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Archive for September 30th, 2011

Bar Council Chair Warns Conservative Conference of Consequences of Legal Aid Cuts
Peter Lodder QC, Chairman of the Bar, will say at a Conservative conference fringe event next week:

“I repeat here what I have said to your Coalition partners in Birmingham, and in many statements to the press, the public and parliamentarians from across the political spectrum. The Government’s cuts to legal aid, coming on top of successive rounds of cuts under the last Administration, will seriously undermine the efficiency of the justice system.   Barristers operate on the front-line to ensure that our justice system works efficiently, effectively and, most importantly, fairly for all involved….”

The cuts to legal aid and, in particular, the Clause 12 issue on legal advice being available in police stations will have a significant effect on the rights and liberties of those who need effective high quality legal representation in civil and criminal matters.

Here is a selection of podcasts and blog posts on the issue:

Without Prejudice discussion with Francis FitzGibbon QCCharon podcast with John Cooper QC on Clause 12 LASPO  |  Charon podcast with Nic Higgins, Chair of The Young Barrister’s Committee on a range of issues including difficulties faced by young barristers

And a few blog posts:  Nick Armstrong, Matrix Chambers – The LASPO car crash |CrimSolicitor: If you would like legal advice please press #1 now…(and make sure you have your credit card details to hand) James Vine Guest post on Clause 12

And just before I go orf-piste… a new initiative to give all students a chance of getting work experience with law firms and a fair start?

LC.N Says – Claire Butler – Time working-class kids were PRIME candidates?
Well… that is the serious stuff.. but it is the weekend.. and we are in the middle of a heatwave… so time  for some Rive Gauche

UK Blawg Roundup #8 – Change!

An excellent round up of UK law blogs by Vic Moffat.  It is good to see that UK law blogging is not only growing in range and scope – but is healthy. It was kind of Vic Moffat to mention my blog.  I now feel like Methuseleh… and having a methuseleh.

And now… a bit of irony as reported by Rollonfriday.com…

“Law Society fined for disability discrimination ” “The Law Society has been found guilty of discrimination after making a disabled member of staff redundant. And in a devilish twist of irony, the person doing the firing was the Law Soc’s “diversity champion”.

Elizabeth Marshall – who suffers from cerebral palsy – had worked as a speechwriter at 113 Chancery Lane for eleven years before being summoned to a meeting with Stephen Ward, the Law Soc’s grandly-titled Director of Communications, Inclusion and Corporate Responsibility. During the meeting, it transpired her position was to be made redundant on grounds of business need. So that’s the Head of Inclusion getting rid of the sole full-time Law Society employee with a disability. Nice….”

Read more…

Alex Aldridge has a most interesting piece in The Guardian about Acculaw – a new initiative to cut the costs to law firms of training.  I’m still doing my thinking on this venture – but it is a good read from Alex.

“Today law firms seem to have figured out a way to spend less money on their young recruits. Last week a company called Acculaw – founded by a former lawyer and backed by several senior figures within the profession – launched a new cut-price lawyers’ training model. The firm will employ graduates on considerably less favourable terms than most current law recruits enjoy, then loan them out to law firms, where they will complete their training contracts.

Because Acculaw does not provide legal services itself, and has no reputation to protect, it does not have to worry about the PR implications of paying its trainees roughly half the salary of their peers at top firms. Nor does it lose any kudos by making no contribution at all towards its recruits’ law school fees. And, unlike law firms, Acculaw is under no pressure to provide a secure path into a permanent position once recruits have completed their training contracts

In one of the more bizarre law stories this week.. the wife of John Hemming MP is caught bang to rights on CCTC nicking a kitten from Mr Hemming’s mistress. 

The BBC reports: “Christine Hemming, wife of Yardley MP John Hemming, was filmed by CCTV cameras stealing a kitten from the Birmingham home of her husband’s mistress Emily Cox. Hemming denied burglary and said she was dropping off post and did not know there was a cat there. She said she tried to return the kitten when she realised she had it. The 53-year-old, from Moseley, Birmingham, was convicted at the city’s crown court.”

The film is remarkable….

AND FINALLY… who was it who said…

‘One thing that has become apparent to me in my years of Parliamentary service is that David Cameron is a complete c**t’.

The answer is here…

Enjoy the heatwave.. back at the weekend with a ‘Postcard From The Staterooms‘.

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Criminal Law Special

Sentencing in the wake of the riots and the forthcoming appeals

Contempt of Court

Troy Davis execution

Legal Aid and Clause 12 re-visited

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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