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Obiter Dicta

Ed. 1 Series 1 February 2010

A Fond Farewell to the House of Lords Judicial Appeals Committee T

he 1st October 2009 represented a historic day in the legal world and not merely because this was the first day of term for the new British Law Centre Diploma in English and European Law! It was also the first day on which the newlycreated Supreme Court began to function


or more turn to page 10

Letter from the Editor It is truly a privilege to welcome you to this, the first edition of the British Law Centre’s regular news update, Obiter Dicta. Every quarter we will fill your mailboxes with regular pieces on current legal goings-on in England and Europe. This month, in addition to pieces on company law, criminal law, and Competition law, we will introduce the newsletter by discussing two recent major shifts in the functioning of the law in both the European Union and in the UK. The Lisbon Treaty has finally entered into force, after five years of uncertainty regarding the Treaty revision process, following the Dutch and French referendums rejecting the ill-fated Constitution. While we cannot not say with any confidence that it is a well-written document, with clear legal rules and direct statements as to their application, we will nevertheless strive to provide you with useful analyses of the Treaty and how it will affect the functioning of the Union over the coming months. In the UK, the Supreme Court heard it’s first case in October this year. The Supreme Court replaces the Judicial Appeals Panel of the House of Lords, and is intended to strengthen the rule of law and ensure the separation of powers is maintained. A brief introduction into its purposes, its procedures, and the way we believe it will differ from its predecessor in protecting the legal system shall be a regular feature of the Newsletter. Additional inputs from BLC students include pieces on Company law in several jurisdictions, and a piece on gas liberalisation in European markets. Happy reading! The Editor

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CONTENTS I CRIMINAL LAW P.2 Homicide: The Cart before the Horse P.3 Stranger than Fiction: Sex, Drugs and Chronic Sleep Disorder P.4 Boy Wins Compensation for Attack by another Boy II COMPANY LAW P. 5 English and Polish Company Law Compared P.6. Bulgarian Company Law Update P.7 Liberalisation of the Gas Markets in the European Union P.9 Don’t be Evil: Google Books Settlement Update III: THE COURT SERVICE P.10 A Fond Farewell to the House of Lords Judicial Appeals Committee P.12 Cameras in the Courtroom IV EU LAW P.12 Judging Lisbon P.13 An Introduction to the Lisbon Treaty

Homicide: The Cart before the Horse! Denise Ashmore The current reform process on the law of homicide was initiated in 2004 when the Law Commission was asked to review the law on partial defences to murder embodied in the Homicide Act 1957. In their report they described the law on murder as ‘a mess’ adding that a review ‘logically would begin with consideration of the elements of murder before considering defences to murder’ It appeared that the politicians were listening when the government announced a review of the law of murder in England and Wales leading to the Law Commission 2006 report on Murder, Manslaughter and Infanticide where continuing their attack the Commission described the current state of the law of homicide as ‘a rickety structure set upon shaky foundations’ with 17th century rules in ‘dire need of reform’. The same report also criticised the courts for their interpretation of s1 Homicide Act which it said had allowed the mens rea of murder to be unduly extended so as to include defendants who had not foreseen that their acts would result in life threatening consequences whilst at the same excluding the hypothetical reckless bomber who might not have the required intention for the crime. As a result the Commission recommended two new categories of murder:1. First degree murder (to include intentional killing or killing where there was an intention to do serious injury coupled with an awareness of a serious risk of causing death)

V STUDENT NEWS P.14 Diary Entry of the 2. Second degree murder (to include the current special defences to CEEMC Moot Competition murder as well and would cover the remaining situations where a lesser Winners in England intention or recklessness could be proved). P.15 Diary Entry of the CEEMC Best Speakers at the The partial defences of provocation, diminished responsibilty and suicide pact were also considered and recommendations made, but the underlying ECJ VI MOOT NEWS P. 18 2010 CEEMC to be held in Sofia, Bulgaria

fundamental recommendation of the report was the demand for an enactment of a fully revised Homicide Act which would for ‘the first time, provide clear and comprehensive definitions of the homicide offences and the partial defences’ and thereby ensure that ‘offences and defences specific to murder must take their place within a readily comprehensible and fair legal structure’.

VII BLC NEWS P.19 Visiting Lecturers 2010

These are all very laudable intentions particularly in a country that has, be it belatedly, finally accepted the national enactment and protection of human rights contained in the European Convention of Human Rights through the medium of the Human Rights Act 1998. It does still though surely raise the question how the crime of murder, which retains a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment, could have been left in

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riminal Law C

such a deplorable state until the 21st century? Perhaps a clue can be gained from the Commission’s remark that the wholesale reform to this area of law attempted in the 19th century was ‘thwarted largely by unconnected political problems’. Do we still suffer from similar problems of ‘ political’ interference in the 21st century? Since commissioning the reports the Government has apparently changed direction. Whilst the Ministry of Justice welcomed the reports its 2007 statement seemed to ignore the main thrust of both reports and rather than reviewing the ‘mess’ it announced that it would proceed on a step-by-step basis and so concentrate first upon a reform of the partial defences and issues of complicity in murder. In 2008 the Attorney General Baroness Scotland was quoted as stating that ‘Murder law has not changed since 1957- the proposed thorough overhaul will bring it right up to date’, one can only assume that her reference here was to the original Law Commission report as amending and updating partial defences and complicity is still surely light years away from the provision of ‘a readily comprehensible and sensible fair legal structure’. Rather it accords with the piecemeal reform approach adopted over the last ten year whereby a miscellany of offences are reviewed annually through the medium of a Criminal Justice Act; in 2009 this was the Coroners and Justice Act (introducing the changes in partial defences to murder) and in 2007 Serious Crimes Act (which introduced changes in the law on complicity). One is left asking, how can a citizen of England and Wales be presumed to ‘know the’ criminal ‘law’ when lawyers themselves might have difficulty in tracking down the current elements of homicide from its mixed sources of 17th to 21st century legislation and caselaw!

Stranger than fiction? Sex, drugs and chronic sleep disorder For those of you who consider that the BLC staff consume too much alcohol, abuse mind-altering substances and watch far too much television prior to writing assignments (or otherwise suffer from a chronic disease known as makeupcrazyfactsitis) always bear in mind that real life throws up facts far stranger than anything found in any one of our assignments.

