A Consumer Law Report Criticises Hidden Charges

A number of legal reforms were proposed by the Law Commission and the Scottish Law Commission. The intention of these reforms is to protect consumers from unfair charges in contracts.

A report was released today due to which report, courts should have the power to rule on the fairness of prices in cases where they have been hidden away in the small print.

Courts now have the possibility to assess when the terms of the contract are fair and when they are not, but are not allowed to interfere when talking about the actual price.

The suggested reforms will give consumers the option to complain of unfair hidden costs.

These proposals will affect companies offering different kinds of services- from mobile phone contracts to airline tickets.

If prices are clear they will be able to set their own prices. The courts, however, would be allowed to intervene when they find unclear phrasing leading to additional fees or jargon which confuses consumers.

Many companies are in fact tempted to fill their contracts with hidden charges which makes them look as if they offer better deals than their competitors.

According to this report the current law makes it almost impossible for consumers to seek redress.

David Hertzell, the project’s commissioner lead for the Law Commission, said: “The current law is baffling – so much so that consumers and regulators are reluctant to challenge unfair charges.”

Both companies and customers now suffer from the unclearness of the law.

Another proposal of the Commission’s report is on the terms of purchased software. According to it there must be serious changes in the terms to which consumers agree when installing software they have recently bought.

These terms are often full of legal jargon so that consumers are almost never able to find out what exactly they are signing up for

The Legal Stop values its customers and strives to provide the highest quality legal documents and document drafting possible, without any hidden charges.


Jail for Twitter Users Who Shared Jon Venables Picture

In the words of attorney General Dominic Grieve everybody who shared a picture that is claimed to show James Bulger killer Jon Venables would soon be send to jail.

This happened because last week, exactly 20 years after the brutal murder of 2-year-old James Bulger by Venables and his friend Robert Thompson, somebody posted a picture of a supposedly 30-year-old Jon Venables which started circulating on Twitter.

In 2001 both Thompson and Venables were released on parole and received new identities. In order to save their new identities dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, of the High Court Family Division required from the court an order according to which any information about these two people is banned to be published.

This is the reason of the statement of Dominic Grieve- he just wanted to remind the society that this court order is still in place and everybody who violated it would go to jail. What matters is the fact that whoever posted the picture claimed that this was Jon Venables so even if in the end this picture turns out to be a fake one its sender will be accused of charge.

“There are many different images circulating online claiming to be of Venables or Thompson; potentially innocent individuals may be wrongly identified as being one of the two men and placed in danger,” said Mr Grieve’s statement. “The order, and its enforcement, is therefore intended to protect not only Venables and Thompson but also those members of the public who have been incorrectly identified as being one of the two men.”

Another thing which is mentioned in the statement is that all people who help such things to happen and encourage such malicious communication are also breaking the law.

It is nowadays not an easy task for Mr. Grieve’s office to cope with the problems that modern technology and social media cause.

Social networks work for and against people, but this is not the case with our legal documents. All of them work in favour of your business!

New Test for Immigrants Who Want to Stay in the UK

There was an announcement that British culture and history will be the main topics in the UK citizenship test. According to the immigration minister Mark Harper foreign migrants will have to answer questions about the “values and principles at the heart of being British”.

The updated preparation handbook and the new exam will be introduced in March.

The majority of the questions in the current exams are about catching trains and attending job interviews but now they will be replaced with ones about architecture, royalty and British comedy.

Harper said that “This is just part of our work to help ensure migrants are ready and able to integrate into British society and forms part of our changes which have broken the automatic link between temporary and permanent migration.”

According to him this will encourage people to take part in the British life to a greater extend.

More than 150,000 immigrants took the current Life in the UK test last year. There is a little bit of historical information in the handbook for this test but it is only for some academic interest and is not required for the test.

Don Flynn, the director of the Migrants’ Rights Network, compared the new version of the test to “an entry examination for an elite public school”.

“This looks to us like a big step backwards from the concerns with integration which the government is supposed to have in this area,” he commented. “Naturalisation procedures have already been sharply criticised for coming up with tests which have very little to do with the things that most British people feel are important about their lives.”

The more people coming to live in the UK, the more business for you. That`s why you constantly need new legal documents and policies. The Legal Stop is the place, where you can get everything – from legal document templates to documents drafted on request.


The Investigation of Google Comes to its End

After a two-year-long investigation, Google has now been cleared of rigging search results to favour its own products and services.

As a result of this investigation the search engine giant was forced to stop the usage of information from other providers in their search results and also to give advertisers more data on their campaigns.

Another change that the American internet company had to make was the way it operates its Motorola Mobility arm and the patents acquired.

