Friday, January 31, 2014
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Hmmmm... could financial disclosures and the Jimmy Saville scandal be playing into this move? - Bill
Royal Family granted new right of secrecy
Special exemptions to be written into Freedom of Information Act
BY ROBERT VERKAIK , HOME AFFAIRS EDITOR SATURDAY 08 JANUARY 2011
The Royal 'we' in 3D: Queen's Christmas message to be in more than two dimensions
Video: Guards pay musical tribute to royal baby
The Royal Family is to be granted absolute protection from public scrutiny in a controversial legal reform designed to draw a veil of secrecy over the affairs of the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William.
Letters, emails and documents relating to the monarch, her heir and the second in line to the throne will no longer be disclosed even if they are in the public interest.
Sweeping changes to the Freedom of Information Act will reverse advances which had briefly shone a light on the royal finances – including an attempt by the Queen to use a state poverty fund to heat Buckingham Palace – and which had threatened to force the disclosure of the Prince of Wales's prolific correspondence with ministers.
Lobbying and correspondence from junior staff working for the Royal Household and Prince Charles will now be held back from disclosure. Buckingham Palace confirmed that it had consulted with the Coalition Government over the change in the law. The Government buried the plan for "added protection" for the Royal Family in the small print of plans called "opening up public bodies to public scrutiny".
Sunday, March 24, 2013
British Queen urged to relinquish power because of ill health
The UK’s Queen Elizabeth II has been advised to resign and relinquish power as she gets older and overburdened with a tough schedule to live with, local media reported.
The advice came from former Labour deputy prime minister Lord Prescott, who suggested that “the Queen should think about abdication because she is overburdened at the age of 86”, British media reported.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
|The Queen was asked for consent on a range of bills,|
including those affecting her estates. There is growing
concern in parliament at a lack of transparency over
the royals’ role in lawmaking. Photograph: Sergeant Dan Harmer
Secret papers show extent of senior royals' veto over bills
Court order reveals how approval of Queen and Prince Charles is sought on range of bills
The Guardian, Monday 14 January 2013
The extent of the Queen and Prince Charles's secretive power of veto over new laws has been exposed after Downing Street lost its battle to keep information about its application secret.
Whitehall papers prepared by Cabinet Office lawyers show that overall at least 39 bills have been subject to the most senior royals' little-known power to consent to or block new laws. They also reveal the power has been used to torpedo proposed legislation relating to decisions about the country going to war.
The internal Whitehall pamphlet was only released following a court order and shows ministers and civil servants are obliged to consult the Queen and Prince Charles in greater detail and over more areas of legislation than was previously understood.
The new laws that were required to receive the seal of approval from the Queen or Prince Charles cover issues from higher education and paternity pay to identity cards and child maintenance.
In one instance the Queen completely vetoed the Military Actions Against Iraq Bill in 1999, a private member's bill that sought to transfer the power to authorise military strikes against Iraq from the monarch to parliament.
Monday, December 24, 2012
Friday, May 11, 2012
LAWSUIT AGAINST HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN,
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE,
THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL REVENUE,
THE BANK OF CANADA , THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF CANADA
Go to the URL below to see the lawsuit was filed on 2011-12-12
Thanks to DS Mahal for the tip on this!
Court File No.:T-2010-11
FEDERAL COURT BETWEEN
COMMITTEE FOR MONETARY AND ECONOMIC REFORM (“COMER”), WILLIAM KREHM, AND ANN EMMETT
- and -
HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN, THE MINISTER OF FINANCE,
THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL REVENUE, THE BANK OF CANADA,
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF CANADA
STATEMENT OF CLAIM
(Pursuant to s.17 (1) and (5)(b) Federal Courts Act, and s.24(1) and 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982)
(Filed this 12th day of December, 2011)
TO THE DEFENDANT:
A LEGAL PROCEEDING HAS BEEN COMMENCED AGAINST YOU by the Applicant. The claim made against you is set out in the following pages.
IF YOU WISH TO DEFEND THIS PROCEEDING, you or a solicitor acting for you are required to prepare a statement of defence in Form 171B prescribed by the Federal Courts Rules, serve it on the applicant’s solicitor or, where the applicant does not have a solicitor, serve it on the applicant, and file it, with proof of service, at a local office of this Court, WITHIN 30 DAYS after this statement of claim is served on you, if you are served within Canada.
Copies of the Federal Courts Rules, information concerning the local offices of the Court and other necessary information may be obtained on request to the Administrator of this Court at Ottawa (telephone 613-992-4238) or at any local office.
IF YOU FAIL TO DEFEND THIS PROCEEDING, judgment may be given against you in your absence and without further notice to you.
