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Archive for August, 2011

It has been an enjoyable weekend.  I decided to take a few days away from blogging after the podcasts on Thursday last.  I have been doing non-law writing for a couple of weeks – a novel noir….which may or may not be completed.

A few quick screen grabs and pics to sum up this week…. from my perspective..

LIBYA…

Louise Mensch…a Tory MP….  amused many of us tonight on Twitter with her  rather absurd snivelling (some said brown-nosing)  tweets proclaiming that the Liberation of Libya was a triumph for Cameron.  Apart from the fact that Cameron was too busy eating sun dried tomatoes in Tuscany… and is now in Cornwall (possibly modelling next year’s Boden HOT SELLERS…..) to liberate anything but a bottle of Chateau Petrus… the French must be given credit for initiating and leading the NATO efforts…. or have we been misinformed..and it was Cameron who drove the entire Libya revolt?

I did, however, enjoy PM Camcorderdirect’s speech earlier in the week…when he reputedly said… “It is time for our country to take stock”.  Indeed…. HD TVs…. trainers….. mobile phones?  That sort of stock?

And then… one of the best Private Eye covers I have seen in over 40 years of reading !…. excellent…

And… a blog post would just not be complete without some parodic observation on our hapless Prime Minister David Camcorderdirect…. who, it has to be said, seems to be away on holiday when the big stories break… Riots last week.. Libya this week…

This… from the front cover of The Daily Mirror for Monday 22nd August.. sums it up rather well?

And… finally.. I had a most enjoyable lunch with The White Rabbit whose blog is always worth reading…. especially for his ‘Knob of the Week” feature..

Have a good week…

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Lawcast 192: John Cooper QC on the sentencing of rioters and looters

Today I am talking to John Cooper QC,  a practising barrister at 25 Bedford Row,  about the controversy which now rages in the press in relation to the sentences being handed down to rioters and looters.  The issue of proportion, parity and comparison with sentences given for so called ‘white collar crime’ by MPs, peers and bankers is examined in detail.

Listen to the podcast

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And…thank you to Cassons For CounselJustgodirect.co.uk and  David Phillips & Partners Solicitors , Contact Law UK Solicitors for sponsoring the podcast and the free student materials on Insite Law.

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Lawcast 191:  Felicity Gerry on women in the law, practice at the Bar and a view on sentencing

Today I am talking to Felicity Gerry, a practising barrister at 36 Bedford Row, about women in the law, practice at the Bar and, given Felicity’s expertise, we will take a look at the role of the Sentencing Council and her thoughts on the sentences being meted out to the rioters and looters by the courts.

Listen to the podcast

 

An article by Felicity Gerry in Halsbury’s Law Exchange: I predict a riot – about sentencing

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I am doing a detailed podcast on the riot and looting sentences with John Cooper QC this afternoon.  This will be available on the blog from 4.30 pm

And…thank you to Cassons For CounselJustgodirect.co.uk and  David Phillips & Partners Solicitors , Contact Law UK Solicitors for sponsoring the podcast and the free student materials on Insite Law.

 

 

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“All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason.”
Immanuel Kant

Kant had a point – and in this last week to ten days with the riots, I think reason, considered reason, is of great value.  While I faffed about on twitter this morning, irritating  a few fellow tweeters with my references to the ‘criminal’ activity of The Bullingdon Club (which the Prime Minister belonged to in his youth) and noting the arson which Nick Clegg engaged in during his youth – the recent rioting and looting is a serious issue and deserves serious reason being applied to the causes and the solution.

I am not a sociologist.  Many have written on the subject.  Many have tweeted.  David Allen Green wrote in his Jack of Kent blog about the riots – quoting the historian Conrad Russell: The riots and lawlessness.  I hosted a Without Prejudice podcast on the subject last week with regular panelists Carl Gardner, David Allen Green and guests Dr Evan Harris, solicitor David Wales and human rights barrister Adam Wagner.

