AllAboutLaw Blog: Coronavirus, the Uncensored Library and more

This week’s edition of the AllAboutLaw blog addresses the coronavirus and its impact on the economy, the Uncensored Library of Minecraft and the live-streaming of UK court hearings.

  • Last updated Mar 18, 2020 9:52:40 AM
  • Tuula Petersen
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Coronavirus: are we facing a global recession?

Supposedly originating from a bat in a food market in Wuhan, China, the knock-on effects of the coronavirus have been heavily felt across the whole world. While measures have been put in place to control the spread of the virus and its associated health risks, the global economy seems to be treading much more uncertain waters.

As governments put measures in place to restrict free movement and encourage isolation to protect the health of their citizens, the consequences of such measures could push the global economy into recession, according to economists. Last week, the FTSE 100 suffered its worst day since the 1987 crash, and companies are raising concerns about its impact on their businesses. The travel industry is particularly hit as a result of the travel restrictions, with British Airways announcing its survival is at stake. The airline sector is expected to ask the UK government for immediate aid of up to £7.5 billion to survive the crisis.

Last week, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the new 2020 budget, in which measures to mitigate the coronavirus featured heavily. These included measures to support small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as self-employed individuals who are likely to be hit financially by the coronavirus the hardest. For all those advised to self-isolate, a statutory sick-pay will be administered.

It is safe to say, the coronavirus is likely to remain a cause for concern for weeks, if not months to come. Make sure to read the NHS guidelines to manage the situation on an individual level. 

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“The world has made important progress on gender equality thanks to the increasing drive of committed champions everywhere… but I am seriously concerned that online harms facing women and girls—especially those of colour, from LGBT+ communities and other marginalised groups—threaten that progress”.

Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web, in an open letter to mark his creation’s 31st birthday.

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Firm News

The coronavirus has started to impact law firms, with Hogan Lovells asking half of its employees to work from home, Taylor Wessing closes its London offices, while Shearman & Sterling postpones its spring vacation scheme.

Paul Hastings City's revenue surpasses the $100 million mark.

Alston & Bird, a relatively recent addition of the London legal scene, has expanded its office with a new partner hire.

Addleshaw Goddard gets a new London head.

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Minecraft – an unexpected ally of journalism

A collaboration between Reporters Without Borders, BlockWorks and DDB Berlin have led to the creation of the Uncensored Library located within Minecraft. Due to Minecraft’s continued accessibility in countries that rigorously control discourse on their government, the library’s creators have taken advantage of a loophole to catalogue and publish the works for censored journalists from around the world in one virtual location. The aim is to empower readers with information about “the real political situation in their countries and learn the importance of press freedom”.

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Court of Appeal family hearings to be live-streamed

Following the success of a trial phase launched in 2018, family hearings in the Court of Appeal will be live-streamed online. This transition to broadcasting these hearings to the public forms part of a move to increase transparency and public understanding in the justice system. Safeguarding measures have been taken into consideration, including a delay to the live-stream so that judges are able to cease the transmission of the hearing if necessary.

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Recommended reading

US Senators are demanding transparency regarding Supreme Court appointments.

The copyright ruling in the Led Zeppelin case could create more legal hurdles for future claimants.

Teenage climate activists in South Korea are suing the government for failing to protect their future.

As tensions between the UK and Russia continue to boil, the latter has accused the BBC World News channel of flouting broadcasting rules.

Could new EU rules end the throwaway culture so common in our everyday lives?

Marking the end of a lengthy legal battle, Harvey Weinstein has been sentenced to 23 years in prison.

How the so-called “McMafia” laws enabled the police to seize a London mansion bought with the proceeds of crime.

As the coronavirus has caused panic and concern in the UK, a dedicated government unit has been set up to dispel rumours and fake news about the virus.

 

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