For instance, take the recent case of R v Thomas [2009] in which a man had been accused of murder when he strangled his wife shortly before their 40th wedding anniversary during a holiday in Wales. The Crown Prosecution Service dropped the case against Mr Thomas when an expert witness (Krzystof Idzikowski of the London Sleep Centre) confirmed that he suffered from chronic sleep disorder, or “night terrors” as Dr House regularly explains it. As lawyers, we should refer to it by its formal name of pavor nocturnes. This condition affects 2% of the adult population and 10% of children, causing sufferers to lose control of their bodies whilst they react to terrible dreams. Mr and Mrs Thomas slept in separate bedrooms whilst they were at home and Mr Thomas regularly took medication for his condition. Nevertheless, wishing to show his wife a good time whilst on holiday, he stopped taking the medication since it made him impotent and they shared the same bed for the first time in many months. Whilst asleep, Mr Thomas reacted in self-defence to a nightmare-induced threat that their caravan was being burgled by aggressive youths. In the process, he strangled and killed his wife. At first, the prosecution interpreted Mr Thomas’ claims as a plea of ‘not guilty by virtue of insanity’(NB. remember that his actions were caused by an ‘internal malfunctioning of the mind’ and so could not be non-insane automatism which would have been a complete defence). This would have meant he could have been held in a secure psychiatric hospital for a period to be determined by the judge. Nevertheless, since this is a verdict that cannot be determined by anyone other than a jury, the case had to go to court and the CPS decided to offer no more evidence, since they accepted that Mr Thomas did not represent a threat to other people (presumably, other than those unfortunate enough to sleep with him in the future). Accordingly, the trial judge instructed the jury to return a verdict of not guilty. In his final words to the acquitted defendant, the trial judge exhibited the warmth, compassion and empathy for which the English criminal judiciary has become famous throughout the world. Mr Justice Nigel Davis told Mr Thomas: “I strongly suspect that you may well be feeling a sense of guilt. In the eyes of the law you bear no responsibility. You are discharged.” Now, tell me – have you ever come across something quite so difficult to believe in your assignments? OK, maybe. But that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen. Dr Steve Terrett

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Boy wins compensation for attack by another toddler

Strange but true!

Jay Jones was hit with a car jack by another three-year-old when left alone in a car two years ago Dr Steve Terrett A family from Wirral, Merseyside, has made legal history by winning the right to claim compensation after their son was attacked by another three-year-old with a car jack two years ago. Jay Jones needed stitches in his head after the assault, which happened when the two toddlers were left alone for a few minutes in a car in Birkenhead in December 2007. Within hours, doctors at Arrowe Park hospital, Merseyside, were confident that Jay would survive, but it took much longer to confirm that he would suffer no lasting brain damage. He suffered nightmares and bedwetting for months afterwards and was terrified to go near windows because it reminded him of being in the car. Jay’s family won a ruling on December allowing for compensation for the injuries he received, even though his attacker was not prosecuted because of his age. Jay’s mother, Renai Williams,29, said the Tribunals Service ruled in her favour although the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) had twice refused to pay out as it disputed whether such a young child could be guilty of a crime of violence. Williams told the BBC: “This has been a long and hard-fought process. We have been knocked back twice by the CICA because in my opinion they didn’t take my son’s case seriously. My son was hit 11 times on his head and face with a car jack, his attacker kept on lashing out even though Jay was screaming out in pain and covered in blood. It was a vicious attack with such force that his attacker, who was also only three himself, managed to crack the car windscreen.” Williams and her partner had been preparing to go to a post-Christmas dinner and had allowed their son to travel with friends. “We were getting ready to get into the car when we received a phone call from the other family saying we had better come quick,” Williams said. “We drove round, but we weren’t too worried – boys fight. But when we got there we noticed the crack in the car windscreen – that was the first bit of panic. Then the other parents came running out the house. “My partner, Jay’s dad David, got out of the car saying ‘where’s Jay?’ “They pointed to the house and he went inside and I heard him shouting ‘what happened’ and they pointed to the car jack, which had blood on it. David came out carrying Jay, who was covered in blood and all limp. He just looked dead.” Jay spent two nights in hospital and suffered bruising to his head and wounds on his arms. Simon Gibson, a partner at Kirwans, said the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority rejected the family’s claims initially, saying the attacker lacked sufficient knowledge to be able to carry out a criminal attack. The age of criminal responsibility in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is 10. “From the point of view of criminal law that makes good sense, but a claim for damages is civil law. Under that you only have to prove the act was deliberate,” he said. “We succeeded on Tuesday before an independent appeal. They said this was a unique case.” However, Gibson said the ruling could open the floodgates for similar claims – even schoolyard attacks involving young children. The amount of compensation is yet to be decided.

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duties of directors in limited liability company is the duty to declare insolvency no later than two weeks after the situation of insolvency occurred – in Ltd (but not in Plc) if the director does not declare insolvency 1. Minority protection of shareholders in that 2 week period, he or she is personally against director’s actions in Polish law. liable to creditors for all company’s debts, Shareholders under UK law are much better unless he or she proves that the creditors protected against abuse of director’s powers did not suffer any loss due to the lack of than under Polish regulations. The main insolvency declaration. The latter provision difference is that in UK strong protection of due to its harshness causes some disputes shareholders is provided within the general among judges and academics . Nevertheless, construction of director’s duties, whereas directors’ civil and criminal liability towards Polish law lacks such a general construction shareholders is far less regulated under Polish and existing provisions on particular duties of law, than under UK law. directors provide little help to shareholders. 2. Polish Law is more formalistic than UK law Polish law assumes civil liability when the and judges, as a rule, will be more reluctant director is acting illegally or contrary to in Poland to look at the factual situation, company’s statute . In that case the director regardless of what the parties officially has an obligation to recover to the company declared. In accordance to company law the loss which occurred due to his actions, that results in lack of any concept similar to if they were contrary to the statute (e.g. the silent director, because in Poland a director is statute requires shareholders consent when always a person who was validly appointed. signing a particular contract, and the director Equally the court may not in Poland declare signed such a contract without members’ a partnership by estoppel, in case when a resolution). However, that provision will person started his business activity as a sole not effectively help shareholders in most trader but another person acts as a partner. common situations when a director does 3. The court powers in resolving disputes not execute independent judgement, and chooses to sign a contract with the company between shareholders are much more in which he is a shareholder or his friend is an restricted in Poland than in United Kingdom. employee. In Poland the court can invalidate a In that situation the director can theoretically shareholder’s resolution, when two criteria are met : be found liable for criminal offence if he acts detrimentally to the company. However 1) it is contrary to the Articles, the relevant provisions of criminal code or good practices would be used in cases when a director is 2) threatens the interests of deliberately creating serious financial loss to the company or aims at discrimination of a the company or accepts a bribe. It will not shareholder. apply to the situation, when e.g. a director, having a number of offers, signs a contract The court may also declare that a resolution with a company where his friend is a director is invalid when it is illegal . Although the and that company’s offer is not the best one court has a power to invalidate a members’ but does not dramatically differ from market resolution, it cannot create one. Similarly, the conditions and the bribe cannot be proven. court may find a certain provision of Articles In the latter situation under British law the of Association to be invalid, but cannot director’s duty to exercise independent add any new provision to the Articles. So, judgement would be breached . for example, the court may invalidate the members’ resolution which declares that no In Polish law one of the most important

