Posts tagged Iraq

Recent developments in the world of law

  • The question has been raised about whether the age of retirement for law lords should be raised by Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers.  Currently, those who have been appointed since 1993 have had to retire at the age of 70.  But with judges being appointed later and later in their careers, should they be able to remain in their posts for a longer time?
  • As of June 2009, new accounting rules governing M&A transactions (mergers and acquisitions) will be put into effect, which will put commercial lawyers under further pressure to reduce their fees.  The new rules, which are designed to create greater transparency in the system, will force companies to record the fees they pay to lawyers, bankers, etc. as a separate entry in their accounts rather than simply being included in the overall price.  
  • Lord Bingham of Cornhill attacked the Bush administration for ‘cynical lack of concern for international legality’ regarding the Iraq war and the War on Terror.  He stated that there was no clear legal justification for the invasion of Iraq, and moreover criticised the legal advice of Lord Goldsmith who stated that a second UN Security Council resolution was not needed for the invasion of British troops in Iraq.  Lord Bingham cited such reasons as a serious violation of international law, which reflected deficiencies in the international sphere.
  • There could be a potential breakthrough in copyright law following a recent agreement between Google and American publishers regarding copyright issues relating to Google’s book search service.  Following proceedings being launched against Google in 2005, both parties agreed to settle out of court last month.  Providing the new settlement is approved by the courts, Google will set up a new Book Rights Registry which will allow holders of American copyrights to register their works online and receive compensation in exchange for Google’s usage of it.
  • The Law Commission has last week proposed a radical reform of bribery laws, which could make British companies liable for prosecution with regards to their activities overseas, for example for corruption or bribery.  The law will also extend to foreign nationals who live in and conduct their business in Britain. Such changes will eliminate the distinctions between private and public law in such instances, and will furthermore adopt a more hardline approach on the current laws which are unclear and uncertain.  This will therefore allow official to more effectively deal with cases such as the abandoned inquiry by the Serious Frauds Office into the BAE systems in Saudi Arabia.

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