Archive for February 15th, 2011

Larry the cat is installed as Downing Street Chief Mouser

Telegraph: The latest holder of the post of Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office was installed when Larry the cat moved into No 10.


Meanwhile…here is Francis Maude MP explaining his voluntary work for Big Society…

It is astonishing…..

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Having a bit of time on my hands, I am wading through the Great Reform Bill.  I shall comment in due course.  I rather liked this take on matters from Dr Cian Murphy of King’s College London – re-published in the UK Human Rights Blog… I quote….

It’s no Magna Carta. Those of us who teach public law in British universities will certainly  have to grapple with the Protection of Freedoms Bill. But will it, like the that earlier constitutional text, echo through the centuries into the classrooms of 2311? I doubt it. Although the Bill’s 107 sections will give Messrs Cameron and Clegg a long list of reforms to rattle off at party conferences it does little to coherently explain the coalition’s view of the appropriate relationship between the state and the citizen. The Government does not know what freedom is, but it knows freedom isn’t having your car immobilised without lawful authority (see section 54).

Protection of Freedoms Bill ‘disappointing’, says Law Society

The Law Society Gazette...thunders….

The new Protection of Freedoms Bill fails to live up to government promises and instead hints at a ‘growth of the surveillance society’, the Law Society has warned.

The Society said the legislation, which the coalition claims will scale back on Labour’s ‘intrusive’ policies, will take power away from the public.

Law Society president Linda Lee said that while attempts to reduce the apparent erosion of civil liberties are commendable, it does not tackle the way CCTV is regulated.

‘The Bill as a whole fails to measure up to the government’s grand rhetoric. Proposals for CCTV regulation are limited to local authorities and the police,’ she said.

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Jesus Chases the Merchants and Money Changers from the Temple, thus Cleansing the Temple

Painting: James Jacques Tissot (French painter and illustrator, 1836-1902)

Some would say that the legal profession is becoming over regulated. We have the Solicitors Regluation Authority, The Bar Standards Board, The Legal Services Board – the regulator of regulators – and The Legal Ombudsman. We also have, of course, courts of law in which to call lawyers to account and an army of professional negligence lawyers to do the business should doing the business need to be done. In this latter case, it has to be admitted, that only wealthier clients will be able to afford recourse to law.

Neil Rose of Legal Futures argues the question – “Do we actually need the Legal Services Board?” – given that two thirds of its work is now complete and the third part is likely to be complete within eight months.

Professor John Flood weighs in on the issue with this rather dry observation: “Of course as comes clear in Neil’s article is that the Law Society and by extension, the Bar Council, would love to see the LSB disappear. Why? The LSB is finally holding the legal profession to account, something which has been needed for many years. Moreover, the professional associations haven’t been able to regulate their own groups with any great success for the public or consumer interest.”

And… just to make sure the SRA and BSB roll their collective eyes…. John Flood administers the coup de foie gras“The legal profession has shown itself to be dangerously complacent at times. It is too important to permit that to occur so we need institutions whose task it is to rattle a few cages.”

From the perspective of a legal educator, I am all for the SRA and BSB spending part of their time keeping a close eye on the legal educators – and, I add with a degree of sardonic scepticism,….beef up their powers in relation to the regulation of educators?

The issue would make a fine examination question.  I shall sell the idea to my brother Professor R.D. Charon.  He is often short of inspiration when it comes to matters academic.

And finally… just an observation:

David Beckham’s $25m claim for libel and slander rejected by US judge

Ironic that The United States may need #libelreform to make it easier for celebrities to sue for libel while we in the UK need #libel reform to make it more difficult for them to sue.

As ever on this issue… David Allen Green (author of the Jack of Kent blog) is on the case with a piece in The New Statesman:

David Beckham and a lack of malice

AND FINALLY… a very good Blawg Review from US lawyer Brian Tannebaum – scourge of social meedja experts on twitter

Blaw Review #298

I quote from the opening to his very Valentine’s day Blawg Review – with some excellent asides and pics – and, of course, links to some good law blogging…

ADVANCE WARNING: To those social media marketers and shiny toy evangelists who check blawg review weekly to see if you are mentioned so you can promote it to death and make lawyers think you have some relevance to the profession, you are not here. There is no link love for you in this week’s Blawg Review. Nothing to promote you, nothing to retweet on twitter. No SEO juice for you to prop yourself up on Google. Try back next week when some other author may buy in to the charade. (Love and Kisses!)

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Just a quick reminder – The Inner Temple Transcripts of Judicial Proceedings guide is now available

Transcripts of Judicial Proceedings in England and Wales: a Guide to Sources

A revised edition of the Inner Temple Library’s 2006 guide to sources of transcripts is now available as a 165-page PDF document.

The guide is intended primarily for those who may need to obtain, or assist others to obtain, transcripts of the proceedings of courts and tribunals in England and Wales.

A major feature of this new edition is its greatly expanded coverage of tribunals. It is hoped that users of the guide may find this particularly useful at a time of change and transition in tribunal administration.

The guide will be available at the special price of £12.99 until March 31st, after which it will be priced at £19.99. These prices are for single-use only.

Further information and details of how to order the guide can be found here

Arden Davies Publishing has an offer for housing and property lawyers:

“With an editorial team comprised of leading housing and property barristers, 30 to 40 cases are analysed every month in the HOUSING & PROPERTY LAW REVIEW. From service charges to rights of way and homelessness to village greens, each issue is full of practical insight

The Review covers the following topics:

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