The Modern Law Review

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Latest documents

  • Civil Liberties and the Korean War

    This article addresses the unsuccessful attempts to suppress free speech during the Korean War, and in particular explains the attempts to silence three reporters of alleged atrocities by United Nations forces. In the absence of carefully targeted legislation, the three individuals – Alan Winnington (a journalist), Monica Felton (a women's movement activist) and Jack Gaster (a solicitor) ‐ were threatened with or investigated for prosecution for treason or sedition, and Winnington was unable to renew his passport until 1968. Drawing heavily on archival sources (including MI5 files, which unusually fail to redact the identity of one of the lawyers who was reporting to Special Branch about Gaster's activities), the article explores the threat to civil liberties from the administrative as well as the legislative and the judicial power of the state. The article concludes by drawing contemporary parallels, and highlighting the continuing relevance of the writings of Winnington, Felton and Gaster.

  • Anthea Roberts, Is International Law International?, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, 420 pp, hb £25.99.
  • The Common Law Constitution at Work: R (on the application of UNISON) v Lord Chancellor

    This note considers the radical significance of Supreme Court's judgment in R (on the Application of UNISON) v Lord Chancellor (UNISON) on the unlawfulness of tribunal fees. It argues that the decision marks the coming of age of the ‘common law constitution at work’. The radical potential of UNISON lies in its generation of horizontal legal effects in disputes between private parties. Recent litigation on employment status in the ‘gig economy’ is analysed through the lens of UNISON and common law fundamental rights. The note identifies the various ways in which the common law tests of employment status might be ‘constitutionalised’ in the light of UNISON.

  • Gregory Messenger, The Development of World Trade Organization Law: Examining Change in International Law, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016, 216 pp, hb £70.00.
  • Restoring Confidence: Replacing the Fixed‐term Parliaments Act 2011

    This article considers both the Fixed‐term Parliaments Act 2011 (FTPA) and the political constitution, to place the former in its political and constitutional context. It begins by setting out the background to the FTPA – which was a part of a Coalition agreement – and considers difficulties with the most commonly‐made arguments in favour of fixed‐term parliaments. The second part of the article considers the impact and potential practical legal consequences if the FTPA is repealed without any replacement, arguing that it will only be possible to revive the ‘dissolution’ prerogative by express words in a new Act. The final part of the article addresses the question of whether the prerogative should be revived, before arguing both that it should not and that a statutory power to call an election should be conferred on the Prime Minister subject to a vote by simple majority in the House of Commons.

  • An Improved Protection for the (Mentally Ill) Trans Parent: A Queer Reading of AP, Garçon and Nicot v France

    The European Court of Human Rights has been deciding cases concerning LGBT rights since the early 1980s. Its case law on trans rights has changed drastically over time, imposing upon the states of the Council of Europe certain minimum standards regarding the legal recognition of gender identity. In its recent judgment of April 2017 the Court laid down a new rule to be adopted by domestic legislation; namely, that the legal recognition of gender transition cannot be made conditional upon pursuing medical or surgical procedures which have (or are likely to have) sterilising effects. This article analyses the judgment from a critical perspective grounded in queer theory, noting both the positive and the negative elements of the Court's decision.

  • The Child in European Human Rights Law

    This article examines the category of ‘the child’ in European human rights law, based on an analysis of the child‐related jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. It argues that a full account of legal selfhood is constructed through the notion of ‘the child’ in this jurisprudence. The two notions – of ‘the child’ and ‘the self’ – are, from the outset, mutually dependent. The conceptualisation of ‘the child’ in human rights law is underpinned by an account of the self as originating in another and childhood is cast as enabling self‐understanding by making possible the formation of a narrative about the self. The vision of ‘the self’ that emerges is one of ‘the narrative self’, and I assess the implications of this both for the idea of childhood in which this narrative originates and for the vision of the human condition that is expressed in European human rights law more broadly.

  • Jonathan Ercanbrack, The Transformation of Islamic Law in Global Financial Markets, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015, 424 pp, hb £82.00
  • Alan Norrie, Justice and the Slaughter Bench: Essays on Law's Broken Dialectic, Abingdon: Routledge, 2016, 222 pp, hb £110.00, pb £36.99.
  • Dimitrios Kyritsis, Where Our Protection Lies: Separation of Powers and Constitutional Review, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, 240 PP, hb £50.00.

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