Archive for December 8th, 2010

A few interesting links today….. and if you are into legal education reform – scroll down for the latest podcast with Scott Slorach of The College of Law.

Bailing Assange

Scott Greenfield, a US defense lawyer, has an interesting take on this issue.

Wikileaks and the arrest of Julian Assange

The UK Human Rights blog from 1 Crown Office Row has a very considered view.

The Real Lessons of WikiLeaks for Lawyers: Non-Social Media Version

Antonin . Pribetic, a Canadian lawyer is well worth reading on this and starts his post with a bit of Shakespeare….

Marcus Antonius:
And Caesar’s spirit, raging for revenge,
With Ate by his side come hot from hell,
Shall in these confines with a monarch’s voice
Cry “Havoc!” and let slip the dogs of war,
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
With carrion men, groaning for burial.

Julius Caesar Act 3, scene 1, 270–275

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The Orwellian Present – Never Mind the Future.

Stephen Neary is a 20 year old man with Autism trapped in a Kafkaesque nightmare.

It is a story that should be trumpeted from the front page of every main stream newspaper – but it won’t be. They will keep silent.

Autism is a ‘broad’ word, describing a wide spectrum of conditions with defining characteristics involving a difficulty in communicating with other people, and a restricted range of activities and interests. It can range from the mild to the profound. It is most definitely NOT a mental illness.

This is a truly shocking story – I am not going to write about it, because a very well regarded blogger, Anna Raccoon,  has done so far better than I could.  Please take time to read her post – and the many comments.  If you can help by publicising this, please do so.

Thank you

Please read Anna Raccoon’s account of the plight of Stephen Neary

I am, of course, relying on the fact that the facts stated are true and I will certainly try to investigate further by contacting those who may be able to dig further.

I understand that Nadine Dorries MP is trying to assist by providing information or contact to local MP.  Obviously – I can only report on the issue in terms of what  Anna Raccoon has written.  The authorities may well have a different view of the issue but highlighting the issue may well lead to clarity?


This piece from law blogger Obiter J  (Law & Lawyers) is excellent with some very useful links to solid information

Deprivation of Liberty: the worrying case of Stephen Neary

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Today I am talking to Scott Slorach of The College of Law about the reform of legal education and his view on the need for useful learning.

In my last podcast the chief executive of The College of Law , Nigel Savage, he said that the law degree syllabus had not changed much since World War II – but this, of course, is not entirely accurate as most law degrees now offer a range of modern subjects including European law, Human Rights, Civil Liberties, Competition Law, Intellectual Property, to name but a few….

We focus on:

1.  The need for useful learning: for students, employers, professions, consumers and society
Usefulness is defined by the ability to apply that learning to some benefit.  Can we provide for the greatest good?  Would this be assisted by different approaches in undergraduate learning.  Yes – see below.

2. Who decided that academic and vocational are mutually exclusive?

3. The need for development in and therefore development of law degrees

4. Henry Ford’s customers would have asked for faster horses: what does the profession mean when it asks for “more black    letter law”?  Is this what it actually wants or needs?

Listen to the podcast


Other podcasts in this series on legal education

Lawcast 171:  Nigel Savage, CEO of The College of Law

Lawcast 170: professor Richard Moorehead, Cardiff Law School, University of Cardiff

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Dear Reader,

It has been a couple of weeks since I last wrote.  It has been a busy period and events have conspired to lead me to think that I should spend more time on art, literature and the decent…or , as @CarlGardner suggested to me on Twitter tonight – ‘indecent’ things in life and spend less time writing  about the venal, the foolish and the unpleasant.

I’ve been blogging or writing about law for a long time and not just since 2006 when this WordPress version started. I enjoy doing so and do so for enjoyment. WordPress tells me that I have written 2586 blog posts since 2006. Mon dieu…. tilting at windmills or what?  I’ve probably written more words than those million mythical  monkeys on typewriters with less result… but it matters not a jot because all blogging and tweeting is blown to the wind very quickly. I care not at all for stat porn, honours, awards or the ephemeral pleasures of fame which some lawyers seem to seek on twitter and elsewhere.  I believe that lawyers, whether academic or practitioner,  should be ruthlessly independent and neither court nor give ‘adulation’ – for, otherwise, how can they do their work without fear or favour or ‘fear of getting favour’?  I do not *do* heroes. I respect and like many and that works for me.

I spend a lot of time on twitter and barely a day goes by without some lawyer or law firm (many from the US but, increasingly, from the UK as well) pushing themselves or their ‘product’ and some do it so badly by ‘broadcasting’  that it verges on the risible.

AND then, of course, there are those who, with little experience themselves of the medium in a social sense, run courses or write books or vacuous articles on how lawyers can use ‘social media’.  I shall be writing about these denizens of twitter soon… probably in the context of Muttley Dastardly LLP posts. I shall, of course, ensure that I set up 500 + mirror sites, encrypt the file to 256, and give the key to a mate so that if ‘anything happens to me’, this ‘thermonuclear’ file can be read as my body explodes in the crematorium due to excess alcohol from wine at my funeral.

Well.. there we are…..  I am fairly certain that this post does not contravene the US Espionage Act 1917 and as I have no plans to visit any European countries in the near future,  there is little prospect of being extradited via those countries to face the wrath and justice of Mr Huckabee-Finn, Sarah Palin and other assorted nutjobs for ‘treason’.

Back tomorrow with some vaguely sensible stuff on law…

Have a good week and try not to have nightmares about Wikileaks or European Extradition Warrants.

Best, as always


PS.. if you are worried about European Extradition Warrants and the events today in relation to Assange’s arrest and the judge refusing bail.. this excellent post from Carl Gardner may be reassuring.  I am doing a podcast on this issue with Carl Gardner on Friday afternoon.

Extradition proceedings against Julian Assange

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