Police who handcuffed barrister in RCJ offer £100,000 and apology
The Solicitors Journal reports: “The barrister awarded £100,000 in police compensation after being led away from the Royal Courts of Justice in handcuffs says the cost to the taxpayer could be three times that amount. Lamb Chambers’ Colin Challenger, who has donated the cash to charity, mounted civil and criminal cases against the Metropolitan Police after his wrongful arrest in court last year.”
A scuffle broke out at a bankruptcy hearing at the RCJ. Four protesters were evicted from the court by Registrar Barber. Challenger, it was alleged, shoved one of the protesters. He was arrested despite protestations from onlookers that he was, in fact, the victim of a physical attack. Challenger fell into a diabtetic coma after police confiscated his insulin and he had to be taken to hospital.
The police have now settled the claim after Challenger’s solicitors “prized the grudging apology and ‘undisclosed damages’ from the commissioner”, with costs yet to be decided.The 57-year-old barrister has previously represented the Metropolitan Police in several high-profile cases. He said: “Regarding Sir Paul Stephenson’s idea that police should have a level of immunity – once upon a time I was in favour of this.
This is extraordinary. And the police want immunity from prosecution..at, prosecution against them to be made more difficult. Shocking behaviour on the part of the police. If they can do this to a senior member of the Bar at a court, one wonders what the police are getting up to in less public circumstances.
Quick links to lead stories in The Guardian today
And some good news!
A solicitor who was defamed by an anonymous posting on the Solicitors from Hell website won summary judgment and libel damages of £17,500 from Rick Kordowski, the man who set up and runs the site. Courts rarely grant summary judgment in defamation cases, doing so only when a defendant has no defence to the action.
Mr Justice Eady, sitting in the High Court on 11 October 2010, also ordered Mr Kordowski to pay costs of £28,000 to solicitor Megan Phillips, of law firm Bhatt Murphy, and issued an injunction banning him from repeating the allegations.
Ms Phillips’ counsel, Guy Vassall-Adams, had told the judge that Mr Kordowski had no chance of being able to justify the allegations – which were completely untrue – as he had made no attempt to verify them for himself and had allowed them to be posted anonymously.
The solicitors from Hell website states on its Home Page: “Name and shame those shady Solicitors. No need to register or even leave your name.“
Rabinder Singh: We need a written constitution
Guardian: Read the full text of the speech given by Rabinder Singh QC for the 2010 JUSTICE/Tom Sargant memorial annual lecture
Interesting stuff – need to think about it, though. I am not convinced…. but open to re-thinking and other persuasive argument.