Company Law

Company Review: Polish and English Company Law Compared

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dividend will be paid, but cannot force members to pass new resolution in which they agree to pay a dividend . What is more, court’s powers to provide for the obligatory purchase of shares of any members by other members is very restricted. In Ltd. the court can force the minority shareholder to sell its shares if all other shareholders wish the court to do so but cannot force the majority to buy shares, in case when a minor shareholder believes that he is discriminated and wishes his shares to be bought. In Plc., the members can by members’ resolution (95% majority) decide to squeeze-out members who have less than 5% shares, and vice versa, such minor members (no more than 5% of share capital) can claim their shares to be bought . Therefore, in practice squeeze-out possibilities are very limited and cannot be used as a court’s tool to resolve disputes between shareholders. Under British regulations courts have much wider powers to resolve shareholders disputes. According to Companies Act s. 996, the court may “make such order as it thinks fit for giving relief in respect of the matters complained of”, and in particular can freely order a squeeze-out. 4. In relations to contracts Polish regulations aim at the protection of the third parties, whereas British law concentrates on the protection of shareholders. In Poland, the Articles of Association cannot successfully restrict the directors’ possibility to enter into the contract on the behalf of the company . Therefore a third party can freely enter into a contract with directors validly appointed and this party does not risk that the transaction is invalid. Any provisions of the Articles which require the director to obtain member’s consent when he or she desires to enter into a particular transaction are effective only between directors’ and the company. Therefore, if directors would enter into the contract contrary to such provision, the contract would be valid and would bind the company, however the directors would be liable to the company for breach of their obligations. Consequently there does not exist an equivalent of ultra vires doctrine in Polish law. Adam Narloch is a second year student of the BLC Warsaw Centre

Bulgarian Law Update Vania Georgieva is a second-year student at the Sofia Centre

Simplifying legislation makes it easier for Small to medium-sized businesses to grow and innovate

Bulgarian Company law Update

The minimum capital requirement of BGN 5,000 (€2,500) for registration of limited liability company (abbreviated with Latin letter “OOD”) has been revoked by means of a recent amendment of the Bulgarian Commercial Act (as of 16 October 2009). By virtue of Article 117, Paragraph 1 of the Bulgarian Commercial Act, the capital of OOD cannot be less than BGN 2 (€1), whereas the nominal value of a share cannot be less than BGN 1. According to the Government, the revoked requirement of BGN 5,000 minimum capital will encourage small business growth and will create more favourable environment for beginning of business of young people. The change will encourage the investments as well, which will be a source of new jobs and will attract foreign capital in Bulgaria. Results of the World Business Environment Survey of the World Bank shows that there are not really any minimum capital requirements in more than 100 countries among which are Austria, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, USA, Great Britain, France, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. Argument against the cancellation of the requirement of BGN 5,000 minimum capital is that the creditors of a company will not be well protected in case of insolvency. However, it occurs that the percentage of the debts paid in countries with minimum capital requirements is the same as in the countries where such requirement has been abolished. This result leads to the conclusion that the higher minimum capital requirement does not offer better protection to creditors. It should be noted that there still exist minimum capital requirements for the other type of limited liability company existing in Bulgaria – AD (the main difference between the OOD and the AD is that the shares in the AD are securities). AD must have a minimum share capital of BGN 50,000 (€25,000), where not less than 25 per cent of each share has to be paid (Article 161 and 174 of the Bulgarian Commercial Act).

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Feature: Internal Market of the European Union: Gas market liberalisation Liberalisation of gas market in the European Union: objectives, interests of the parties, and implications The objectives of the liberalization Natural gas accounts for 25% of primary energy use in the European Union, out of which nearly 60% remains imported. Moreover, due to the limits on the CO2 emissions and the shift towards the cleaner energy the gas consumption will be rising. The liberalisation of an energy market benefit consumers and stimulate the economy. The example of the successful politics of Margaret Thatcher in the UK proves it. In the light of the above the question arises: why has the EU not yet been profiting from the liberalisation? The objective of the European Commission (EC) in forming the single gas market is that it would be Transparent, Open, Integrated and Liquid. However, the creation of a free market for gas has become a real TOIL. The main obstacles for the liberalization are: - the unregulated character and a lack of transparency of the global gas market;

As the largest economic bloc in the world, the Member States consider energy security to be a vital objective of the Union From all of the EU countries, the UK, Netherlands and Belgium are the strongest advocates for the opening of the gas markets. On the opposite side stand Germany and France.

- the conflicting politics of the Member States stemming from the differences in the import-dependence and the relationships with the gas suppliers i.e. with Russia, Algeria and Norway;

The countries’ policies result from their national gas profiles. Norway and Netherlands have the biggest gas reserves in Europe with 2,41 trillion, 1,41 trillion m³ respectively. Provided that the production - the governmental support and lobbying remains on the current level, this amount will suffice until ca. 2030. At the same time, practices of the leading, often vertically integrated, companies in the gas markets. the UK, Germany, Italy and France have the


nergy Packages are applied This study focuses on the problem of the by the European legislature response of the EU institutions, the Member to gradually liberalise the States, and the other parties towards the market for gas distribution in liberalisation of an EU gas market. It shows Europe the objectives of the liberalization and the interests of the parties to draw up the highest indicators of the gas consumption possible implications for the future. from all of the EU countries. Moreover, Germany, Italy, France and Spain rely heavily Interests of the parties on the imports. As a result, Germany, Italy The EC believes that only the legislation can and France are naturally prone to perceive become a catalysts for liberalization of a the gas deliveries in the terms of the national gas market. So far three “Energy Packages” security. of regulations and directives have been The trade is possible in the gas hubs, where agreed upon, the latest enters into force from 01.03.2011. They focus primarily on the connections of gas pipelines meet each other. The biggest hub in Europe, the third party access and unbundling of the transmission. Simultaneously, the principles National Balancing Point, is situated in of competition law set out in the articles 81 the UK, and trades 78% of the total gas and 82 EC Treaty and the Merger Regulation exchanges. Second one, a Dutch Title Transfer Facility has a high liquidity and the 139/2004 EC are applicable. aspiration to take over the position of the

