UK Supreme Court provides useful guidance on the distinction between employees and contractors

Pimlico Plumbers Ltd & Anor v Smith [2018] UKSC 29 (13 June 2018)

The UK Supreme Court (“Court”) found in favour of the respondent, Mr Smith, who argued that he was a “worker” for Pimlico Plumbers Ltd (“Pimlico”) under the relevant employment legislation. The Court rejected Pimlico’s argument that Mr Smith was a “self-employed operative” and upheld the previous decisions of the Employment Tribunal (“Tribunal”), Employment Appeal Tribunal and Court of Appeal.

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High Court of England and Wales dismisses a defamation claim brought by a Governor following sexual harassment claims

Kofoworola Adeolu David v Zara Hosany [2017] EWHC 2787 (QB)

In a high-profile decision of the High Court (Queen’s Bench Division), Judge Moloney QC dismissed a libel action brought by Mr David, a Governor of a UK public authority, against another Governor, Ms Hosany. The allegedly defamatory material included allegations of sexual harassment.

The Court upheld the principle that complaints, properly made and without malice, are protected from defamation actions (the common law defence of qualified privilege). The exception to the privilege borne from article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) and section 6 (1) of the Human Rights Act 1998, being a person’s right to respect for “private and family life, home and correspondence”, did not apply as the complaints were made in a private capacity. The judgment provides necessary encouragement to people to report incidences of sexual harassment in the workplace.

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Are Mandatory Life Sentences without Parole Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading?

Wellington R, (On the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2008] UKHL 72 (10 December 2008)

The House of Lords has held that a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without parole does not necessarily constitute inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment under art 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

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