There are dangers in a perfectly understandable ‘swing to the right’ from commentators, politicians and public sentiment.  There are dangers in quick and expedient justice, rushed justice, ‘exemplary’ (or should that be ‘to make an example of’ ?) justice.   Matthew Taylor considers the sentence in a case involving a bottle of water worth £3.50:  Nicholas Robinson; Burglary; 6 months: An appropriate sentence?   Matthew Taylor notes: “The English riots, by Adam Wagner at UK Human Rights Blog, gathers a number of resources on different aspects legal of rioting, including advice for reporters and on policing powers. One of items Adam links to is a post by ObiterJ, Who will pay? We all will ! The Riot (Damages) Act 1886″

Today, in The Guardian, a number of interesting law oriented  articles: Riots: magistrates advised to ‘disregard normal sentencing’ | UK riots: Judges warned by Law Society not to hand down ‘rushed justice’.

Suzanne Moore’s article, intelligent and thoughtful, provides some food for thought: UK riots: don’t shut these kids out now.

This cartoon, which I found on twitter, sums up the view of many trying to make sense of non-sense through dark humour…

Barrister Lucy Reed, writing on her Pink Tape blog, tries to make sense from non-sense with this thoughtful piece: There’s been a riot in my living room

And this interesting viewpoint from the Civil Service is well worth a read: A challenge for the civil service – and large institutions alike.

This important issue isn’t going to to be solved by politicians scoring political points – but it may be solved with considered reason.  Most people have a pretty shrewd idea why the riots happened.  Surely, we don’t need yet another public inquiry to kick the issue into the long grass, to use a cliche of our times?

And we certainly don’t need a knee-jerk reaction to give government an opportunity to erode further our civil liberties because politicians of all flavours have not addressed long standing social issues and a minority of people rioted – some with malicious intent;  others, young people, who may have got drawn into it through excitement, boredom, and similar excesses of youth to those experienced by young students who trash(ed) restaurants as members of The Bullingdon Club and a young Mr Clegg,  who set fire to a collection of cacti collected by a German professor because he got drunk.

Back tomorrow with a podcast and some other law coverage

Best, as always

Charon

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AND then.. our revered leader comes up with yet another stunt….

Independent article: Exclusive: PM’s plan to import US adviser angers police chiefs

But my favourite commentary on the astonishing behaviour of our Prime Minister is this EXCELLENT…. *Open Letter to David Cameron’s Parents* about the riots…  please do read… well worth your time…

And…finally… I do hope this latest strain of the kneejerkitis StreptoDailyMailocockus virus  doesn’t go viral… but with people like Nadine Dorries and other assorted Coalition MPs ruining running our lives…. I suspect we could be in for a pandemic… 

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#WithoutPrejudice 11: Riots and  The Law – Human Rights Act update – #Hackedoff campaign update

Analysis of the law relating to the riots, a review of a number of important human rights cases and the further developments on the #Hackedoff  campaign. David Allen Green and Carl Gardner is at the table as always and we are joined by former Lib-Dem MP Dr Evan Harris, David Wales, a lawyer in private practice – a criminal law specialist and blogger  –   and Adam Wagner, a practising barrister at 1 Crown Office Row and editor of the UK Human Rights blog.

Listen to the podcast

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I’d like to thank Lawtel, WestlawCassons For Counsel, City University Law School David Phillips & Partners Solicitors, Inksters SolicitorsIken, LBC Wise Counsel, Carrs Solicitors,  JMW Solicitors – Manchester, Pannone and Cellmark for sponsoring the podcast  – and the free student materials on Insite Law – appreciated.

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I’ve always enjoyed words and I do like a bit of Shakespeare… this from The Scottish play… appears to be inappropriately appropriate.

Macbeth:
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Macbeth Act 5, scene 5, 19–28

“To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow”—along with the other phrases culled from this lode of Bardisms—conveys the mechanical beat of time as it carries this poor player-king from scene to scene. “The last syllable of recorded time”—what Macbeth earlier called “the crack of doom” [see p. 25]—casts time as a sequence of words, as in a script; history becomes a dramatic record. If life is like a bad play, it is thus an illusion, a mere shadow cast by a “brief candle.” The candle is perhaps the soul, and the prospects for Macbeth’s are grim.”

Source

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