NBP as the biggest futures market. The high potential of development is shown by the Belgian Zeebrugge which have doubled its LNG storage terminal to 9 billion cubic meters by the end of 2009. It has strategic placement on the crossroad between North (Norway) and South, East (Siberia) and West (Scotland). On the contrary, the German market remains vertically integrated with a low level of competition. It is shared by 5 dominant companies which own the whole supply and distribution system. The situation has not been changed even by opening of the 5 gas hubs in 2002 and 2006. The competition remain limited by the long term contracts and infrastructural limitations as well as the complex network ownership situation. Gaz de France operates on all of the levels of the French gas market chain. Legal unbundling of the DSO operators has been ineffective, as all of the unbundled companies belong to the vertically integrated entities and GDF owns 96% of the 22 companies in the DSO. Instead of liberalization, Germany and France support the concentration and the companies get the governmental support. The situation in Eastern European countries is also far from the free market; in Poland there exist only one company, PGNiG SA and the entrance to the market is limited by the infrastructural obstacles. Nevertheless, the imposition of the first fine

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on the energy sector – namely, on the French and Belgian GDF Suez in July 2009 indicates that the EC will not hesitate to use its powers to ensure fair competition. In terms of a production, there is a long way towards the liberalization as almost 50% of gas remain produced by the 4 largest EU companies. The supply sector is also concentrated, and a minority of companies control a large part of the market. Russia is the biggest gas exporter to the EU, covering 33% of its consumption. Also the formerly Austrian Central European Gas Hub is now owned by the OMV-Gazprom joint venture. In this way, Gazprom not only ensures the storage sites in Austria but also aims at making CEGH number-one gas-trading hub by using it for some 30% of its total gas exports. Moreover, Gazprom is and will remain the biggest player on the EU market as Russia controls 1/3 of the world gas reserves. Implications As for today, it is more appropriate to talk about the 27 national markets rather than a single European gas market. In the light of the rising demand for gas, the problem of creating Transparent, Open, Integrated and Liquid market will be more appealing. The fair and equal access to the grid is also the necessary condition for the producers and the system operators to invest hundreds of millions of Euro in the gas infrastructure.

Business law reforms result in nearly £3 Billion savings per year

Dr Steve Terrett

A recent report by the ‘Better Regulation Executive’ indicates that the UK government’s Administrative Burdens Reduction Programme [ABRD] (which aims to get rid of unnecessary paperwork and save firms time, money and hassle) has led to almost £3 billion savings for businesses annually. In 2005, the government analysed 1,400 regulations which collectively imposed over 20,000 separate requirements on businesses. It’s report found that the total administrative burden on business amounted to £13 billion annually. Following this, 280 reforms were introduced which reduce the burdens placed on businesses in relation to paperwork and dealing with constant legislative reforms. These changes result, nationwide, in savings of more than £8 million a day. The government’s aim is to reduce the administrative burden on businesses by 25% by May 2010, leading to an estimated £3.3 billion in annual net savings. Such cost reductions are planned to reach £6.5 billion by 2015.

In addition to reforms by central government, all relevant government departThe III Energy Package does not offer a revolutionary solutions but it has a potential of benefiting the ments and agencies are responsible for achieving 25% cost reductions of their consumers with the more stable and lower gas prices. The own. They must each produce an annual “Simplification Plan” report each year in market centres and hubs will be continuously developed, December detailing their progress towards this target. causing the higher levels of trading and a possible development of financial gas markets, where non-gas players, such as banks, institutional investors or private The Business Regulation Executive (BRE) is part of the Department for Business equity funds could easily participate. The integration of the markets leads to the better crisis management and to and comprises an independent panel including representatives from the busithe transfer of technology and know-how in Europe. ness community. The panel was required to assess and evaluate the government’s Long term objectives of the liberalisation require the consolidation of the politics of the Member States and the compulsory ownership unbundling. It is also necessary that the liberalisation will cover the LNG gas market, the warehouses and the infrastructure.

claims in relation to the amount of money saved by the various reforms. The BRE’s report (“Making Life as Simple as Possible”) validates 77.5% of the ABRD’s claimed savings, which the government had estimated at £3.3 billion. It noted, inter alia, the cost-cutting effect of providing much more government information on the internet, which reduced the amount of time and costs associated with dealing with individual requests directed to particular government Ministries and institutions.

As long as the Member States act separately, the economy of the EU and even the EU energy security is at risk. Acting together, however, will give the EU the stronger negotiating position towards the nonIn response to the report, the government has launched a new call for evidence, EU suppliers from Russia, the Caspian Sea region, and the Middle East. It is crucial for the EU to work out the to enable business and other interested parties to feed in suggestions of which comprehensive and uniform strategy to balance the regulatory activities place disproportionate costs on business, compared to the rising demand for gas on the side of China, to avoid the shortages of supply and to stabilize the prices in the long benefits delivered, and to propose action that will reduce or remove these costs. term NB. A summary report is available at:

Lidia Puka is a graduate of the Warsaw British Law Centre

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“Don’t Be Evil”: Google Books Settlement Update It may be the defining company of the internet age and many a bright-eyed graduate’s dream employer. But is a tongue-in-cheek motto really enough to stop Google crossing to the dark side as it amasses the world’s literary heritage in digitized form?


hose following the saga of the Google Books Project and its fight for legitimacy (in the face of a copyright infringement class-action initiated by bodies representing publishers and authors in 2005) will be aware that a deal between the warring parties was struck in October 2008. However, the $125 million settlement proposal (whereby Google agreed to pay a specified sum per work in respect of works already scanned and to share future revenue with copyright owners), whilst agreeable to the parties involved in negotiations, sparked a range of broader concerns. Those relating to the potentially anticompetitive effect on the emergent market for digital books caught the eye of the US Department of Justice (USDoJ) and prompted that body to lodge an objection with the US District Court handling the case. Cue settlement proposal version 2.0, agreed on by the parties in midNovember of last year (subject to final court approval in early 2010).


f most interest to European readers will be the moves in the amended proposal to allay the concerns of the French and German governments who primarily objected to copyright-holders of works published in their jurisdictions being forced to expressly opt-out of the first settlement in order to avoid being bound its terms. It was argued that these copyright holders were inadequately represented in the bodies participating in settlement negotiations with Google. Fears were also expressed as to whether Google could be trusted to make the content digitized from European library-stocks available to European readers on fair terms and whether an activity of such obvious public importance should be left to the private sector. The new version restricts the scope of the agreement to works published in the US, UK, Australia and Canada, thus leaving an estimated 95% of the world’s published works outside the settlement. The result is that copyright holders’ rights of action in respect of works published in other jurisdictions remain uncompromised. However, since European copyright-holders are still free to conclude licensing agreements with Google on an individual basis, demands for competing publicly funded digitization projects from those fearing the gravitational pull of the Google Books juggernaut remain numerous. Will Odogwu

