"The government’s stated rationale for privatising court interpreting services is to improve efficiency and save money. Whether either of those has been achieved remains debatable. Unsubstantiated savings of £38 million under the first contract do not include the cost of rescheduling court cases, holding defendants on remand for extra time or the unquantifiable distress to parties. Changes to the publication of statistics on language services may also make it difficult to track significant differences between the two contracts."
The EU is examining ways to undertake "mutual legal assistance cooperation with the illegally annexed territories in Ukraine, both with regard to civil and criminal matters," with some Member States in favour of "a common EU standard as regards their cooperation with the illegally annexed territories of Ukraine." A recent paper from the Dutch Presidency of the Council explores the options.
A new briefing by the European Parliamentary Research Service examines the "recast" Directive on reception conditions for applicants for international protection, setting out the context; the requirements of existing legislation; the changes that the new Directive would introduce; and the views of the Parliament, various NGOs and other "stakeholders".
An open letter to Theresa May calling on her to take action to save the live of Andy Tsege, a British man who has been detained on Ethiopia's death row since he was kidnapped and rendered by the Ethiopian government to face a death penalty against him that was handed down in absentia.
"Is it plausible that information over a century old could be withheld under FOIA on the grounds of national security and/or endangerment of health and safety? The answer is evidently ‘yes’. That was the outcome of a request for information on informants in the Jack the Ripper investigations... A request for information on police informants involved in Irish secret societies over the period 1890-1910 has met the same outcome."
"The Turkish government has signaled a long-term implementation of the state of emergency, with EU Minister Ömer Çelik saying it will continue throughout the struggle against coup plotters and describing it as the only mechanism to “fully eradicate the threat posed by the Gülenists.”
A recent speech by the EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini set out the EU's military ambitions in "this new phase of our global politics" in which there will be "a growing request for a principled global security provider." The speech was made the day it was announced that Donald Trump would become the next President of the United States of America.
"Parents who want to know if their dead child’s identity was stolen by undercover police officers have been invited to ask the Pitchford inquiry into undercover policing."
A Europe-wide survey of 300 civil society organisations has highlighted significant concern over a "trend for deterioration in key civic space freedoms", with respondents from central and eastern Europe keen to highlight limitations on the freedom of association and a general decline in respect for democratic principles.
The Undercover Policing Inquiry set up in the wake of the scandal surrounding police infilitration and surveillance of activist and campaign groups has confirmed that "Marco Jacobs", who was involved in the anarchist movement in Bright and Cardiff, was a police officer. His real identity remains unknown.
"On 21 October 2016, the Spanish National Police, together with the Polish Border Police, joined forces with Europol’s European Migrant Smuggling Centre (EMSC) in Operation Kolso to dismantle a transnational criminal organisation implicated in the smuggling of Ukrainian citizens into the United Kingdom and Ireland."
The Against Borders for Children campaign started with two aims – to stop the Department for Education collecting country-of-birth and nationality data on 8 million school pupils aged between 2 and 19; and to encourage and assist tens of thousands of parents, teachers and schools to boycott the government data collection scheme... Read more
"When I read the “Hotspots Italy” report, which I knew was due to be published because I was part of one of the groups that was interviewed to produce it, I was speechless because I recognised exactly the same details which I knew so well, which I had not specifically spoken to Amnesty about and which, in general, I had not found the way to make known more widely." Read More...
"Paris opened its first reception centre for migrants and refugees in Thursday, a month later than expected. Temporary shelter and basic services will be provided. The "humanitarian centre" is in a disused railway yard on a busy boulevard in northern Paris. It can lodge up to 400 people and take in 50-80 new arrivals each day....
"On the night of the failed coup in Turkey, eight Turkish military officers fled to Greece. They applied for political asylum, arguing that they were afraid for their lives, if returned to Turkey. They insist that they had no involvement in the attempted coup and they claim that they were transporting injured people in Istanbul when they came under fire by police.
"The Italian government has been supporting the Egyptian justice system as part of an EU project that risks complicity in abuses such as mass trials and the death penalty..."
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