Worboys ruling says police breached victims’ human rights

This piece was originally published by The Justice Gap.   The Supreme Court ruled this morning  that the Metropolitan police’s failure to investigate allegations against John Worboys breached his victims’ human rights. Two victims (DSD and NBV) who were subjected to serious sexual assaults brought successful proceedings on the basis of the European Convention on Human Rights, article 3 protecting the right to freedom from inhuman or degrading treatment. After the women reported that Worboys had attacked them in 2003 and 2007, the police failed to investigate the allegations effectively, allowing the black cab rapist to remain at large and continue to commit sexual assaults. At his conviction in 2009, Worboys was given a life sentence for 19 offences including one rape. However, he is suspected of having attacked over 100 women, many of whose allegations were not part of the prosecution’s case. The Parole Board recently decided to release Worboys after less …

‘A crisis for human rights’: new index reveals global fall in basic justice

This piece was originally published by The Guardian, in print and online. Fundamental human rights are reported to have diminished in almost two-thirds of the 113 countries surveyed for the 2018 Rule of Law Index, amid concerns over a worldwide surge in authoritarian nationalism and a retreat from international legal obligations. “All signs point to a crisis not just for human rights, but for the human rights movement,” said Professor Samuel Moyn of Yale University. “Within many nations, these fundamental rights are falling prey to the backlash against a globalising economy in which the rich are winning. But human rights movements have not historically set out to name or shame inequality.” The 2018 index, published by the World Justice Project (WJP), gathers data from more than 110,000 households and 3,000 experts to compare their experiences of legal systems worldwide, by calculating weighted scores across eight separate categories. While Venezuela retains its unwanted position at the …

One in three people with legal problems in UK develop health issues – report

This piece was originally published by The Guardian. Almost one-third of those with legal problems in the UK report developing a stress-related or physical illness as a result of their experience, according to a new international survey comparing people’s perceptions of justice around the world. In the UK, 31% of respondents with a legal problem over the past two years said they had become ill, the same figure as Canada and 1% higher than in the United States. Of the 45 countries surveyed, Ethiopia came out highest in this category at 41%. The Access to Justice survey, produced by the World Justice Project (WJP) ahead of its annual Rule of Law Index, also reveals that, of those who had experienced any kind of legal problem, one in 10 respondents from the UK suffered a relationship breakdown and nearly one in five (18%) lost their job, faced financial strain or were forced to relocate. Read more…