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he Court Service T

A Fond Farewell to the House of Lords Judicial Appeals Committee The 1st October 2009 represented a historic day in the legal world and not merely because this was the first day of term for the new British Law Centre Diploma in English and European Law! It was also the first day on which the newly-created Supreme Court began to function. On 31st July 2009, the House of Lords Judicial Appeals Committee’s jurisdiction under the Appellate Jurisdiction Acts 1876 and 1888 were transferred to the Supreme Court, during the summer break prior to its official inauguration. The Supreme Court also assumed the jurisdiction of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in relation to devolution matters under the Scotland Act 1998, the Northern Ireland Act 1988 and the Government of Wales Act 2006. This reform marked the end of many hundreds of years of tradition, whereby the highest court in the land was to be found within Parliament. The judicial functions of the House of Lords Judicial Appeals Committee arose from the fact that Parliament itself (including the House of Commons) was originally England’s highest court. The House of Commons retired from its “judicial” function in 1339, leaving the House of Lords, being the Upper House of Parliament (i.e. the most important political chamber) at that time as the sole arbiter of “petitions” (not “appeals”) to reverse the decisions of lower courts. With time, as the number of petitions grew, it was decided that the House of Lords should create a Judicial Appeals Committee consisting of 12 Lords of Appeal in Ordinary (the Law Lords) who would function as the highest court in England and Wales. Since Scotland already possessed a High Court of Justiciary which functioned as its highest criminal court, the jurisdiction of the House of Lords Judicial Committee did not include criminal cases from Scotland, but it functioned as the highest court in civil matters throughout the UK. The Supreme Court’s jurisdiction is identical in this respect. Reaction to the new Supreme Court has been divided. Many writers welcome the Montesque-friendly emphasis on the separation of powers, meaning not merely the geographical separation resulting from the move from Parliament to the Middlesex Guildhall which overlooks Parliament, but also the functional separation which removes the UK’s most senior judges from the House of Lords parliamentary chamber. Nevertheless, others have criticised the reform. Interestingly, such criticism has been based on two mutually exclusive arguments. On the one hand, some have seen the reform as a governmental attempt to “inhibit criticism of executive policy” by denying the most senior judges the possibility of encouraging the members of the House of Lords parliamentary chamber to vote against government legislation that had already passed through the Commons. Former Lord Chancellor, Lord Mackay, is amongst those who see the move as weakening the judiciary. Conversely, Lord Falconer, the Lord Chancellor who saw the reforms through Parliament, considers that the new court will strengthen the judiciary by making judges “bolder in vindicating the freedoms of individuals and being willing to take on the executive.” Lord Neuberger, one of the members of the House of Lords Judicial Appeals Committee resigned his place in the Supreme Court on the basis that it creates the risk of “judges arrogating to themselves greater power than they have at the moment.” He argued that the Supreme Court had been created “as a result of what appears to have been a last-minute decision over a glass of whisky. The danger is that you muck around with a constitution like the British Constitution at your peril because you do not know what the consequences of any change will be.” The Supreme Court’s president (Lord Phillips) has said that a more government-unfriendly judiciary was “a possibility” but “unlikely”. Ultimately, he said that he “can’t predict quite how we are going to function in the new world.” Lord Neuberger’s fears were refuted by

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Lord Turnbull, a senior adviser to Tony Blair whilst the reforms were drawn up, who denied that the plans for the Supreme Court had been “thought up on the back of a fag packet.” One interesting feature of the Supreme Court’s work thus far has been that, compared with the ‘usual’ appeal heard by a 5-judge panel of Law Lords, the majority of cases decided by the Supreme Court have been argued before a larger panel of 7 or 9 Supreme Court Justices. The feeling is that this might be a reaction to events in the last few years of the House of Lords’ existence, when a 5-judge panel firstly decided (by 3 to 2) that General Pinochet had no legal immunity and then a 7-judge panel, making legal history, reversed this decision. This is not the only case in which the judicial composition has been argued to have influenced the conclusion in a House of Lords appeal and, given the lack of transparency as to how the senior judge chooses who shall sit on any given appeal, criticism of the ‘influential minority’ approach has grown. A move towards larger judicial benches means that at least a majority of the Justices will have heard an appeal before deciding whether, and how, to develop the law. In this respect, it might be argued that the Supreme Court’s practice to date shows a move towards that seen in America, Canada and Australia where all of the members of the Supreme Court hear every appeal. Conversely, it represents an opposite trend to that seen in the European Court of Justice, with greater emphasis upon sub-panels of judicial benches. A move towards plenary appeals involving all Supreme Court judges, or at least a majority, would probably necessitate a change in the way the court deals with the appeals procedure, perhaps by restricting the number of appeals allowed per year or by shortening the length of oral hearings. Equally, striving for transparency might require a change to the existing system of deciding whether or not to grant ‘leave’ to appeal, whereby 3 members of the court grant or deny such leave. Lord Phillips has already indicated that he would prefer more appeals to be decided on the basis of single judgments (reflecting the collective views of the entire judicial panel) or, if this proves impossible, at least by “majority judgments” supplemented by only brief individual comments of those members who are broadly in favour of the majority opinion. Again, this might be interpreted by some as a move towards more ‘continental’ decision-making in the senior court. One thing is for sure – the work of the Supreme Court will continue to be as varied as that of the House of Lords and its judgments will probably continue to provide as many headaches to law students and teachers. Thus far, the Supreme Court has already dealt with appeals discussing inter alia the legality of bank charges levied on customers who exceed their overdraft limits; the legality of freezing assets of suspected terrorists; and the compatibility with Article 8 ECHR (private life) of a law requiring disclosure of non-criminal related information retained in police records in connection with a job application. The task for all of us involved in teaching or studying law remains the same – to understand the ramifications of what those Dr Steve Terrett cases have decided.

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On January 13th 2010 Sky Television (a UK satellite TV provider) announced the launch of a campaign to allow cameras into courts to film trials and show them on a court TV channel. During a speech to the Cambridge Union Society, Sky’s head of news (John Ryley) said that it was illogical for the UK to claim that all trials were open to the public (with some very limited exceptions), whilst at the same time excluding television cameras from trials and preventing the broadcast of trials on TV. Currently, such broadcasts are prohibited on the basis of the Criminal Justice Act 1925.

