25 November 2009

TID-BIT: Prison Privatisation Unlawful

From the wires, a very interesting decision from the High Court of Justice in Israel, ruling that the privatisation of prisons "severely violate[s] the prisoners' basic human rights to dignity and freedom". 

As far as I can see, the English version of the decision is not yet available on the Court's website, but there is a useful synposis and analysis on Yale's Comparative Administrative Law blog:

> CompAdminLaw: "Prison Privatization Judged Unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Israel"

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Course Outline

Lord Justice Lawton in Maxwell v Department of Trade and Industry [1974] 2 All ER 122 said:

"From time to time ... lawyers and judges have tried to define what constitutes fairness. Like defining an elephant, it is not easy to do, although fairness in practice has the elephantine quality of being easy to recognise. As a result of these efforts a word in common usage has acquired the trappings of legalism: 'acting fairly' has become 'acting in accordance with the rules of natural justice', and on occasion has been dressed up with Latin tags. This phrase in my opinion serves no useful purpose and in recent years it has encouraged lawyers to try to put those who hold inquiries into legal straitjackets.... For the purposes of my judgment I intend to ask myself this simple question: did the [decision-maker] act fairly towards the plaintiff?"

This course examines the elephantine concept of fairness in the law, along with other contemporary legal issues.

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