On 12th July, the Divisional Court handed down the Judgement in Shumba, Bechian and Henta v France  EWHC 1762 (Admin), and found that the Appellants face a real risk of Article 3 breach if extradited to France.
MW Solicitors acted for the second Appellant Mr Bechian in this significant High Court decision.
This case is important as it is the first case in which conditions in French prisons, which were criticised by the recent Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) report dated 7 April 2017, have been considered by the Divisional Court.
The Appellants relied on expert evidence which suggested that if extradited, they would serve their sentences in one of four prisons, namely Villepinte, Fresnes, Nanterre or Fleury-Mérogis, all within the Paris region. These prisons have been the subject of heavy criticism by the CPT due to overcrowding amongst other unsatisfactory conditions of detention including lack of time outside the cell for prisoners, lack of a proper bed and the prescence of rats within the prison.
The Court held at para. 87 that
“In relation to those four prisons, we are satisfied on the evidence that there may be substantial grounds for believing that the Appellants face a real risk of inhuman or degrading treatment if they are extradited”.
Furthermore, the Court concluded that the first stage of C-404/15 and C-659/15 PPU Aranyosi and Caldararu  3 WLR 807 had been met and that
“there is sufficient evidence before the Court to require the Court to make a request of the French authorities setting out certain questions on which we need specific information before this Court could permit extradition of these Appellants to France” (para. 89).
The Court have requested answers from the French authorities to four detailed questions around the conditions of detention that Mr Bechian and the two other Appellant’s will be held in if their extradition to France is executed. We await the response to these questions, which are due by 7th September.
Mr Bechian was represented by Alison MacDonald QC and Emilie Pottle of Counsel. Mr Henta and Mr Shumba were represented by Alison MacDonald QC and Emilie Pottle (for Mr Henta) and Saoirse Townshend (for Mr Shumba).
At MW, our mission, is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone" including those who are being threatened with Extradition. Our experienced and specialist Extradition Lawyers can help you identify grounds for a challenge and mount a defense against an Extradition request.
A landmark ruling by the Court of Appeal has been made against Network Rail following their failings to adequately treat Japanese Knotweed on their land.
Announcing the decision, Master of the Rolls Sir Terence Etherton said:
"Japanese knotweed, and its roots and rhizomes, does not merely carry the risk of future physical damage to buildings, structures and installations on the land… it can fairly be described as a natural hazard which affects landowners' ability fully to use and enjoy their property,” and is a “classic example of an interference with the amenity value of the land.”
This means that landowners could now be held liable to their neighbours for the presence of the Knotweed, even if the Knotweed has not yet spread to the neighbour’s property. Following the ruling, a Network Rail spokesperson has stated that the organisation is considering the implications of the ruling.
The claimants in the Network Rail case, Mr Williams and Mr Waistell, were successfully able to show that the presence of Japanese Knotweed within seven meters of their properties interfered with their ability to use and enjoy their land. This is legally defined as a private nuisance.
Whilst there was no actual physical damage to the properties concerned, Mr Williams and Mr Waistell were able to recover damages to reflect a loss in value.
If you know of - or suspect there to be - Japanese Knotweed on neighbouring land, early action is key. We will be happy to advise you in respect of a claim against a neighbouring landowner.
When you purchased your property, it is likely that you paid for a professional survey to be undertaken. Surveyors have a legal responsibility to check for the presence of Japanese Knotweed whilst conducting such surveys but this has been overlooked, or missed, on many occasions.
If your surveyor did not pick up the presence of Japanese Knotweed (and this is likely to include the presence of it on neighbouring land, if it can be successfully demonstrated that the presence of it is affecting the use and enjoyment of your land), it may be that you are able to bring a claim against the surveyor for professional negligence, this is if you are able to demonstrate that the presence and/or evidence of Japanese Knotweed should have been identified by the surveyor.
When a property is affected by Japanese knotweed, it can lose considerable value and your home may be worth less than you paid for it. This is called diminution of value and the basis on which you would be able to bring about a claim.
If, after having purchased your property, you discover an infestation of Japanese knotweed on your land, or within close proximity to your land, we may be able to help you bring about such a claim if this is something that your surveyor should have identified.
At MW Solicitors, our mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone" including those who wish to pursue a Japanese Knotweed claim. Our Property Disputes Department are experienced Civil Litigators who provide pragmatic and cost effective solutions to end your dispute quickly.
In an episode of Coronation Street this week Kevin Webster had to make a heart breaking decision to allow doctors to amputate his 7 year old son’s foot to save him from dying from sepsis. He had developed the potentially fatal condition after grazing his knee while playing football. In real life thousands of parents every year are faced with the same terrible decision.
According to the UK Sepsis Trust someone in the world dies of sepsis every 3.5 seconds. In the UK alone, 44,000 people lose their lives to sepsis every year. This is more than breast, bowel and prostate cancer combined. Globally, sepsis claims 6 million lives a year. Yet with early diagnosis it is easily treatable.
Sepsis (also known as blood poisoning) occurs when the body’s immune system overreacts to an infection or injury. Normally the immune system fights infection – but sometimes, for reasons which are not understood, it attacks the body’s own organs and tissues. If it is not treated immediately, sepsis can result in organ failure and death. Yet with early diagnosis, it can be treated with antibiotics.
