Archive for December 17th, 2009

Bling Dong merrily on high….

As Britain prepares to shut down for the annual Christmas holiday – although ‘hunker down’ may be a better word if Eurostar, British Airways and severe weather in the form of a ‘White Christmas’ stop anyone leaving Britain – here are a few choice morsels from the world of law.

Bar Council website borked?

I’d like to be able to bring you glad tidings from the Bar Council news section but I can’t – because they appear to be having problems with their website.  This is what I saw this morning when I clicked on the Bar Council URL in my bookmarks and when I tried on Google.  Bizarre.  Has someone forgotten to renew a domain name?

The URL is here: Perhaps they have sorted it by the time you click on the link?

I went on to the Bar Standards Board website to try the link to the Bar Council there – same bizarre result pictured above.  We live in competitive times.  It would probably be a good idea if someone sorted the link to the Bar Council out.  We wouldn’t, after all, want those people over at Chancery Lane stealing a march as the  Legal Services Act comes into play in 2010.  [Excellent:  the Bar Council’s website has been restored to full health!]

David Pannick QC has an interesting Legal Review 2009 with some quite amusing ‘awards’ – worth a read over a coffee.

Prince Charles has been firing off memos to several government departments in an attempt to get them to fall into line with his thinking.

I can’t see this causing a major constitutional crisis as we lurch towards Christmas Day but the Prince is clearly managing to irritate a few people in government.  The Guardian reports:

Prince Charles was tonight facing fresh accusations of meddling in government policy after it emerged that he had written directly to ministers in eight Whitehall departments over the last three years.” ….

Leaks of previous correspondence, known among ministers as “black spider memos” because of the prince’s sprawling handwriting style, provoked a backlash among politicians furious that an unelected royal was meddling in the affairs of democratic government.

On the subject of Mr ‘Brine’ as the Royals probably pronounce his name, our beleaguered prime minister, Guido Fawkes has a special item on the ‘Jonah’ effect which is well worth a read if you need a laugh.

The BBC reports: The Supreme Court has found a Jewish school guilty of race discrimination for refusing places to pupils it did not consider to be ethnically Jewish.

Nine justices ruled, by a small majority, that the JFS in London had breached race relations legislation. The case was brought by a Jewish man whose son was not given a place because his wife was not regarded as Jewish under rules set by the Chief Rabbi. The parents were angry that their Jewish status was being questioned.

‘Not racist’

Giving the court’s verdict, Supreme Court President Lord Philips said: “The majority of the court has concluded that the JFS admission policy does discriminate on the grounds of ethnic origin and is, in consequence, unlawful.”

Judgment of The Supreme Court | ‘Summary of the  decision

The Law Society Gazette has an interesting piece today “Human rights committee warning on civil litigation funding curbs” :

The government must consider evidence that civil court costs rules and funding limitations are preventing people who have suffered human rights abuses at the hands of UK companies from seeking redress, the Joint Committee on Human Rights said today. In its report on business and human rights, the committee urged the government to consider costs and funding implications as part of its response to Lord Justice Jackson’s review of civil litigation costs.

And as it is Christmas here is another tweet from last night to bring a bit of festive cheer…?

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