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Table of Contents for The Modern Law Review. List of articles from both the latest and EarlyView issues.
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Lee v Ashers Baking Company Ltd and Others: The Inapplicability of Discrimination Law to an Illusory Conflict of Rights

Thu, 2019-09-19 14:38
Abstract

Providers of customised goods and services do not directly discriminate against a customer when their refusal to fulfil an order is based on their objection to the message requested by the latter and not on any protected characteristics of the person. This is the conclusion reached by the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom when faced with a claim of direct discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and religious beliefs or political opinions contrary to two Northern Ireland Statutory Rules against a bakery which objected to incorporating the message ‘Support Gay Marriage’ into a cake. In this case comment it is argued that the Supreme Court correctly identified the crucial distinction between a message and a person for the purposes of discrimination law. Each of the two grounds of discrimination at issue is examined and an explanation for the inapplicability of a finding of discrimination on either is offered.

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Wiltshire Council v Cooper Estates Strategic Land Ltd: Development Plans and the Restriction of Town and Village Green Applications

Wed, 2019-09-18 20:24
Abstract

The Court of Appeal has, for the first time, considered the scheme of ‘trigger events’ introduced in the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013 which preclude the registration of land as a town or village green (or TVG). The event in question concerned identification for potential development in a development plan document. The court was required to determine what constitutes ‘identification for potential development’ for the purposes of the statute. This note suggests that the court's interpretation of ‘identification for potential development’ is unconvincing, and was motivated primarily by policy: to render it more difficult to register land as a TVG. It argues that the judgment constitutes a further and significant restriction on the future viability of TVG applications, rendering entire settlements liable to lose the application of TVG law.

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Ethno‐National Narratives of Human Rights: The Northern Ireland Policing Board

Wed, 2019-09-11 20:59
Abstract

Policing in Northern Ireland has undergone one of the world's most extensive human rights reform programmes. The challenge has been whether the human rights paradigm can serve as a mutual basis for the region's sparring ethno‐national communities to deliberate over long‐contested issues of policing, accountability and justice. This article focuses on the Northern Ireland Policing Board as an arena to examine the contemporary political attitudes and agendas that animate the Board's statutory duty to monitor policing on the basis of human rights. Marshalling qualitative data and drawing on legal anthropology, this article offers an account of the ‘social life’ of human rights and policing in the context of Northern Ireland's imperfect peace. It argues that, irrespective of legal standards, human rights oversight harbours deep sentiments and concerns, at the heart of which are communities’ own historical engagements with rights, competing legacies of the conflict and divergent understandings of contemporary policing.

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In Search of Foundations: Ethics and Metaethics in Constitutional Adjudication

Wed, 2019-09-11 20:59
The Modern Law Review, EarlyView.
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The Chinese Social Credit System: A Model for Other Countries?

Wed, 2019-09-04 19:56
Abstract

Many countries know financial consumer credit ratings, and recent years have also seen a proliferation of rating systems in relation to online platforms and in the ‘sharing economy’, such as eBay, Uber and Airbnb. In the view of many Western observers, however, the emerging Chinese Social Credit System indicates a paradigm shift compared to these former rating systems as it aims for a comprehensive and uniform social rating based on penalty and award mechanisms. By contrast, this article suggests that the evolving forms of the Chinese system should be seen as a specific instance of a wider phenomenon. Thus, it develops a framework that compares different rating systems by reference to their drafters, users, aims, scoring systems, application, use of algorithms, enforcement and accountability; it identifies shortcomings of both low and high interventionist rating systems; and it discusses a range of regulatory approaches and emerging issues that law makers should consider.

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When Women's Rights are Not Human Rights – the Non‐ Performativity of the Human Rights of Victims of Domestic Abuse within English Family Law

Wed, 2019-09-04 19:54
Abstract

A large proportion of child contact cases in England take place within a context of domestic abuse and significant risks to victims and their childrenq associated with post separation contact. The legal response has largely been inadequate and the potential impact of human rights law by the family courts has yet to be fully explored. This paper analyses an exploratory empirical research project undertaken in 2017/2018 with Women's Aid England and 72 victims of domestic abuse regarding their experiences of human rights law in the family courts. The results, theorised through the lens of performativity and against the context of international human rights law, reveal a high level of non‐ performativity with respect to the human rights of the participants. The paper concludes with recommendations and the implications the analysis holds for feminist organisations if they are to fully realise the human rights of the victims of domestic abuse.

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