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The News

EU Ombudsman launches public consultation on ethical principles for EU officials

24 February 2011, Strasbourg. The European Ombudsman has invited citizens, interest groups, and other organisations to submit comments on a draft statement of principles that should guide the conduct of EU civil servants. The draft “public service principles” take account of best practice in the Member States, established through a consultation with the European Network of Ombudsmen. Comments can be submitted until 15 May 2011 and will be considered before the principles are finalised.


No obligation to expropriate (Civil Court, First Hall)

11 February 2011, Valletta (Ref: 1486/2011/1). The First Hall of the Civil Court dismissed an action brought by a private developer, seeking compensation for land he considered the government to have expropriated. The land in question in fact was the part of the road that the developer was obliged by law to form, in front of the property he built.


Sex offenders' right to appeal from registration (UK)

16 February 2011, Westminster. Home Secretary Theresa May said the government would make the "minimum possible changes" to comply with an April 2010 Supreme Court ruling which opened the way for thousands of sex offenders to challenge whether they should be "labelled for life" by being included on the sex offenders register without any chance of review.


The eco-contributions saga (Parliamentary Ombudsman, Malta)

10 February 2011, Valletta. The Maltese Parliamentary Ombudsman recently upheld a complaint lodged by the administrators of an 'authorised waste collection scheme'. This report attracted considerable interest in the Press.


Prisoners' claims for compensation rejected by the High Court (UK)

18 February 2011, United Kingdom. The High Court has struck out damages claims by almost 600 prisoners who complained that their rights were breached by the blanket ban preventing them from voting in elections. Mr Justice Langstaff ordered them to pay costs to the Ministry of Justice of £76 each.


Compensation for failure to tackle problem of pollution (ECHR)

10 February 2011, Strasbourg (applic. 30499/03). The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) awarded compensation to two families who for many years suffered chronic health problems and damage to their homes and living environment as a result of a coal mine and a factory operating nearby.