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Archive for February 1st, 2011

3 Old Men and a few other matters…..

3 Old Men

I came across Frontline Hackney- A day in the life of the Law on Twitter. There are many shades of legal practice and the legal aid cuts are going to bite and leave vulnerable people unrepresented.Pro bono can only go so far.

I quote from the 3 Old men opening paragraph…

Dealing with piss stained old men and blind people can be disconcerting. Someone else should have to do with that. Perhaps a nurse or a social worker. For many this is a common reaction. For us in legal aid it can be another day at the office……

May I recommend that you read the rest of the post?  It is stark…and is worth the time to read.

Brian Simpson obituary

The Guardian: Leading academic lawyer in the field of legal history, legal philosophy and human rights

Brian Simpson, who has died aged 79, was one of the greatest academic lawyers of his generation in the fields of legal history, legal philosophy and – more recently – human rights. His commitment to excellence in scholarship combined with his gift for a good story to make him a superb teacher and raconteur.

I covered the JIH Case briefly yesterday with the key extract from the judgment of the Master of The Rolls, Lord Neuberger, on the guidelines for anonymity and open justice

 

The Sun… inevitably…. was more prosaic…

Charter for cheats

THE more a cheating celebrity drops his trousers, the more the law will cover up for him.

That is the disgraceful outcome of yesterday’s Appeal Court ruling allowing a well-known sportsman accused of cheating on his partner with two different women to keep his identity secret.

It also creates two-tier justice. If you can afford top lawyers you can buy secrecy denied to others.Yesterday was the day Britain became a judicial banana republic.

The nation that created the rule of law bent its knee to a sportsman who fornicates his way through life like a dung hill rooster.

Once a nation starts down the road to secret justice, there is no telling where it will end.

 

Indeed not… perhaps it could lead to secretly hacking into mobile telephones?

 

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SRA puts kibosh on Kaplan’s aptitude test for admissions

The Lawyer reports: Kaplan Law School’s plan to introduce an admissions test for the LPC has been dashed after the SRA blocked the move.

“The law school’s controversial proposal, announced in October 2010, coincided with the Law Society launching an investigation into the viability of an aptitude test to make the application process fairer and reduce numbers of candidates taking the course.

In a statement the SRA said: “The SRA has not validated any LPC proposals which feature aptitude testing as part of the admissions arrangements. The SRA is aware that the Law Society is presently carrying out research into the possible merits of such tests and we await their findings with interest.”

College of Law chief executive Nigel Savage said: “It doesn’t surprise me that this has been turned down as it all seemed rather pointless and a bit of a gimmick.”

While I think that Kaplan’s idea is a good one – probably also in the interests of students who would have been able to take some comfort from an early assessment of their potential to do well in legal education? – I can see why this controversial plan may have been  viewed as potentially discriminatory or unfairly selective in an era of open access to education, if that was indeed the objection.”

The fact of the matter is that there are too many students chasing too few training opportunities for the present.  It may well be, in a more competitive legal environment in the future, competition from China and the East comes to mind,  that the leading London and regional commercial law firms will not need so many lawyers in future and with changes to the legal landscape coming,  some legal work will be carried out by paralegal staff and not by full qualified lawyers.

This, from  the comments section… raised a wry smile:

Anonymous | 31-Jan-2011 12:01 pm

By “a bit of a gimmick” I assume he really means: “the reduction in numbers due to aptitude testing will be bad for business”.

Crime maps – frighten yourself to death… or a good thing?

I could not resist, after reading of these new crime maps in the papers this morning, to check on whether I lived in an area ridden with crime or if Battersea Square was an oasis of civil and criminal ‘Big Societyness’.  I do know that my local newsagent has been robbed at knifepoint several times by a group of ‘youths’ – which must have been a rather frightening experience for the staff.

The statistics were fascinating.  You, too, can check out your crime zone rating here. Is this a good idea?  I think it is, on balance.

British firms face bribery blacklist, warns corruption watchdog

The Guardian reports: Attempts to limit Bribery Act weaken competitiveness, says Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.  British companies may face international blacklisting as a result of the government’s attempts to water down the Bribery Act, the chairman of an international anti-corruption watchdog warned.

There has been much comment on The Bribery Act proposals, not least from lawyers unclear of the scope and extent of the provisions.  Is there here an agenda of international competitiveness in these rather difficult days.  What if other nations’ companies are not subject to the same structures when trading from their national bases?

A bit of lighter relief….

I enjoy writing parody and I also enjoy reading it.  Three of the best known proponents of the art in the UK are Babybarista, Anonymous Assistant and now, Magic Circle Minx.  Here is a selection of their latest offerings:

Babybarista wins two Oscars from John Bolch at Family Lore.  Having had the pleasure of receiving a few of John’s Oscars myself (which I appreciate) I can say that Babybarista thoroughly deserves two for these posts…. January Post(s) of the Month

Magic Circle Minx says…. My Case Is Better Than Your Case

And…. Anonymous Assistant considers… The Trials of Life

While not a parodist as such… the White Rabbit’s blog, from barrister Andrew Keogh who deals with blood splatter patterns  and other criminal matters (And civil work),  is always a pleasure to visit. This week………

Meanwhile in a Dutch cell…

And finally…. I do enjoy Charles Fincher, a US lawyer and artist’s Bitcher & Prickman… from his Law Comix website

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