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Voting ban, Uber and Adoption Law

Legal news in the media this week

Voting ban on prisoners convicted of serious crimes is lawful, EU court rules

The European Union’s most senior court has ruled that it is lawful for countries such as Britain to impose a voting ban on prisoners convicted of serious crimes.

The unexpected ruling by the European court of justice upholds a ban on a French convicted murderer who was serving a sentence of more than five years from taking part in the European elections.

The European judges ruled that the ban on him voting did represent a breach of the EU charter of fundamental rights but that it was proportionate “in so far as it takes into account the nature and gravity of the criminal offence committed and the duration of the penalty”.

The ruling, which has clear implications for Britain’s blanket ban on prisoner voting, went on: “The court concludes that it is possible to maintain a ban which, by operation of law, precludes persons convicted of a serious crime from voting in elections to the European parliament.”

The Guardian

London mayor says Uber is ‘systematically’ skirting law

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has said that Uber is breaking the law by allowing its drivers to virtually tout for business on London’s roads.

Johnson says that the company is essentially disregarding Transport for London (TfL) regulations that govern private hire vehicles in the city. In London, there are restrictions on the type of vehicle hire a company can provide, depending on its licenses.

“A minicab may not rank up, a minicab may not ply for hire – cruise in search of passengers – and a minicab may not be hailed in the street. Indeed, a minicab must be booked through a third party, a licensee or booking agency,” Johnson said.

“You only have to consider the habits of many Uber minicabs – not all, but many – to see that this law is systematically broken; and that is because technology makes it so easy for it to be broken,” he added.

While Johnson’s comments will galvanize groups pushing for maintenance of the status quo in the taxi industry, Johnson says that there’s simply no option than to uphold the laws that exist, even if they’re in need of modernization.

The Next Web

Theresa May warned adoption law could affect border controls

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has been warned she must change the law to avoid immigrants using adoption rules to dodge immigration measures.

Lord Justice Sales, in the Court of Appeal, said it was clear that current adoption rules had to bear in mind the benefits to an applicant throughout their life, not just their childhood.

Courts would be powerless to refuse to make an adoption order “as some sort of indirect means of reinforcing immigration controls”, the judge said.

It came as a panel of three senior judges ruled in the case of a Pakistani immigrant, known only as MW, who applied to be adopted by his first cousin, FAS.

The Telegraph

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