The initial symptoms of Sepsis are flu-like symptoms, gastroenteritis or a chest infection. There is no one sign, and symptoms present differently between adults and children.
Jack’s half sister, Sophie Webster, was caring for Jack when he became ill. She sought help from a medical centre and a hospital but his symptoms were dismissed as a virus and she was told to give him liquid paracetamol. There was therefore a delay in making a correct diagnosis and commencing treatment. As a result Jack became severely ill and required an amputation of his foot to save his life. Sophie is now considering legal action against the medical centre and the hospital on the grounds that the delay caused the amputation.
McMillan Williams are specialist Clinical Negligence Solicitors. Our team of lawyers have dealt with several cases concerning a delay or failure to diagnose sepsis obtaining the maximum possible compensation for victims and their families to assist in rebuilding their lives.
At MW Solicitors our mission is “To make quality legal services accessible to everyone” including those who find themselves in a similar situation to the fictional Webster family. We can help by acting quickly to secure funding by way of interim payment for rehabilitation, treatment and care packages whilst investigating the claim fully.
In recent days MW Solicitors Head of Clinical Negligence – Adult Claims, Injury, Hasina Choudhury, had a recent high profile Inquest Judgement which found “gross failures” at Croydon University Hospital (CUH) in their treatment of a patient which ultimately caused her death.
This was a tragic case of a 52 year old woman who died after choking on a small lump of ham in a salad, which she should not have been given, as her dietary requirements permitted for soft foods only.
Senior coroner Selena Lynch, heard testimony from 19 witnesses before giving a verdict on Thursday morning of accidental death contributed to by neglect and stated:
“cumulative failures by hospital staff to follow hospital procedure and good nursing practice”.
Representing the family, Hasina argued that policies and procedures at the hospital were “routinely ignored” and nurses and healthcare assistants were allowed to “do what they pleased”.
The findings have forced both an apology from the Hospital and changes to their safety policy, stating. A Hospital spokesperson said:
“we have introduced additional safety checks when servicing meals to patients on special diets, and ensured nutrition noticeboards are used properly so safe eating requirements are clearly displayed for all ward staff to see.”
The family welcomed the hospital accepting their failures and after the hearing Hasina read out a family statement to the press which said:
“A series of errors has led to the tragic death of our client’s wife. Her death was entirely avoidable, policies and procedures that were in place were routinely ignored and nurses and healthcare assistants were allowed to do what they pleased.”
After our client’s wife’s death, the hospital refused to accept responsibility for the catalogue of errors and information which was miscommunicated to the family.
The hospital now accepts their failure led to our client’s wife’s death. Their apology is welcomed by the family, albeit arrived late.
At MW, our mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone" including bereaved families who deserve to know the circumstances of their loved ones death.
The Injury Team at MW Guildford are proud to support Headway Surrey with a donation of £5,000.00. Headway Surrey is delighted and very proud to have been chosen.
Headway Surrey is a registered charity that supports people with acquired brain injury. Brain injury is often referred to as the “hidden” disability. Unlike other life changing conditions people do not think about it in advance. It is only when it actually happens, usually suddenly, to an individual – whether that be through a road traffic incident, a sports injury or even an illness such as a stroke – which people actually realise how traumatic, debilitating, frustrating and even frightening a brain injury can be.
(Right to Left: Sonja Freebody (CEO Headway Surrey, Keith Churchouse (Chapters Financial)
Hasina Choudhury (MW Solicitors Guildford)
Brain injury is a largely hidden disability. Headway’s aims are to help rebuild a person’s independence and to enable the family to cope with the devastating trauma that has affected them. There are bespoke individual programs of rehabilitation, both in their centre and at home, befriending, helpline and carers support. They specialise in memory skills, planning, prioritising, behavioural and executive skills. This is often slow-stream cognitive therapy, and may take many years of rehabilitation. The changes are small and slow, however, positive results are still seen many years after their injury. The Rehabilitation Coordinators set small achievable goals and targets for each individual and work tirelessly with them to achieve their best.
Sonja Freebody, CEO of Headway said:
“This £5,000 donation is a much needed boost to our Surrey service. It is fabulous to be supported by the Guildford Business Community. Our annual running costs are £200,000, we are a small local charity however we achieve a lot for all of those who attend and their families.”
Sarah Corbett, Partner and Clinical Negligence Solicitor at MW Solicitors Guildford office said:
“In my experience, brain injury has a profound effect on the lives of not only the injured person but also those around them. I have assisted clients with varying degrees of brain injuries from those with profound injuries to those where there is a subtle brain injury, only obvious to those who know them well. Sometimes it is only by getting to know people with brain injuries that you understand the implications that any type of brain injury, no matter the degree, can have upon an individuals’ daily activities. We were glad to support this local Surrey based charity in order to help it continue to work tirelessly in the support of those with brain injuries and also to assist those around them.”
We Can Help
The MW team is here to provide expert support and guidance in what will be difficult and challenging times and put you in touch with other organisations that can help such as Headway Surrey. Based on our wealth of experience we will seek to achieve a financial result that makes a real difference to your long-term security.