Date: December 12th, 2011
Address of local office:
Federal Court of Canada
180 Queen Street West, Suite 200
Toronto, Ontario M5V 3L6
Department of Justice Ontario Regional Office First Canadian Place The Exchange Tower 130 King Street West Suite 3400, Box 36 Toronto, Ontario M5X 1K6
Bank of Canada 234 Wellington St. Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G9
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Queen unveils draft internet super-snoop bill - with clauses
Her Maj opens Parliamentary session with clear nod to CCDP
By Kelly Fiveash
Posted in Law, 9th May 2012 12:12 GMT
The Queen has detailed the government's upcoming programme of law-making on a grey day darkened by the gloom of a double-dip recession and plans to massively increase surveillance of the internet in the UK.
Opening the new session of Parliament, Her Majesty confirmed on Wednesday that "draft clauses" would be introduced to allow MPs to scrutinise Home Secretary Theresa May's Communications Capabilities Development Programme (CCDP) - the controversial project to allow security services in Blighty to monitor the population online.
|Lord Chancellor Kenneth Clarke hands the Queen her speech|
My government intends to bring forward measures to maintain the ability of the law enforcement and intelligence agencies to access vital communications data under strict safeguards to protect the public, subject to scrutiny of draft clauses.
It's unclear if those "strict safeguards" mean that a warrant, for example, would be needed before spooks could access such data. The rough proposal appeared to only fuzzily indicate that such protection for British citizens would be provided, however.
A Home Office document about the proposed draft bill [PDF] stated that an updated framework to aid the "lawful, efficient and effective obtaining of communications data by authorised public authorities including law enforcement and intelligence agencies" would be established.
It added that safeguards such as imposing a 12-month limit on the length of time such private data could be retained by communication service providers would be proposed. The Information Commissioner Christopher Graham will be tasked with reviewing such data retention plans.
The draft communications data bill outlined the following "benefits":
"The ability of the police and intelligence agencies to continue to access communications data which is vital in supporting their work in protecting the public."
"An updated framework for the collection, retention and acquisition of communications data which enables a flexible response to technological change."
The proposed bill described communications data as being "information about a communication, not the communication itself".
May and her department have tried to bat aside criticism from civil liberties groups by saying that "no emails would be read in real-time".
But many have complained that the cabinet minister's reassurances are unfounded given that the net-snooping plan would involve GCHQ operatives monitoring everything an individual does online, if not snoop on the content of messages.
The time and duration of communications would be probed, as would telephone numbers or email addresses that have been contacted, and "sometimes the location of the originator of the communication".
But beyond that, very little technical detail was offered in the draft communications data bill this morning. The CCDP was originally expected to be included in the crime and courts or justice and security bills - the fact it is now standalone and in draft form will subject it to greater parliamentary scrutiny.
Lib Dem Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg may have behind the scenes forced a serious airing of May's proposals in Parliament, and MPs even within the Coalition are undoubtedly opposed to such a "snoopers' charter", but the fact remains that the Home Office - just like its previous New Labour incumbents - is determined to push its plans to hugely step up surveillance of the internet onto the nation's law books.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
By Associated Press, Published: March 26
LONDON — Britain’s financial regulator said Monday that it had fined the queen’s bank, Coutts Bank, 8.75 million pounds ($13.8 million) for failing to maintain effective controls to prevent money laundering and monitor the accounts of high-risk clients.
“The failings at Coutts were serious, systemic and were allowed to persist for almost three years,” the Financial Services Authority said. “They resulted in an unacceptable risk of Coutts handling the proceeds of crime.”
Coutts, part of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, specializes in private banking and wealth management. Known as the banker for Queen Elizabeth II, Coutts offers free current accounts to customers who invest at least 250,000 pounds. The division reported an operating profit of 321 million pounds in 2011.
The bank said the fine related to activity between 2007 and 2010.
“Since the FSA first raised its concerns, we have implemented a number of improvements to prevent any recurrence of these failings,” said Rory Tapner, chief executive of RBS’ Wealth division. “Regulatory reforms continue apace.”
The FSA said it found deficiencies in three-quarters of the files on high-risk and politically exposed clients that it reviewed.
The investigation which began in October 2010 identified four issues: failure to establish the source of wealth and funds of prospective high-risk customers; failure to identify or assess intelligence about such customers and take appropriate steps; failure to keep files on high-risk customers up to date; and failure to scrutinize transactions made through their accounts.
“Coutts was expanding its customer base which increased the number of high-risk customer relationships,” said Tracey McDermott, acting director of enforcement and financial crime.
“The regulatory environment in relation to financial crime had also changed. It is therefore particularly disappointing that Coutts failed to take appropriate steps to manage its anti-money laundering risks.”
Coutts dates its history to 1692 when John Campbell opened shop as a goldsmith banker in The Strand.
Illustrious clients have included Charles Dickens, William Pitt, the Duke of Wellington, David Livingstone, P.T. Barnum and Frederick Chopin.
Coutts has served as royal banker since the time of King George III in the 18th century, according to The London Encyclopedia.
The bank got a 30 percent discount on the maximum FSA fine by agreeing to settle at an early stage, the agency said.
In a review published last year, the FSA reported widespread failings among British banks on managing high-risk accounts. For example, it said three-quarters of banks it studied failed to adequately check the legitimacy of a prospective client’s funds, while more than half failed to identify or record adverse information about a client.