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Archive for May 7th, 2009

Lawcast 132: Colombia is a dangerous place for human rights lawyers and defenders.

Human rights organisations have registered an average of 25 cases of lawyers and human rights advocates killed on a yearly basis since 1991, which amounts to 400 people in a 16 years period. In addition,they face the risk of spurious criminal charges, civil suits and disciplinary charges forcing them to spend time defending themselves rather than representing their clients.

These words are taken from the Report of the UK Section of the “Caravana 2008″ – an international delegation of lawyers to investigate the treatment of human rights lawyers in Colombia

Today I am talking to Sara Chandler a Law Society Council member and also the director of the pro-bono unit at the College of Law

Sara Chandler made the point… The courage of the Colombian lawyers has left a lasting impact on us all. We heard shocking and detailed eye witness accounts of harassment and attacks. During our visit, a lawyer was murdered in one of the regions we were investigating

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I unashamedly modify my friend The Fat Bigot Opines’ “There’s a goat, let’s scape it”.. for the title of my latest post.  It seems that I may be losing the plot.

Many years ago, until I was about 35, I was fairly fit.  A couple of years ago I had an unpleasant illness which I survived and,  fed up with the advice of doctors and pills,  I decided three weeks ago to dispense with both and  that loads of fruit, vegetables and a lot of strength training was needed.  So… I developed a taste for doing press ups while taking a cigarette outside on the top floor of a building.  This graduated to push ups, squats, calf lifts, abs and with a 5Kg dumbell purchased a week ago,  the repertoire increased to all the things one can do with a dumbell.  My muscles grew, the fat started to burn off and now… I have two 20kg dumbells…delivered this very morning by Mr Amazon who was not happy about lugging 100lbs worth of weights up several flights of stairs.   He muttered about lifts when he arrived at my door.  I smiled and said that the lack of a lift (or elevator for my american friends) was a bore, thanked him and waved goodbye.  He looked a bit pale.

I am a 30aday Dan…  so each time I smoke, alternating days for upper body and lower body, I do  sets of eight to ten  exercises with reps varying from 20-50 depending on the exercise.

I noticed that my stomach was getting bigger.  The thought dawned on me that I should burn off the fat on the waist before doing abdominal crunches! So that is what I shall do.

Unfortunately, gentlemen drinkers will know that men put weight on around their gut and it is the last fat to get burned off.  Gentlemen drinkers will only know this, of course, if they have a taste for exercise.  Not all do. I do not exclude women, of course, but I am advised by a very fit woman friend of mine that with women the thighs and the bum is the most difficult to keep under control.  This conjured up images in my mind which I shall not dwell on in this serious law blog.

I have also noticed that I appear to have started walking like an australopithicene.  I am told that when the muscles get used to the assault I am putting them through I shall start to walk normally again provided I don’t overdo the thigh exercises. I won’t.

I have a rowing machine arriving – a cheap one – to get a bit of cardio done and I’m toying with the idea of getting a bike so that I can exercise and smoke as I go to interesting places on the bike… or even to collect my supplies of cigarettes.  As I  am now a wine reviewer,  and I am receiving a fair number of bottles to review,  I am in excelent spirits… so… I am going for the burn… possibly, literally…

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A Statement from Matt Muttley, managing partner, Muttley Dastardly LLP

This morning, I read in the Financial Times, courtesy of a Twitter friend of Charon QC’s (@clarinette02),  that the senior partner of Allen & Overy, David Morley,  has called for an end to nepotism. I spoke to my fellow founding partner, Dastardly, who just laughed and said… and I quote “If David Morley wants to stop thick kids spawned by his rich clients getting internships at A&O that is just fine by me.  Get Eva onto finding out who A&O are acting for, ring them up and tell the MDs that we’ll happily give their idiot children a place on our internship scheme if they see their way to passing a bit of decent high end work our way.”

The Financial Times reported Mr Morley as saying…”Mr Morley said Alan Milburn, the former health secretary appointed by Gordon Brown to advise on social mobility, had “really struck a chord” in his comments last week that some professions were becoming more dominated by people from privileged backgrounds.”

I have no idea what is in the bottled water over at Allen & Overy – but I have given Banqueting instructions to have all our water supplies thoroughly checked lest we suffer from an outbreak of rationalism and common sense here… that would not do at all.  That is all.  Back to work…. for the greater glory of the partners.

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