Archive for March 1st, 2011

Bonjour dans Les Staterooms … aujourd’hui, je suis français et je suis fumeur de Gauloises et de boire du vin rouge… bien sur…beaucoup!

I rather lost the will to live today after reading the judgment of The European Court of Justice on the insurance gender issue.  Fortunately, there is sensible coverage of this on The UK Human Rights Blog.

I am very happy to write without fee about almost anything .. but even I must draw a line in the sand somewhere….so I won’t be covering it..and will leave it to others (supra)…..(whether they describe the judgment as ‘bonkers’ or not)……save to shoehorn in a bit of whiplash claim and Injury claims for a friendly client who is sponsoring my free materials for students on Insite Law – which I do appreciate.

I spent part of my afternoon,  before self prescribing some quite enjoyable claret,  pondering on Monsieur Assange’s forthcoming trade mark application to protect the use of the word ‘Assange’.

And this led me…given how my mind works on occasion… to put this question on twitter….

Has anyone put in an application to trade mark the word *Fuckwit*? I’m not that busy at the moment.. time on my hands 🙂

@db1957 caused me to reflect with his response…which…I feel sure has much merit:

@Charonqc *Fuckwit* can you trademark a word when 650 prats at Westminster could claim prior use?

Anyway…. inspired by another tweet response.… before I make a complete assange of myself… on to other matters….

James Dean, writing in the Law Society Gazette, reports: Olympic pro bono service launches

Solicitors and barristers are being asked to provide free legal advice to participants in The London 2012 Olympic Games, as a new pro bono service was unveiled today.

The Law Society, the Bar Council and the British Association for Sport and Law have launched The London 2012 Pro Bono Legal Advice and Representation Service, which will provide advice to accredited athletes, coaches, team officials, National Olympic Committees, National Paralympic Committees and International Federations participating in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

So… when some hapless runner completes the 100 metres final in 4 seconds, fuelled on ecstasy or some other banned substance, it will be good to know that  Gold winning lawyers in England & Wales  will be available to assist by way of representation…… and don’t forget the *injury claims*….

AND…for there must be an end.. this excellent piece highlighting a conversation which Assange had with the Editor of Private Eye… – a very interesting read.

Assange goes off deep end – blaming Jews and Guardian in Private Eye

au revoir

Le Charon (Patent pending)

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The UK Human Rights Blog from 1 Crown Office Row continues to provide good analysis of human rights law with their recent round up:  Even the judges are getting angry

A very comprehensive review of recent caselaw and discussion in blogs, podcasts and the press.

“I hear the QC appointments are due out at the beginning of March,” said TheCreep at chambers tea yesterday.

“Do you think they’ll finally take sympathy on UpTights?” said OldSmoothie.

“It’s about time,” said BusyBody. “She’s been applying for years.”

BabyBarista wonders about Abolishing QCs on this day when the new QCs are announced.  The Lawyer reports: Clifford Chance’s Popham becomes honorary QC as 120 take silk

The judges are worried….Queen’s Counsel experienced in criminal law diminish and ultimately disappear, it will have serious implications at both ends of the profession. Those with ambition and talent who are seeking to enter the profession are likely to avoid criminal work and to look to specialise in other areas.”

Exclusive: Secret attempt to end appeals in Scots courts

The HeraldScotland reports: ” THE Scottish Government has expressed concern after Advocate General Lord Wallace secretly tabled clauses to the Scotland Bill to move appeals for Scottish criminal cases to the UK Supreme Court. The move could end centuries of tradition of appeals being held in Edinburgh.”

While civil matters in Scotland may be heard by way of final appeal in the UK Supreme Court, criminal appeals have been heard in Scotland and the UK Supreme Court does not deal with these appeals.  The HeraldScotland notes: “The Coalition Government is expected to unveil plans that may usurp the High Court of Justiciary as the ultimate court of appeal in criminal cases.”

Scots judges, of course, sit as Justices of The UK Supreme Court and many Scots judges, Lord Reid, to name but one, made a significant contribution to the law of the United Kingdom in The House of Lords. I have fond memories of Dorset Yacht Co Ltd v Home Office [1970] AC 1004 from my days as a law student. The Wikipedia entry notes…”He was one of very few men to be appointed a Law Lord straight from the Bar, without any intervening judicial experience.”

The Scots won’t like this idea…but is it such a bad idea? Perhaps my Scots lawyer friends and fellow bloggers and tweeters can cast light to my English law based darkness on this matter?

The HeraldScotland reports: Former High Court judge Lord McCluskey said: “This is a substantial constitutional issue. Generations of lawyers have practised Scots law in the belief that Scottish courts were the final court of appeal.”

However, Paul McBride QC, a member of the working group that examined the proposals, said: “It is a very sensible move. If people do not want appeals being heard outside Scotland, then they should not support the European Convention on Human Rights. It is also important to note that Scottish judges sit on the UK Supreme Court.”

Lallands Peat Worrier is on the money with this observation on the ‘issue’…

There are a number of stratagems which the villainous might devise to trample over the integrity of ancient Scottish institutions and impose Union-uniformity where once flourished independence and diversity. Making those plans generally available by publishing them freely online does not, I dare say, cut a particularly Machiavellian caper when it comes to the sensitive art of Union statecraft.  It robs the mischief of all finesse. It suspends suspense.

Justiciary? Supreme? Hyslop’s is/ought guddle…

And another one… Eighth resignation in day of turmoil: McGovern resigns over Society “gagging”

While English lawyers question the value of The Law Society of England & Wales (I shall return to this issue at another time) members of The Scottish Law Society Council appear to be resigning on a regular basis….

The Firm has the story.

AND finally…  The Guardian…

Libya’s rulers must know crimes against humanity will be punished

While Cameron, using prose more suited to an American politician, called for Gaddafi to go…and threatens military action – action which may well not be supported by his Lib-Dem chums? – I cannot help but wonder why we don’t take the same stance, for example, with the Chinese in Tibet, Mugabe in Zimbabwe, The Iranians….. and quite a few more regimes around the world……

The Americans, of course, are not keen for the mercenaries killing people in Libya to be indicted and sent to the ICC.  That would set a very awkward precedent.

US’ immunity for Libya mercenaries aim to protect American war criminals

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What we have said about the value of leading counsel leads on to a further and deeper concern. There is a reluctance among junior advocates practising in criminal law to apply for silk. The reason given by them is that they see no future for Queen’s Counsel in publicly funded criminal work. This is a serious problem. There needs to be sufficient incentive for Queen’s Counsel to undertake such work, since otherwise there will be insufficient incentive for junior barristers and solicitor advocates with higher court rights in the field of criminal law to apply for appointment as Queen’s Counsel. If the ranks of

Queen’s Counsel experienced in criminal law diminish and ultimately disappear, it will have serious implications at both ends of the profession. Those with ambition and talent who are seeking to enter the profession are likely to avoid criminal work and to look to specialise in other areas. Over time, this will have adverse effects on the availability of skilled representation for prosecutors, defendants and on the efficiency of the trial process. Just as worryingly, it will reduce the pool of candidates suitable for appointment to the bench as criminal judges.



A most interesting document….. I don’t really need to comment on this.  Some lawyers will read it…. but will anyone else?  Will Government bother to read it?  Yes… but will they take any notice of it? Only time will tell….and there was a time when I would have been able to say… that government probably would take notice rather than leave the answer to the ‘effluxion of time’ to find out the answer.


There is a lot more in this paper than the extract on Criminal Law above…. far more…and all of it of value to the legal landscape of our future ….

Document Dated 11 February 2011.


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