After the United States plans to enact an executive order to remove travel from citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, UK Prime Minister Theresa May seconds the movement to the initial passing of the Investigative Powers Act or Snoopers Charter by passing an “espionage act.” This would — according to Reporters Without Borders — kill the entire industry of investigative journalism and whistleblowers nationwide.
A journalist from Reporters Sans Frontieres said the world is now living in a “Black Mirror episode and you don’t care.” The current UK government of Theresa May continued to push against press freedom according to the RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index. The UK is currently 38th out of the 180 countries in the world.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May herself had pushed forward the Investigative Powers Act that would pardon and continue the allowance of all activities revealed and condemned by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Reporters note that the guarantee of anonymity for whistleblowers and sources used for stories is gone and it would become more difficult to peruse information that affected parties wish to hide.
The act would also consider all investigative journalism activities as espionage agents out to discredit parties. With espionage in the new act defined as being “capable of committing who not only communicates but also the one who collects information on company activities that are deemed private.
It is not always about the music as evidenced by Legendary Beatles Member Paul McCartney. Outbidded by Michael Jackson who had passed away, Paul is fighting against Sony who received the entire catalogue of songs Paul wrote with John Lennon after Michael had to pay off £610m in debt from his estate.
The songs in the list included “Yesterday”, “I Want To Hold Your Hand”, “Hey Jude” and “Let It Be.” McCartney is pushing Sony to enable his establishment of “copyright termination” against the publishing company. The lawsuit is filed in New York and uses the US 1976 Copyright Act to regain control of their masterpieces.
However, if Michael Jackson sold Sony the rights to The Beatles’ catalogue in the UK, it may mean that Sony can control the copyright until 70 years after the artist’s death — well-beyond the point McCartney wanted to achieve. McCartney’s legal statement includes not challenging the exercise of his termination rights until the resolution of the Duran Duran case.
The latter involving the duo of musicians had lost their case in the British High Court as their UK contracts are held in higher fervor over their rights in the US as artists. The signing of their contract happened in the United Kingdom, which further invalidates their right to claim copyright.
Fearing losing access to the EU’s single market that could guarantee huge losses in the UK’s legal services sector, the industry has called for unilateral action to protect the pre-eminent global role of its dispute-resolving courts and legal services before the Brexit. Britain is known for Europe’s dispute resolution central between commercial contracts second to the United States as it English law is commonly used in most commercial contracts.
As the UK votes an exit from the European Union, the choice of English courts can be less attractive to European businesses. Legal firms in the UK wish that the choice of English law is a package as “the same law and jurisdiction is chosen.” According to the report of TheCityUK, the government should apply the Rome I and Rome II rules including choice of law for non-contractual obligations simply by turning them into domestic law.
The Rome I and Rome II are EU rules that require EU member state courts to respect a party’s choice of law for their contracts. The negotiations of the Brexit may single out the choice for English law and the choice for English courts by separating them — much to the disadvantage of UK legal firms.
Aside from the UK, the United States and Singapore are also famous places for dispute resolution for new commercial contracts. The failure to secure the UK’s legal sector interests in the EU after the Brexit could overshadow Britan’s legal services — namely with the trade surplus from financial services-related functions.
The ‘Snooper’s Charter’ – also known as the Investigatory Powers Bill – is set to become UK law before the end of 2016. The approval of the bill would mean approved mass surveillance permitting the hacking of devices, networks and services for anyone in the United Kingdom.
Once approved, the bill allows authorities to access and maintain large databases of personal information collected from intercepted calls, emails and chat logs. Phone and Internet companies will be allowed to store consumer records for 12 months. Authorities will also have free reign to access these information with an instant request.
Security and encryption companies would have to build decryption keys on off-limit information, putting an end to the infinite use of end-to-end encryption typically used in messengers such as Apple’s Messages App.
During her years as Home Secretary, Prime Minister Theresa May had strongly vouched for the bill to ensure maximum security for the United Kingdom against possible terrorist attacks.
The legalisation of the bill guarantees immediate interception of possible terrorist activities in the country through tapping intelligence inaccessible currently without the new laws.
According to Scottish National Party’s Joanna Cherry, Britain is closing down democracy faster than any other Western country.
Ms Cherry adds that the IPB is quite honest with its allowances and permissions.
Organisations including Big Brother Watch and Privacy International had condemned the legislation of the bill as it would breach the fundamental human right to privacy.
All they want is a reaction or at least attention from people who do not agree with them.
Regardless of who these individuals are, inciting people to harass others in public or virtual mobbing can be grounds for court action in the United Kingdom according to the new Crown Prosecution Service guidance.
According to Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders:
“The internet’s not an anonymous place where people can post without any consequences. People should think about their own conduct.
“If you are grossly abusive to people, if you are bullying or harassing people online, then we will prosecute in the same way as if you did it offline.”
Cases of troll virtual mobbing had forced some individuals to move into different addresses multiple times.
The image of one woman and child — for example — plastered onto pornographic material and claiming the parent as a paedophile can be a case of virtual mobbing. Without proper evidence of the truth, the abuse spreads to the parents.
Some disagree that the new CPS guidance could only bar trolls but may not work effectively in reality.
According to several legal analysts, the guidance cannot defend UK residents from individuals who ‘troll’ them from overseas, such as the United States or other hemispheres.
The Brexit was not as bad as analysts thought. But indeed, trouble still looms and the UK and EU still have lots to discuss about EU and UK employers in each other’s soil.
For US businesses in the United Kingdom, the employment laws may differ immensely after Prime Minister Theresa May and the European Union finalise the exit of the United Kingdom from Europe.
This would mean a plethora of changes from the United Kingdom itself. While the specifics may still be far, the UK would enter a flexible and less regulated regime. EU regulations that once applied to US business employees could change.
- limits on working time and weekly maximum limits on working hours;
- certain complex and technical aspects of statutory holiday rights (including the European requirement that workers on sick leave and maternity leave continue to accrue holiday) and in relation to on-call time and compensatory rest time;
- the Agency Workers Regulations;
- certain aspects of the Transfer of Undertakings Regulations; and
- certain provisions relating to collective consultation requirements, and obligations in respect of works councils and information and consultation bodies.
For many UK lawyers an understanding of both the British and European laws is imperative. With the Brexit, the need for European legal issues is in high demand, but not in Britain.
A ‘magic circle’ of legal firms register their solicitors so that they may practise in European law by moving to Ireland. Some of these legal firms include some of the UK’s largest including Freshfields, Hogan Lovells, Slaughter and May, and Allen & Overy have voiced out that their applicants join solicitors in the Republic of Ireland.
Slaughter and May had first funded their Brussels-based competition partners to join in the Republic of Ireland. Meanwhile, Freshfields and Hogan Lovells encouraged some of their partners to follow suit.
Eversheds also plan to launch their own Eversheds Consulting in Ireland with a Dublin team led by litigation partner Pamela O’Neill.
So far this year, 219 English solicitors have been admitted to the Roll of Solicitors in Ireland — compared with 70 in 2015. The Law Society says the vast majority of lawyers have cited Brexit as their primary reason for seeking admission in Ireland.
Under the rules, solicitors who have qualified in England, Wales and Northern Ireland can undergo a two-step process that allows them to practise as solicitors in Ireland.