the responsible State or its peoples, which can occur when State responsibility is implemented before international courts and tribunals. The International Law Commission's decision not to qualify full reparation for instances of crippling compensation in its influential Articles on State responsibility was an unpersuasive legal position to adopt in 2001, and its rationale has aged badly. However, the failure by States and other actors to challenge it in the following two decades signified its endorsement by the international legal process. Nevertheless, the case against the permissibility of crippling compensation in modern international law can still be made, both on a case‐by‐case basis and at the level of customary secondary rules of State responsibility.

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