Andrew Tettenborn

Andrew Tettenborn is a professor of law at Swansea Law School

Stay-at-home parents don’t need free nursery places

Except for households blessed with rather generous incomes, most mothers these days have to work to keep a family decently fed and housed. Some kind of subsidised childcare is therefore an unfortunate necessity. The government recognises this, and has just introduced a new scheme. When fully up and running, it will give parents working full-time

Do we need a Sikh court?

Last week in Lincoln’s Inn Hall, nearly 50 prominent Sikhs gathered to mark the formation of the world’s first specifically Sikh court. When the body opens for business on 1 June, its members will be available essentially to do two things. They can provide what the lawyers call Alternative Dispute Resolution, helping to settle family and community

UNRWA hasn’t earned our trust in Gaza

Before 7 October last year, observers had long suspected an uncomfortable symbiosis between UNRWA, the UN organisation tasked with organising aid to the unfortunate Palestinians of the Gaza Strip, and the autocratic Hamas government in control in Gaza city. The attack on Israel on that day certainly didn’t dispel these suspicions, and in January this

The courts can’t solve climate change

It was always a racing certainty that this week’s ‘Swiss grannies’ climate change judgment in Strasbourg would spawn a new wave of environmental lawfare and give new life to that already in progress. A taste of the brave new future duly came from the High Court in London yesterday. Section 58 of the Climate Change Act requires

Is climate change really a human rights matter?

The media and the middle class may love net zero. Unfortunately, it is increasingly clear that voters are less keen. Predictably then, activists have been trying to take as much power as possible away from elected representatives, transferring it instead to international courts and judges. This morning, this programme of lawfare scored a major success in the

Civil servants can’t down tools if they don’t like Israel

Britain in the nineteenth century pioneered the idea of the professional, impartial civil service independent of politics. In the twenty-first, that same civil service is unfortunately pioneering the notion of a body increasingly independent of the state that employs it, and apt at times to follow its own remarkably political agenda without much control from

Barristers should be allowed to join the Garrick

The Garrick Club affair has taken a new and slightly worrying twist, this time courtesy of – of all bodies – the Bar Council. Hot on the heels of calls for judges to resign en masse from the club because it remains single-sex, the Council now apparently wants to go even further. It is hinting that

Why the WHO’s pandemic planning poses a threat to Britain

The fall-out from Covid continues. Its latest manifestations on the international stage are a draft pandemic preparedness treaty, soon to be formally published and opened for signature by the WHO, and an upcoming vote on proposals to amend the organisation’s International Health Regulations 2005 (IHR). The latter is a set of internationally binding rules for

UCL is harming itself by pandering to China

We have suspected for some time that UK universities were supping with the devil when they relied on legions of foreign, especially Chinese, students to balance the books. Last week the mask slipped spectacularly at University College London.  Some months ago a Chinese student complained of ‘horrible provocation’ when Michelle Shipworth, an associate professor dealing with human

In defence of Judge Tan Ikram

Judge Tanweer Ikram is not your usual judge. Ikram, who has a CBE to his name for services to diversity, has tirelessly insisted that minorities need to see people looking like them in senior positions (he has Pakistani Muslim heritage). Whether you see him as an innovative radical or a dreary progressive, Ikram is now

Dartmoor’s mass trespass isn’t what it seems

The largest mass trespass in a generation will take place in Devon today. Hundreds of protesters belonging to the pressure-group Right to Roam will descend on Vixen Tor, a slightly sinister-looking granite outcrop on Dartmoor a few miles from Tavistock. Since 2003, access has been banned. But given that much of Dartmoor is already open

Rishi Sunak should ignore this biased Rwanda Bill report

‘UK’s Rwanda Bill incompatible with human rights obligations… damning report by MPs warns.’ So ran the headline yesterday morning, referring to the report released by the joint human rights select committee on the Safety of Rwanda Bill. As often happens, however, immediate appearances can deceive. Constitutionally, the UK is administered by a ministry with the confidence of the House

Why the EU detests Hungary

To misquote von Clausewitz, the European Union sees lawfare as the continuation of politics by other means. Brussels’s latest sally against the government of Viktor Orbán in Hungary, which it viscerally detests (and which seriously rattled Eurocrats last week with its calculated brinkmanship over the Ukrainian aid programme) is a nice example. The new casus belli is a piece

Viktor Orban has proved he’s a shrewd negotiator

All eyes were on Hungary’s Viktor Orbán at yesterday’s EU summit in Brussels. The issue at stake was simple but vital. The EU wanted to provide €50 billion (£43 billion) in aid to Ukraine over four years, but this use of the bloc’s funds required unanimity from all member states. Orbán remained unconvinced. But would

Estate agents shouldn’t need A-Levels to sell houses

Last week the shadow housing minister Matthew Pennycook tabled an opportunistic amendment to the government’s Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill. This would require the government to closely regulate all estate agents selling leasehold properties or properties carrying management or service charges (in essence flats, or houses on managed estates).  There is a lot that is

In defence of Katharine Birbalsingh’s prayer ban

We won’t know for some time what the outcome of the claim that a London school has broken the law by refusing to allow ritual prayer on its premises will be. But whatever the result, the case neatly exposes the problems of the rights culture we now live in. The school is Katharine Birbalsingh’s Michaela