AllAboutLaw Blog: New territory for Tunisia’s democratic parliamentary elections, the theft of an 18-carat gold toilet and more

This week’s edition of the AllAboutLaw Blog looks at the second democratic parliamentary election ever to be held in Tunisia, the prorogation of parliament and the unusual theft of a gold toilet.

  • Last updated Sep 18, 2019 11:45:01 AM
  • Tuula Petersen
Placeholder

Democratic history for Tunisia

Tunisia is often depicted as the success story of the Arab Spring. The symbolic act of a Tunisian fruit seller, who set himself on fire in protest against corruption in December 2010, triggered a huge uprising known as the Jasmine Spring. These protests overthrew the dictator Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and led to parliamentary democracy. 

Sunday marked the second time in the country’s history when its citizens were invited to head to the polling stations to cast their votes. This moment is watched closely by the world in the hope the principle of democracy will remain unchallenged in a region where authoritarianism once reigned. This is especially true considering the run-up to the elections were ramped with allegations of corruption. For instance, Nabil Karoui, a frontrunner during the election campaigns, is in custody on financial charges.

However, this has not prevented him from continuing his candidacy. On Monday, the first exit polls suggested a victory for Karoui, a media mogul, and Kaïs Saïed, a law professor. This shock victory for two political outsiders highlights the overarching sentiment in Tunisia. Tunisians appear to be rejecting politicians with ties to the two main political parties, due to disappointment and frustration over the lack of progress in the country. These two political outsiders will compete in a run-off vote—most likely in October—to become Tunisia’s next president. 

_____________________

 

“I established LSL Family Law not only to guide families through what can be a complicated and emotional journey but also to work in a completely different way. After spending 20 years in traditional law firms, I was ready for a more flexible and agile approach: one which benefits both my clients and my team. Lawyers at LSL work remotely and at times which suit them—this is increasingly popular with more and more individuals who want to balance their family commitments with their career whilst still growing professionally and offering clients the very best service. This flexible model is also advantageous for our clients, who appreciate advice and support at a time and location convenient to them.”

Linda Lamb, Director and Founder of LSL Family Law, who has been shortlisted as a finalist at the Best Business Women Awards.

_____________________

Firm news

Hogan Lovells and Macfarlanes have acted on The Courtauld Institute of Art’s new lease at Somerset house. The Institute has been based there since 1989.

The top 10 innovative lawyers, an awards ceremony hosted by the Financial Times, includes Anna Babych from Aequo, who, among other accomplishments, helped draft a new law on limited and additional liability companies in Ukraine.

Lady Justice Hallett, chair of the Judicial Diversity Committee of the Judges’ Council, is featured in the Prime Minister's resignation honours list.

Three candidates remain in the running for the Baker McKenzie global chair role.

_____________________

 

A divided consensus on the prorogation of Parliament

Despite the Supreme Court in Scotland declaring the prorogation of Parliament to be unlawful, Parliament has remained suspended because the Scottish Court has not issued a specific order enforcing their judgment. The Court of Session’s judgment was very clear in its findings, stating the prorogation’s purpose: “was to stymie parliamentary scrutiny of the executive, which was a central pillar of the good governance principle enshrined in the constitution.”

Following the Scottish court’s judgment, the business minister, Kwasi Kwarteng was criticised for suggesting “many people” believe the judges' personal biases have infiltrated their judgment regarding the prorogation of Brexit, and that judges are voluntarily or involuntarily becoming involved in politics. In order to ensure such an opinion does not widely propagate, Simon Davis, the president of the Law Society of England and Wales, has sought to protect the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary by inciting influential voices in politics and media: “to avoid intemperate language and resolve to protect and promote the rule of law, supporting our judiciary, independent from interference”.

The case was brought to the Supreme Court this week, and their judgment is not expected to be announced until the end of the week at the earliest.

 

_____________________

 

The mysterious case of a stolen toilet

A toilet made entirely from gold, with an estimated value of $1.25 million was stolen at Blenheim Palace, west of London. The toilet is an artwork by the Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, titled America. The task to remove the toilet is no easy feat, leaving the police to believe the theft was carried out by at least two vehicles. To add to the turmoil, the toilet was fully functioning and connected to the plumbing of the building, so its removal has caused extensive damage.

Some have sought to place the blame on Maurizio, the artist who made the 18-carat working loo, due to a track record of playing pranks. However, the artist has denied such action, stating: “Who’s so stupid to steal a toilet? America was the 1% for the 99% and I hope it still is. I want to be positive and think the robbery is a kind of Robin Hood-inspired action”.

_____________________

 

More and more firms have opened the applications for their vacation schemes. Why not apply now, when you are free from university commitments? Take a look at our vacation scheme page for a list of open vacation schemes.  

_____________________

 

Recommended reading

How hate speech and silenced minorities have become prevalent and normalised on the internet.

The European Court of Human Rights has found Russia to be guilty of human rights abuses in Crimea.

The case of an Egyptian teenage girl could set an important legal precedent and help challenge a “deep-seated misogynistic culture of blaming female victims rather than male attackers”. 

Kenyans have appealed to the UN over colonial history. More than 115,000 people allege the UK forcibly removed them from their land. 

A report published by LexisNexis has found solicitors at smaller law firms lack essential business skills needed to compete in a commercial market.

Australia’s new anti-encryption law has unexpected consequences: damaging tech firms, user privacy and freedom of speech.

With a landmark bill concerning the gig economy set to become law, the bill is likely to disrupt more than just companies like Uber.

Peter Hebert, the chair of the Society of Black Lawyers, has become the first judge to sue the Ministry of Justice for race discrimination.

More like this

  • AllAboutLaw blog: the digitisation of UK courts and tribunals, Sudan's first female judge and more Tuula Petersen

    In this week’s edition of the AllAboutLaw blog, we look at the digitisation of the UK Courts (and the reluctance to proceed at full speed), the election of Sudan’s first female judge, and a case involving Domino’s Pizza and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

     

  • AllAboutLaw Blog: Hong Kong mask ban, a Google lawsuit and the Trump impeachmentTuula Petersen

    In this week’s edition of the AllAboutLaw Blog the Hong Kong protests once again take centre stage. For the first time in more than 50 years, the chief executive of Hong Kong referred to the emergency regulations ordinance to ban the wearing of masks. 

  • AllAboutLaw Blog: Saudi Arabia's far-reaching ambitions, a prison sector in flux and more. Tuula Petersen

    This week’s edition of the AllAboutLaw Blog takes a look at Saudi Arabia’s ambitions to diversify its economy in the face of human-rights accusations, the change in the prison sector of the UK and the Human Rights Watch condemnation of Lebanon’s failure to implement a law.

  • AllAboutLaw Blog: the consensus on vaping, tighter controls of the Chinese state media and the legality of meatTuula Petersen

    This week’s edition of the AllAboutLaw Blog looks at how vaping is being banned in a growing number of countries, a new exam aimed at testing Chinese journalists’ knowledge of the president’s political philosophy, and a proposition to make the consumption of meat illegal.

  • AllAboutLaw Blog: Addressing bullying and mental health in law firms, mounting legal challenges as Brexit looms, and more Tuula Petersen

    This week’s edition of the AllAboutLaw Blog looks at the stigma surrounding mental health in the legal profession and the associated high levels of bullying and harassment. We also address the headlines surrounding the legal implications of Brexit and the chance for aspiring solicitors to work on their career development.