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Archive for April 28th, 2009

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There are many uses for Facebook and it was through Facebook that I discovered the proposal of the Treasurers of Inner Temple and Middle Temple to merge the two Inn libraries. I have not been able to read any details – for no details of this proposal are, as yet, public.  Nor have I, at this stage, contacted the Treasurers to ask for  detail.  It may be, in any event, that the proposals are not at a stage yet for more public debate by outsiders.

Update 11.00: The reference on Facebook has now been deleted

The plan as revealed on the Middle Temple Facebook page is to merge the two collections, with a suggestion mooted of housing them in Middle Temple library and to use the library space at Inner Temple for advocacy and other training purposes.

Both the Middle Temple and Inner Temple libraries house important collections and archives and, I understand, that to squash these important collections into one building will be extremely difficult if the integrity of the collections is to be maintained and serviced properly.  It is also likely that merger will result in redundancies and the inevitable  loss of valuable expertise and knowledge from the dedicated librarians of both Inns.

I spoke to a few senior members of the Bar  and the reaction was not favourable.  It was pointed out to me that Chambers are feeling the pinch and are cutting back on their own library provision and the Inn libraries are, accordingly, an even more important resource than perhaps they were.  There was concern that a reduction in staff and possible cutbacks in resource, already suffering due to budget cuts in the present climate, would impact on the efficient and effective running of the Bar and the daily work of members of the Bar who need to have access to first class resources if they are to maintain high standards.

This is not just an issue about collegiate feel – it is about the provision of resources to the Bar as a whole and the reputation of each member within the profession reliant on a world class law library resource.  I am confident that the proposal will not be supported by the staff of either Inn library.

So – without further ado, given that the cat appears now to be out of the red bag – I would be interested in hearing from barristers, students, solicitors and academics on their views of this proposal. If there are sufficient views expressed in the comments section, perhaps these could be passed on to the Treasurers of both Inns for their consideration?

I will also do some more research and take opinion from my sources and revert.

Over to you.

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The world seems to have gone nuts….

As the dawn broke and more reported cases of Swineflu were reported in the press and on Twitter using the #Swineflu hashtag…. Stephen Fry called upon Twitterers to be responsible.

At approximately 9.45 am this morning Mr Fry issued the following Tweet:

“We must do our best to be sensible about this panic and not let Twitter earn a bad reputation, don’t we think? http://bit.ly/Y2GDh #swineflu”

Yesterday morning there were reports on Twitter about killer jelly fish on the way from Murcia in Spain.  I am keeping a look out for them as they approach British coastal waters.  I am at my post.

Have a look at this film to get a sense of perspective about Swine flu (Hat Tip Aimee Barnes)

If this Twitterdemic (perhaps it should be called Twepidemic?) gets worse, I am sure the sensible people running Health Ministries will tell us. Then we can perhaps panic in a constructive and British way by having a cup of tea or get our Blitz spirit out.

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28th April: News up on Insite Law

News up on Insite Law: a major update – news, profession and a detailed look at the latest from UK law bloggers.

Blawg Review #209
Exceptional – a very good review

Tim Kevan, author of Baby Barista is promoting a very worthwhile cause…

A Barrister Blog: Lord West-Knights, Sir Laurence or a CBE?
Okay. So this is a test to see whether a small and insignificant blogger in North Devon can actually help to get things done. You see, there’s a barrister who I’ve never met despite my own ten years at the Bar but have admired from afar. Admired that is for his passion and dedication to a cause which has helped the lives both of lawyers in Britain and Ireland and also further afield in Commonwealth countries and the USA. It is Laurie West-Knights QC who spent thousands of unpaid hours fighting for and founding the British and Irish Legal Information Institute ( http://www.bailii.org ) which basically led the way in forcing the closed shop of law reporting to put the lot out there for free. So there we are and the reason for this post is to propose him as a People’s Peer and if not that then a Knighthood and if the government can’t stretch to that without money changing hands then at the very least he should be awarded a CBE. So, to all the legal bloggers around the country, I ask simply that you support this mini-campaign and help to get Laurie recognised.

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