Mr Ryley claimed that his company intends to bring a number of legal actions to challenge the prohibition, arguing that the freedom of expression and right to information are factors which were not expressly protected in English law when the 1925 act was adopted. This has, of course, changed with the entry into force of the Human Rights Act 1998. Some signs of a “softening” of the UK’s approach to televising legal activities may be seen in the recent broadcast of a government inquiry into the government’s activities prior to the Iraq war (the Chilcot inquiry). Furthermore, as part of the “modernisation” of the Supreme Court, cameras were installed into the court room. The author wonders whether at some future date the exciting possibility of televised Supreme Court judgments will cause Sky viewers to switch from watching the big football match on Sky Sports to watching Lord Phillips in action on Supreme Court TV... At least one viewer won’t be doing so! Dr Steve Terrett

Judging Lisbon

Ruairi O’Neill

Here we will discuss different elements of the Lisbon Reform Treaty each edition.

under the Lisbon Treaty, the EU can accede to the ECHR and thus EU law can be challenged at the European Court of Human Rights to ensure compliance


Over the years, Sky News has pursued a number of indirect ways to televise high-profile trials, such as those of Ian Huntley (accused and subsequently convicted of murdering 2 teenage girls) and Michael Jackson (accused of child molesting in a trial held in America). Firstly, Sky had broadcast live transcripts of proceedings, produced by stenographers. Secondly, it has used 3D digital graphics to reconstruct the defendant and witnesses. Finally, it has used actors and look-alikes to “act” the words spoken during a trial.

The European Union, which now has legal personality and can enter into international agreements in its own right, has replaced the European Community. Accordingly, the ‘pillar’ structure created by the Maastricht Treaty, will disappear and the Union will have a new unified institutional framework. As a result, in common with the institutions to be renamed, the whole court system of the European Union will be known as the Court of Justice of the European Union, comprising three courts: the Court of Justice, the General Court and the Civil Service Tribunal. Additionally, as a result of the unifying of the ‘pillars’ of the European Union and the repeal by the Treaty of Lisbon of Articles 35 EC and 68 EU which imposed restrictions on the ECJ, the Court of Justice will now acquire general jurisdiction to give preliminary rulings in the area of freedom, security and justice. Additionally, the Court will also have general jurisdiction in relation to visas, asylum, immigration and other policies related to free movement of persons, with any national court, not only higher courts, being able to make preliminary references, as a result of the Lisbon Treaty. The Court of Justice has also a new applicant, in accordance with Protocol 2 Art. 8: national parliaments (represented by their governments) may take a case before the Court if they consider that a legislative act does not conform with the principle of subsidiarity. One of the most interesting changes, however, relates to the improvement of the system of judicial protection for individuals through the reform of judicial review under Art 230 EC. Under ART 263(4) TFEU “any natural or legal person may [...] institute proceedings against an act addressed to that person or which is of direct and individual concern to them, and against a regulatory act which is of direct concern to them and does not entail implementing measures”. Therefore, having the requirement for individual concern dropped for challenges directed against “regulatory acts”, the Plaumann test survives only in relation to non-regulatory acts. This new provision is likely to improve access to justice within the European Union, although it is submitted that since the Lisbon Treaty does not include a definition of ‘regulatory act’, it shall be up to the Courts to determine how far judicial review shall be open to individual action.

In summary, the Treaty of Lisbon has led to significant changes in both the organisation and jurisdiction of the Court of Justice. As is known already, the elimination of the ‘pillar’ structure, the entire court structure of the EU is known now as the Court of Justice of the European Union, comprising of three courts: The Court of Justice, the General Court and the Civil Service Tribunal. Among the numerous other changes brought about, individuals may now challenge legal acts directly that cannot otherwise be challenged via the preliminary reference procedure under Art 267 TFEU.

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The Treaty of Lisbon: an Introduction T

uropean Law E

he main aim of the Treaty of Lisbon (ToL) is twofold. First of all, to make the institutions and mechanisms of the European Union more effective, for instance, through the adoption of a more efficient decision making process. Secondly, ToL aims at the introduction of more democratic legitimacy into the Union. Also, another leading idea of the Treaty is a more transparent European Union. In addition, the Treaty of Lisbon recognises the single legal personality of the Union; introduces new institutions; provides for voluntary membership. The above mentioned issues will be briefly examined in the following paragraphs. To begin with, it should be borne in mind that the Treaty of Lisbon is an amending treaty. The amendments made by it are reflected in two other treaties: the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). Article 1 of the TEU states that “[t]he Union shall replace and succeed the European Community”. This represents a move towards one common framework. Thus, since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on the 1st of December 2009 the terms “European Community” and “Community Law” are substituted by the terms “European Union” and “Union Law”, respectively. In addition, another evidence of the move towards a common framework is the former “three-pillar-structure” of the European Community is abandoned. The second pillar (Common Foreign and Security Policy) and the third one (Police and Judicial Cooperation on Criminal Matters) merge with the first pillar and constitute the European Union abandoning the special instruments which were applicable to them in the past.


nother great change flowing from the Lisbon Treaty is that the European Union is given a single legal personality (Art. 47 TEU). Consequently, the Union can conclude agreements with third countries and international organisations which are “binding upon the institutions of the Union and on its Member States” (Art. 216 TFEU). Also, the right of a Member State to withdraw from the EU is recognised (Art. 50 TEU). Thus, now expressly the membership in the EU is voluntary. In addition, for the first time with the Lisbon Treaty the so-called “solidarity clause” is introduced which requires MS to help each other in case of terrorist attack, natural or man-made disaster (Art. 222 TFEU). The Treaty of Lisbon contributes to a more democratic European Union. Firstly, it broadens the powers of national parliaments (Art.12 TEU) – they have to be directly informed of draft European legislation which means that they can exercise influence on it; collectively national parliaments can hinder or block EU legislation; they are guardians of the principle of subsidiary; they have more power in the process of amendment of the treaties (Art. 48 TEU) and enlargement (Art. 49 TEU).


econdly, ToL strengthens the power of the European Parliament (Art. 14 TEU) – it is an equal to the Council co-legislator and it has respective powers in exercising the budgetary function. Also, the European Parliament is electing the President of the European Commission on proposal of the European Council (Art. 17, para 7 TEU). It is highly probable that because of these amendments more interest in the European elections will follow suit. Thirdly, the Lisbon Treaty introduces an element of direct democracy through the citizens’ initiative enshrined in Article 11, para 4 TEU which allows “not less than one million citizens who are nationals of a significant number of Member States” to ask the European Commission to submit a proposal for a legal act. It remains to be seen whether the Treaty of Lisbon provides for a more efficient EU. For instance, the newly introduced double

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qualified majority voting in the Council (Art. 16 TEU and Art. 238 TFEU) that requires the consent of “at least 55% of the members of the Council, comprising at least fifteen of them and representing Member States comprising at least 65% of the population of the Union” makes decision taking easier. Furthermore, it balances the interest of the smaller Member States with those of the bigger ones. However, no conclusions could be drawn before the 1st November 2014 when the provision is supposed to enter into force. Moreover, it remains to be seen whether the interaction between different institutions of the EU will contribute to its better functioning and whether there is a good balance between them (the old ones invested with new powers and the new ones introduced by ToL). The Lisbon Treaty recognises the European Council as an institution (Art. 13 TEU). Furthermore, now it has a permanent President (Art. 15 TEU) - Herman Van Rompuy. Also, for the first time the Union has a Foreign Representative – the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (Art. 18 TEU) which is supported by the European External Action Service (Art. 27, para 3 TEU). It is interesting to note that at present the posts of HighRepresentative and that of the Vice-President of the European Commission are merged – Catherine Ashton. It is difficult to predict how the President of the Commission and the two newly introduced posts of President of the European Council and High Representative will interact. It is highly probable that much will depend on the personalities of the ones who occupy these posts.


