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Archive for August 9th, 2006

This is premium grade law – from Bystander JP, who I hope will not object to me quoting the entire post. I am not being lazy… but this is pure class. As I said – today.. I needed a laugh. The Law West of Ealing Broadway is a must for those interested in Criminal Law and the human condition.

Here is Bystander’s entire post:

(I haven’t worked out how to trackback to the specific post – but – it is always worth visiting this blog… The actual post was 9th August under the name “Sensible Advice”)

Sensible Advice

If you are driving along while using your mobile phone, and if a policeman (who is passing by in his car) calls to you to stop using the phone, do not, repeat not, shout back to the officer telling him to fuck off. When he advises you to moderate your language, avoid repeating the original response, and telling him that he is a useless wanker.

The above advice becomes even more important when you consider that there is a stash of cannabis in your pocket.

Ignore the above, and you may expect a fine for the phone, a fine for the bad language, and a fine for the cannabis.

There is no specific offence of being stupid, but if there were, we would see it committed every day.”

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I’ll need to blog a bit more law….

A friend sent me this info – a worrying trend. Charon Blawg in The Lawyer….?

Pleasingly, Geeklawyer also receives a mention. I may have to shoehorn a bit more law into my blawg
From The Lawyer

“Chain reaction

The NatWest Three were the subject on many a blog, with the fictional Charon QC (charonqc.wordpress.com) questioning the need for the three accused to front the US courts for a bail hearing in chains: “Why the chains? Are they likely to bolt? Are they likely to headbutt the judge?” Well, I guess that depends on what the judge says about their mothers and sisters.”

Fictional? Oh yes… but I worry sometimes that I am turning into Charon.

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Groucho Marx often hit the nail on the head. I came across an interesting and quite amusing story on a quick visit to Diary of a Criminal Solicitor about an over enthusiastic trainee solicitor selected for jury service. A quote from the CJS website may assist with this story: “Jurors can only discuss the case when all jury members are present and in private. It is illegal to discuss the case with anyone who is not a member of your jury.” If you wish to know more about Jury service?

If you would like to buy the H M Bateman print, or indeed any other legal memorabilia – a quick visit to The Carbolic Smokeball may be useful
On a similar theme – now that judges (and lawyers) may have to do jury service (and it entirely up to them whether they disclose the fact that they hold judicial office to other jurors), we have highly qualified men and women ‘learned in the law’ sitting alongside other jurors who, in all probability, will have little or no experience of law. Is it a good thing? There does not seem to be much comment or analysis on this question available. Of course, because of the secrecy requirement, we will probably never really know what effect a judge sitting as a juror has on the proceedings.

Here is ‘Guidance to judges on jury service’ issued by the Lord Chief Justice. I wonder what a newly elevated judge would think when he looks over at the jury and finds a distinguished Law Lord or other senior member of the judiciary sitting there? I wonder if that judge would be able to resist using his or her knowledge to influence other members of the jury ? I would assume so, since the role of judge and juror are quite different and the LCJ makes this point forcefully in his advice. Is it a good use of judicial time for a judge to sit as a juror? I would not have thought so.

The author of Diary of a Criminal Solicitor also has a very useful website for criminal lawyers. 

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Thoughts about pigs…

I enjoy a pork chop and a bacon sandwich can cure many ills early on a Saturday morning if the festivities of the night before have been overdone. Why am I writing about pigs and pork chops? Well.. I was sipping an espresso and eating bacon and eggs when I started to read an article in The Independent.

I quote from the article: “Viewers of The F-Word will see Ramsay moved almost to tears, as he watches the Berkshire sows, Trinny and Susannah, go under the slaughterman’s knife. Looking pale and shaken, the Glaswegian chef sees the 24-month-old pigs stunned by an electric shock to the brain, before being shackled by the hind legs and hoisted to the ceiling. Their throats are then unceremoniously slit.”

I’m afraid you will just have to read the article if you want to know more – it is graphic. They are screening this on Channel 4 tonight – after the watershed. I will not be watching. I have no plans to turn vegetarian – because I am an omnivore and need a bit of meat occasionally to give flavour to the Rioja and other Reds which I enjoy. I did, however, feel the need to push my plate of bacon and eggs to one side. It just didn’t have the same appeal after reading this article. I shall stick to The Mirror as my newspaper of choice when having breakfast early in the mornings – and leave The Indie and other broadsheets until I can cope with their relentlessly brutal gaze on life!

Executives at Channel 4 are, apparently, bracing themselves for a series of complaints. 27 people complained when Channel 4 screened the killing of six of Gordon Ramsay’s pet turkeys before the watershed on the last show. I shall make a trip to Sainsbury’s soon to view the meat counter and re-assure myself. Mind you, I am already thinking about a bit of sirloin steak and chips – must be hunger.

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Squatting on the net…

The Independent reports today that a young British artist, Simon Phillips, a self-styled “internet artist” who owns the domain name http://www.damien-hirst.co.uk, is being sued by Damien Hirst, the multi-millionaire artist for using his name on a spoof website. The website only seems to contain one picture now (left) and when one clicks on the picture there is a link to the official Damien Hirst website (damienhirst.com) – which appears to be ‘under construction’.

Science, the company dealing with Hirst’s business affairs commented “We have to protect Damien’s name, since it is a trademark. He has no problem with tribute sites, but the name of this one means that it could be confused with an official one.”

Manches LLP, retained by Hirst, argue that this is an ‘abusive registration’ and have submitted a dossier to Nominet, the UK internet regulator.

Philips, according to the Independent, stated “I consider my internet site to be my artwork,” he said. “It contains my comments on the state of the world, and since Damien Hirst is attempting to shut it down, he is guilty of trying to censor me.

“His lawyers have behaved in an incredibly heavy-handed manner. If they’d asked me nicely, they would have got a perfectly reasonable response. But instead, I was sent several very aggressive letters. I have therefore decided to fight this one all the way.”

It appears that Philips may have changed his stance (above). Where there are clear attempts to hijack and register a well known name as a net domain, it does not seem unreasonable that Nominet should step in to protect the well known name. The Independent report gives several recent examples of squatting. That being said – where someone just happens to have the same name as a well known personage and registers his or her name to use for a website, and there is no attempt at passing off or spoofing, the matter is rather more difficult if the well known personage wants all internet domain variations of the name.

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