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Archive for October 1st, 2010

MEMORANDUM

To: The Partners

From: Dr Erasmus Strangelove MA(Oxon), BCL, Ph.D FRSA, Barrister
Director of Education and Strategy

POSITION PAPER ON HUMAN RIGHTS

1.  Gentlemen – I have been asked to set out by way of review, as far as this is possible given the vacillation and lack of principles in political circles, the position currently being taken on Human Rights by leading members of the three political parties. [I have included the Lib-Dems for the purposes of this memorandum as a political party, but judging by YOUGov polls it may cease to exist and simply become the tree hugging wing of the Conservative Party with other Lib-Dems going over to join the Ambassador from Planet F**k in what he is now calling Optimistic Labour]

2.  Human Rights is important to this firm – not, of course, in terms of our observing same with our employees – but in terms of maximising and leveraging fees, profit and revenues.  I believe that there are many opportunities ahead for significant billable work in this field in the next five years.  Our forces, unions, police, riots, cuts, government incompetence et al will and ‘should’ provide some fairly good abuses and we must be ever ready to assist our clients with claims and litigation.

3.  The Tories: Before the election, David Cameron, who, it has to be said does not appear to have law (Rule of or otherwise) uppermost in his mind, declared that the Human Rights Act was the creature of evil and had to be replaced with a Big Society BRITISH Bill of Rights.

Partners may well remember Cameron’s speech where he came up with this bollocks.  I quote by way of reminder…

The fact that the murderer of Philip Lawrence cannot be deported flies in the face of common sense. It is a glaring example of what is going wrong in our country. What about the rights of Mrs Lawrence? The problem for this government is that the Human Rights Act is their legislation and they appear to be blind to its failings.”

Lord Howard QC – that well known hanging and flogging Home Secretary,  still appears to have something of the night about him and has called for the HRA to be replaced.  Now that he has been shunted upstairs we do not, fortunately, have to consider his views at all, let alone seriously.

One advantage of Coalition government is that the extreme right tin foil hat wearing members of the Tories have been reined in and an excellent article in The Guardian has noted…

Lord McNally is one of a number of coalition outriders for the retention of the HRA. Conservative attorney general Dominic Grieve QC is “broadly comfortable” with the Act. In 2006, Ken Clarke branded the move to a British bill of rights “xenophobic”. Nick Clegg, the deputy PM, has even claimed this year that he will lead the charge for the Human Rights Act, although when this campaign is due to start in earnest is unclear. A band of Liberal Democrats and Conservatives have clearly influenced the government’s climbdown on the Human Rights Act, but this change must not be a silent one.

4. Views from Planet F**k: The new Leader, Ed Miliband, who destroyed his brother’s political career with the panache and skill worthy of a Partner at Muttley Dastardly LLP, gave a rather weird speech at ‘Conference’ the other day when he declared himself all in favour of criticising the Labour government of the past – despite his writing the last manifesto – and declared that Labour had to be the party of Civil Liberties.  This latter was rather ironic as I seem to recall that the largest erosion in civil liberties in history came in the twelve or so years of Labour government.  Red Ed is in favour of civil liberties – without explaining to his Red Flag singing sycophants what they are –  but wants to retain CCTV and DNA.  This tends to indicate that he hasn’t really understood what civil liberties are and his thoughts are a *work in progress*.  They may continue to be for some time until he fucks the leadership up and we get another lengthy leadership election.  We are *monitoring* the new Labour Party most carefully and Psyops18, our covert dissimulation unit, are (sic)  on twitter 24/7 both monitoring and sowing dissent under the guise of Libertarian ranters.

5.  Conclusion: I shall continue to review – but the prognosis for good fee earning looks good

Dr Erasmus Strangelove

Strength & Profits

***

With thanks to Inksters Solicitors, Cellmark, OnlineWill.co.uk, BPP University College, David Phillips & Partners Solicitors, Wildy & Sons, Camps Solicitors accident claims

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Last night I watched an extraordinary film from BBC’s Panorama. I found the film shocking – for if the allegations are proven, our Army has not complied with the Geneva Convention, our soldiers have betrayed the country in a misguided sense of loyalty to regiment, and senior officers and leading politicians have colluded in this.  I am not talking about the heat of battle.  This Panorama film covers the torture of unarmed hooded prisoners.

We are asked to support our troops and this we do willingly, despite whatever misgivings we may have had about the political decisions.  Those  few, in our armed services, when proven to have broken the rules, when proven to have killed or tortured, are not deserving of support through cover up and should be prosecuted.  the Rule of Law applies just as much to the military as the civilian – unless, of course, you wish to take the view that in war there should be absolutely no rules at all.

The BBC reports: “In two separate inquiries, the British Army stands accused of committing war crimes in Iraq, and ex-Defence Minsters are now being called to account. With the MOD and the military justice system tainted by allegations that soldiers have got away with torture and murder, Paul Kenyon asks if the British army can really be trusted to police itself.”

It would seem that soldiers who suffered from collective regimental amnesia during the original investigation are now coming forward with what may just be the truth after being promised immunity.  It is a pity that they were not brave enough to do so without such a promise.

Panorama: Britain In The Dock | Baha Mousa Inquiry

Legal Aid – A Pyrrhic Victory?

This is interesting from Richard Moorehead’s Lawyer Watch…

The High Court has declared the LSC process contracting round to be irrational. Those without family contracts breathe a collective sigh of relief. Many celebrate and within days the gloom will gather again. Why? Firstly, the spending review is likely to lead to dramatic cuts in the actual levels of family aid and Article 6 challenges aside the Profession won’t be able to do much about it.

From MacRoberts Solicitors….

HOW TO SUE YOUR UNIVERSITY – A STUDENT’S GUIDE


I approve!


Being a college or university student can be a very exciting but stressful time, not least when you are waiting with anticipation to get your degree result. Most people accept what they have been given and move on to the next chapter of their lives. However, Queen’s University Belfast recent graduate Andrew Croskery is an exception to the general rule. In a first of its kind action, Mr Croskery has applied for a judicial review of the 2:2 degree classification he received

The Law Society has caught up with the news that the Supreme Court is on a list of Quangos under review. I make no critical point here – the Law Society  Gazette is a weekly publication – but I am delighted that the Gazette is flagging this important issue up.

The Economist has run with the issue in a well argued piece: Cheap at the price – Britain’s new highest court has made few headlines. It matters all the same

“In five years’ time, it is quite likely that the Supreme Court will look more interventionist,” says Lord Goldsmith, a former attorney-general. Philippe Sands, a barrister who also teaches at University College London, agrees this is the likely evolution over time, but sees a countervailing cycle at work in the next few years. Courts tend to intervene more, he thinks, when Parliament is weak and the executive strong, because the legislature is unable or unwilling to hold the government to account. Now that Parliament is rediscovering its teeth in the face of a coalition government, the judges may be relatively restrained.

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