t is doubtful whether the Treaty of Lisbon provides for a more transparent Union. On the one hand, the reorganisation of the “three-pillar-structure”; the clarification of the competency of the Union through the principles of conferral and subsidiarity (Art. 5 TEU) and the explicit underlying of the EU competencies in Article 3 TFEU (exclusive competence of the EU), Article 4 TFEU (shared with Member States competence of the EU) and Article 6 TFEU (competence of the EU to carry out actions to support, coordinate or supplement the actions of the Member States); the public sessions of the Council when it deliberates and votes on a draft legislative act (Art. 16, para 8 TEU) certainly provide for more transparency. Elitsa Yurukova is a graduate of the Sofia Centre and is currently on Stage at the Commission Legal Services DG

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, posing alongside the new High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Baroness Catherine Ashton of the UK

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From 5th to 12th October, the Central and East European Moot Court Competition winners – the Warsaw University team – had the utmost pleasure to spend a week as guests of the University of Cambridge. We arrived at Luton airport feeling relaxed on one hand and excited on the other and continued our journey by bus which took us straight to Cambridge. To our satisfaction, it turned out that we were provided accommodation within the University’s infrastructure: we were placed in guest rooms belonging to Cambridge Colleges. Two of us – Aleksandra and Jan – stayed as St John’s College guests while Adelina and Klaudia were hosted by Emmanuel’s College. fter leaving luggage in our rooms, all of us slightly intimidated by the surrounding atmosphere of 800 years old academic tradition , we rushed to meet professor William Cornish and his assistant Ann Smith. We received a very warm welcome and were familiarized with all the attractions that were organized for us for the upcoming week, starting immediately from a guided tour of the Cambridge Law Faculty Library – the Squire Library – given to us exclusively by


David Wills, the Squire Law Librarian. We wandered along the endless rows of books, perplexed and slightly envious of the massive collection that was at Cambridge students’ disposal. uring our stay in Cambridge one of the undoubtedly most exciting attractions was the visit to London to see the new Supreme Court. As a consequence of a very fresh change in UK legal system it was now the Supreme Court that performed the judicial functions formerly assigned to the House of Lords. We therefore had the chance to visit a brand new institution, subject of a very long and fierce discussion in United Kingdom which had only operated for about a week! irst in the London schedule, however, was the visit to the Royal Court of Justice where we were invited by Carnwath LJ. His assistant – Ravinder Thukral gave us a quick tour of the beautiful and huge building of the Court. We followed him in the maze of long red carpeted corridors to finally get to one of the court rooms where we had the



Student News

CEEMC 2009 Winning Moot team go to England!

Klaudia, Jan, Adelina and Aleksandra, in front of the newly opened Supreme Court Building in London

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„ And the Best Speaker’s award goes to….” When back in May 2009 Denise Ashmore read our names in the debating chamber of the newly built Supreme Economical Court in Kiev we were dumbfounded. We couldn’t believe that among so many brilliant students from all over Europe taking part in the 15th Central and East European Moot Court Competition, it was us – Adelina Prokop and Vanda Jakir who had come first. Receiving the Best Speaker’s award was like a dream come true; however, it was only when we arrived in Luxembourg in November 2009 that the big news had sunk in – we were about to undergo a two-week stage at the European Court of Justice!

Adelina Prokop (University of Warsaw) and Vanda Jakir (University of Zagreb)

AG Eleanor Sharpston with the winners of this years ‘best speaker prize’ at the ECJ in Luxembourg

Diary of the best speaker prizes at the CEEMC

opportunity to see how real proceedings concerning the permission for an appeal looked like. Mr Thukral then invited us for a lunch in the Lincoln’s Inn dining hall, normally only open for barristers and told us various back-stage stories of a barrister’s profession. Finally, the time came to visit the Supreme Court. After a crazy drive in a London cab, we were received by one of the former House of Lords judges, now the Supreme Court judge – Lady Hale, who welcomed us warmly in her office, explained the major differences after the reform and answered all our questions. Although the meeting was extremely interesting, we had to let Lady Hale perform her duties. However, we were all invited to observe the proceedings Lady Hale was hearing and eagerly accepted the invitation to see how the last instance case before the panel of seven Lords looked like. Back in Cambridge, in order for us to experience the academic atmosphere even more, Professor Cornish arranged that we participated in two traditional formal halls - dinners that each College organizes for its students and professors - at St John’s College and Magdalene’s College. The impression was unforgettable. Both students and professors wearing traditional Cambridge gowns, long candle lit tables in enormous, gloomy formal halls with portraits of each College’s most renowned graduates from the past, elegantly dressed waiters serving us delicious three course meals. We could not escape the feeling that we suddenly found ourselves in one of the Harry Potter books’ settings and that this was inevitably how the Hogwart’s must have looked liked. Our free time during the days we tried to split between exploring the Squire Library’s resources to which we were given access and attending some of the lectures that were just commencing at the University. Among subjects that we chose were Conflict of Laws, Equity and Contract Law. Once the lectures were over and library closed, Cambridge students’ evening life was slowly starting. As our visit took place in the very beginning of the academic year we were witnessing the so called freshers’ week. Cambridge old streets were full of yet another generation of new students enjoying their time and having fun (while they still can!), pubs and clubs full of young people from literally all over the world. We concluded our stay with a two day visit to London – this time purely in entertainment purposes to enjoy London by night, confront the hectic metropolitan frenzy of the big city with the quiet, academic and traditional atmosphere of Cambridge which we had the one and only chance to experience to the full during the past week. The European Court of Justice is situated on Kirchberg, a little hill towering above Luxembourg town. Among the modern ECJ buildings, there is also European Bank of Investments and Luxemburg Philharmonic; the surroundings are therefore formidable. We felt like being in the very heart of Europe when we entered the main ECJ building – Ancien Palais. Adelina was undergoing a stage at the cabinet of Advocate General Ms Eleanor Sharpston, while Vanda had the opportunity to be a stagiaire at the cabinet of Judge Mr Alexander Arabadijev. The two cabinets are situated next to each other on the long, never ending corridors of the Anneau – a building where all members of the court have their cabinets. Each cabinet is composed of four referendaires and assistants. They form a perfect team, which helps respectively the judge and the advocate general to prepare for the hearings and deliver opinions. For the two subsequent weeks we had an opportunity to become part of their team. We were taking part in the cabinet’s weekly meetings, analysing cases which were currently pending before the court and having long and inspiring discussions about the development of EU law. Being a referendaire at the two cabinets differs substantially. Main role of an Advocate General’s referendaire is assisting in drafting the AG Opinions. While undergoing a stage at the AG cabinet, Adelina had the opportunity to observe the process of drafting the opinion and the brainstorming which precedes it. Vanda, on the