Google was criticized by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for the usage of patents in order to make other companies paying considerable sums of money.

For future Google has promised to charge “fair and reasonable” rates to companies using the patents.
In the words of John Leibowitz, who is the chairperson of the FTC, the investigation proved that Google sometimes favoures its services but it does not do it “without legitimate justification”.

The developments seemed confusing and disappointing to the body representing different Google critics and it said:

“The FTC’s decision to close its investigation with only voluntary commitments from Google is disappointing and premature, coming just weeks before the company is expected to make a formal and detailed proposal to resolve the four abuses of dominance identified by the European Commission, first among them biased display of its own properties in search results.”

The answer of the chief legal officer of Google, David Drummond, was published in a blog saying that after 19-month search through Google’s documents the FTC had finally closed their investigation.

“The conclusion is clear: Google’s services are good for users and good for competition.”



Disproportionate Force Against Burglars To be Legalised

Homeowners might be able to use “Disproportunatte force” if they need to defend their homes from burglars. This is the clause that is expected to be added to the crime and courts bill, which is currently under review by the House of Lords. This information has been hiven by Justice secretary Chris Grayling, who announced recently his intentions to change the laws concerning self-defence from intruders.

And on Sunday, Grayling said: “The public should be in no doubt that the law is on their side. That is why I am toughening up the current law for those who defend themselves and their loved ones. Householders who act instinctively and honestly in self-defence are victims of crime and should be treated that way.”

Currently home owners, who are victims of intruders are required to force which they genuinely feel to be “reasonable in the circumstances”, which means the new changes may seem unreasonable. This, according to legal experts will lead to difficulties related to the implementation of the proposed changes in the real world.

“It’s a vote-catcher,” said the chair of the Criminal Bar Association, Michael Turner QC. “There’s no concept elsewhere in British law of allowing anyone to use disproportionate force for pretty obvious reasons.
“It’s no surprise that a non-lawyer would come up with such a crazy
idea. Are we really saying that the police should not even investigate
cases [in which an intruder is harmed]? I can’t believe this will make
it into statute.”

Apparently, there is little evidence the changes offered to give
better protection for the victims of this kind of criminal offence.
Recent researches show that there are very few house owners, who
fought against burglars and got charged – only 11 cases for more than
15 years, with only 7 of them inclusive of domestic burglaries.

Currently, we cannot offer you a How-To-Fight-Intruders Guide book,
however we have a large variety of free and paid legal documents,
which hopefully will help you sort out a certain aspect of your life.



Give More Power to The Police To Increase Efficiency

The police will now be enabled with more powers, as they will be entitled to prosecute people on an extended list of offences without being necessary a state lawyer to be involved, said the Home Secretary Theresa May.

It has been announced that a greater number of offences will be taken to court by the police, without involving the Crown Prosecution Service, as this is considered to ” help the focus on fighting crime”

Currently, the police might take only minor cases to court. This involve traffic offences, such as speeding, driving without insurance or failing to provide a valid driving license. According to the new plans, they will be able to deal with those accused of driving without due care and attention, a variety of alcohol-related and public order crimes, and cases involving criminal damage with a value of less than £5,000.

All the cases, handled by the police, will go ahead only if the defendant has announced their intention to plead guilty. It has been estimated that this way, more than 90 000 offences could be prosecuted by the police alone annually. These measures are taken in order to increase the efficiency of their work.

This would mean that more than 50% of cases dealt with in Magistrates’ Courts would be handled by the police. Nine police forces are to run an initial test of the new powers, which will be rolled out if they are viewed as a success.

“Giving police more powers to prosecute offenders will slash unnecessary bureaucracy and deliver swifter justice for victims,” said  May on the changes. “I want us to be bold and imaginative about transforming policing and the wider criminal justice system to save time and money and deliver a better service for the public.

At The Legal Stop we aim to show you the news, together with useful legal documents for your business. We know it is of high importance to enable your business with all the required documentation, in order to avoid any troubles in future, that`s why we offer you the highest possible quality on the lowest possible price – download legal documents online.

Frankie Boyle Sues The Mirror

The Mirror should be more careful when calling someone “a racist”. The famous UK comedian Frankie Boyle takes a legal action against them, because in July 20122, the newspaper published an articles about him. starting with the following statement: “RACIST comedian Frankie Boyle could soon be returning to TV despite upsetting thousands of viewers”.

Mr. Boyle claims the articles seriously “libelled” him and attempted to damage his reputation. It is expected that the case, taking place in the High Court would last for a week.

Boyle’s lawyer David Sherborne said Boyle accepted criticism but could not tolerate to be labeled a racist, that`s why it is completely right to take legal actions in order to protect himself.”He realises that that goes with the territory, so to speak.”But accusing him of being a racist is an entirely different matter.”

