What’s new

PROBATE LAW

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The Ministry of Justice has begun work on closing down regional probate registries and moving the service under one roof. Some staff at the 10 remaining sites across England and Wales have been told of intentions to scale back their operations and eventually close them down. Documents issued last year by the judiciary revealed court reforms that could result in the loss of 6,500 jobs by 2022.


Proposals to create a banded structure for the probate fee, based on the size of the estate, remained stalled by the current Brexit-related turmoil in parliament. Under the proposed scheme, estates worth £2 million or more would pay £6,000 instead of £155. 


A thought: Is this unfair on the bereaved - creating a ‘stealth tax’ for those who have no option but to use the probate service?. 


HOUSING LAW

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No-fault evictions by landlords are to be banned in England. Private landlords will no longer be able to evict tenants at short notice, without good reason, under the new plans. This applies whether or not the fixed-term tenancy has come to an end. 

CENSORSHIP IN SOCIAL MEDIA

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A man who trained his girlfriend’s dog (to annoy her) to perform Nazi salutes has been denied permission to appeal his conviction for causing “gross offence“.

DANGEROUS DOG ACT (1991)

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The government has amended the Dangerous Dog Act by making it an offence to be the owner of a dog that is out of control in a public place or a private place where it is not permitted to be.

CENSORSHIP IN MOVIES

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The recent Elton John biopic Rocketman (released in the U.K. on 24 May) was subject to a possible cut of 40 seconds of footage, showing Taron Egerton as Elton John and Richard Madden as his lover and manager, John Reid, naked in bed together. The footage was felt by Paramount to be sufficiently racy to rule out a PG-13 rating in the US, which is equivalent to a British 12A certificate. Luckily, the director was not required to cut the scene. However, Russian censors were not as lenient and insisted on the removal of all scenes suggesting gay sex.