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other hand, being a stagiaire at the Judge’s cabinet, had additional duties of updating the judge on the all current cases pending before the court. During weekly meetings at the cabinet, the Judge’s referendaires discuss the cases lodged before the court and assess their potential impact on the development of the European Law. We also took the possibility to attend the Court’s hearings. The Grande Salle where the hearings of the Grand Chamber and full Court take place made an unforgettable impression on us. Bedazzled by the courtroom’s décor, we listened to the observations submitted by lawyers from different Member States. The multilingualism of the European Union exerts an impact on the court’s hearings as well. It was surprising to hear one of the party delivering a speech in Dutch, a Judge posing questions in French, and an Advocate General presenting his or her opinion in English. Of course, everything is being simultaneously translated by dozens of interpreters. Although there are a few hundred people working both at the ECJ and the Court of First Instance, the Court’s environment is rather family-like. During the two-hour lunch breaks everyone goes down to the cafeteria situated in the long corridor on the ground floor (the Gallery) to enjoy delicious meals in the presence of other colleagues. It is not unusual to meet a Judge or an Advocate General eating their lunch at the opposite table. As a part of our prize, we also had an opportunity to visit Brussels and have a taste of other European institutions. Although our visit was brief, we managed to get acquainted with how the European Commission works, which was kindly presented to us by officials from Directorate General for Competition and the Internal Market. In addition, our tour of the European Parliament was astonishing since we stood in the very chamber where the Parliament has its sittings and even popped in on a Committee meeting, not to mention all of the vivid sculptures exhibited in corridors of the Parliament. Of course, it is superfluous to mention that we enjoyed Belgian chocolates as well. Even though we tried to retell our experience in the past few lines, the whole adventure is almost impossible to depict. The atmosphere both at the Court and in Luxembourg, the joy of being a part of the process that seemed too abstract just a few weeks ago, or the friends we’ve made while erasing the barriers between our mother tongues; these are certainly the things that make this trip a bit of a turning point. In other words, the enthusiasm that we gained will probably boost us up for some time to find and achieve our goals, and perhaps come to Luxembourg again. In the end, we would like to thank AG Sharpston and Judge Arabadijev, both their cabinets and the organisers of the CEEMC – Denise Ashmore and Steve Terrett - for giving us this opportunity of a lifetime that we will never forget.

Christmas Moot at Warsaw University


n December 10 2009, Warsaw University hosted the annual British Law Centre Christmas Comic Moot. ach year the teaching staff of the British Law Centre undergo the often traumatic task of becoming a rather famous, often deranged, usually guilty, celebrity, accused of murdering one of their equally deranged, but somewhat deceased, colleagues. his year, Dr Gregory House, Quentin Tarantino, and (the resurrected) Michael Jackson stood trial before Justice Ashmore; represented by the finest lawyers on offer at the British Law Centre (Warsaw Division), and grilled by its finest prosecutor. n the end, though, it is the people who decide, and by an uncomfortable majority, including a monkey called Bimbo, it was Quentin Tarantula who goes down for this heinous crime. hether this individual is innocent, but with the unfortunate look of a felon is irrelevant; the people have spoken! What will next year bring? wait and see...



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oot News M








isitors to the British Law Centres in 2010

he Warsaw BLC graduation this year (for those who successfully completed all assignments and exams before breathing a huge sigh of relief) takes place during the weekend of 20th March. We are delighted to announce that the graduation will be attended by Lord Justice Carnwath (pictured above) of the Court of Appeal. Lord Justice Carnwath is also the Senior President of Tribunals in the UK and, as such, is ultimately responsible for overseeing the delivery of justice by the UK’s numerous tribunals, covering a wide array of subject-matters and dealing with many thousands of cases each year. Lord Carnwath has kindly agreed to deliver a lecture to those graduating and to any BLC students who wish to attend. The lecture is entitled: Constitutional Change in UK Courts and Tribunals and offers an insider’s view of the fundamental changes witnessed in the UK over recent years. Further details of the time and place of the lecture will be provided nearer the time. The BLC graduation will also be attended by Professor William Cornish of the Law Faculty, University of Cambridge. Professor Cornish was instrumental in creating the BLC course in Central & Eastern Europe and remains a strong supporter of the course throughout the region. Associate Professor Robert Burrell (University of Queensland) will be conducting 2 weeks of lectures on Intellectual Property beginning 15th February.

Richard Fentiman (reader in private international law at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of Queen’s College, Cambridge) will be lecturing on international disputes

Alexandre Kornezov (referendaire at the European Court of Justice) will be lecturing on aspects of EU institutional law during the week of 8th March.

Carsten Zatschler (referendaire at the European Court of Justice) will be lecturing on EU free movement of goods law between 29th – 31st March.

Michal Bobek (PhD researcher at the European University Institute, Department of Law, Florence) will be lecturing on aspects of EU institutional law during the week of 8th March.

As always, the BLC is playing host to a number of visiting academic experts who will be lecturing our students at the Warsaw BLC Centre on their specialist areas. Of course, students from other centres are very welcome to join in these lectures . Each lecturer’s notes will also be available for downloading from Moodle.

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he BLC is pleased to announce that it will be cooperating with Becks this year who are launching a new series of publications of English translations of Polish statutes. We are therefore looking for students/ graduates who may be interested in being involved in this new venture (for appropriate remuneration of course). We hope that many of you will be interested in being involved in this venture, if so please send an email attaching your curriculum vitae to Denise Ashmore at by the 15th February 2010

Would you like to have your work included in the next edition of the BLC Obiter Dicta? We are looking for both longer articles of 2000-2500 words, and smaller updates ranging from 300 words - 1000 words. Please submit your interest in being included in the newsletter to We are particularly keen to include pieces on: • Legal training in EU countries (Poland’s has changed a lot; the UK too – maybe it has in other countries as well) • Public Funding of legal claims • Cyber-crime in a borderless world? • The effect the European Charter of Fundamental Rights will have on the application of European Law in Member States.


emember to check our website for more frequent updates legal issues, goings-on at the British Law Centre, and issues and events of general interest to both our students and our Alumni.

Find us at

The BLC wishes to thank the following firms for their on-going support in relation to the Diploma Courses offered throughout Central & Eastern Europe

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Obiter dicta 1st edition