In the court, some of the most controversial jokes told by Boyle were played, together with clips from his show Tramadol Nights. The jokes played included the Afganistan war and an impersonation of a newsreader reporting on casualties, suggesting British lives are more valuable than those of Pakistanis.

In order to protect his client, Boyle`s lawyer said that the jokes should be undestood in the context they are made hoped to demonstrate that the offensive language used is merely a device to mock the views of people he detests. “It is clear when you watch this that he [Boyle] is saying this is society’s view, not his. He makes it clear by using a different voice. What he’s doing is to mock the view of people who believe that.”

The Mirror says they stand behind the truth and fair comment and defend their article, claiming that some of the jokes featured on Tramadol Nights exploit various negative stereotypes “gratuitously for laughs”.

Together with racism accusations, Boyle also mentioned that because of this article, he was forced to leave the show Mock the Week.

Discrimination is a serious issue for every business, that`s why The Legal Stop offers you the Equal Opportunities Policy

Co-operative The First to Add Family Law to its Offerings

The first consumer brand to add Family Legal Services to its basket is one of the well established market leaders – the Co-operative.

It was recently announced that due to the official launch of the Co-operative family law services, the supermarket brands will enter into the reserved legal services. As stated by the mutual, the customer service charter that will be published premises that there will be ‘no nasty surprises’ on the product fees. Additionally, the charter will also include a jargon-free service, according to which clients will be treated as individuals. This strategy has been used by The Legal Stop, as well in order to make it easier for everyone, when it comes to legal documents online.

Since the changes of Legal Services Act 2007, it was the Co-operative to become the foremost consumer brand to be granted with an alternative structure for its business in April. Christina Blacklaws, Law Society council member for child care and former TV Edwards partner, leads the family law unit. According to latest news, the Co-operative will present a full list of the family law services available. These will include, but are not limited to, child protection, divorce, financial issues and mediation. Additionally, the Co-operative has the license to provide to customers a face-to-face legal help for Westminster. The mutual will also apply for other licenses in the nearer future.

The Legal Services of the Co-operative was set up in 2006 and it is estimated that out of the 500 staff employed, 281 are actually lawyers. A recruitment plan has been introduced in the beginning of June so that the number of staff could increase by 3,000 over the following years.

London Metropolitan University Stripped from its Highly Trusted Sponsor Status

Foreign students will not be accepted or taught in London Metropolitan university anymore, because of a ban by UKBA.  It lost its “Highly Trusted University” status after failing to comply with the main requirements of UKBA to recruit students from outside the EU and prove that it is a proper institution to do it. The license has been taken away last month, because the auditions showed the university poses significant “thread to the immigration control.”

By announcing its decision today, the UKBA has put the future of many of London Met’s current and prospective international students in grave jeopardy. According to the regulations, without having this license the university is unable not only to accept foreign students, but also to teach the current students, who have already enrolled. Currently, there are about 2000 overseas students at the university, who, according to the UKBA`s guidelines , will have 60 days to arrange transfer to another UK university. In case they fail to do so, they will face deportation and will be forced to leave the country.

Damien Green – Immigration Minister explained the situation  by saying that the decision has been taken upon the university’s failure to take care of “serious and systemic failings” that had been flagged up earlier this year.In reply to the accusation that this will ruin many student`s lives, he said that they still have the  right to stay in the UK, as soon as they study.

Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May have been accused by National Students Union (NUS) that they are using international students as “political football. This heavy-handed decision makes no sense for students, no sense for institutions and no sense for the country. This situation and the botched process by which the decision was arrived at could be avoided if international students were not included in statistics of permanent migrants.” – said the NUS president.

UKBA says that they did everything possible to avoid this terrible outcome and worked closely with the university, unfortunately the university failed to improve. According to UKBA reports, the main violations include the university`s failure to check whether the international students have the mandatory English skills required in order to study in a UK university, as well as to keep record of whether the students visit  their lectures regularly, which is mandatory for all universities, accepting overseas students.

A UKBA spokesman said: “Allowing London Metropolitan University to continue to sponsor and teach international students was not an option”.

The Immigration Minister Green has said that the government will do all it can to ensure that those genuine students who have been adversely affected will be able to find new courses. Universities Minister, David Willetts MP said ‘it is important that genuine students who are affected through no fault of their own are offered prompt advice and help, including, if necessary, with finding other institutions at which to finish their studies.’

The government is very strict when it comes to immigration, because of the many attempts to abuse the education system as a way to enter the country. Some institutions allow “fake enrolling”, so the “students” can legally seek for employment.