Archive for December 20th, 2011

But days until Santa arrives in British airspace.  You can even track his progress on the Norad website.

Two new judges – both men – have been appointed to the Supreme Court.  The Guardian has the details.  Jonathan Sumption QC is soon to take up his seat.  Joshua Rozenberg notes “Although there are four women in the Court of Appeal, the only one with sufficient seniority is Lady Justice Arden, 64. She was not regarded as a likely candidate this time round. Lady Justice Hallett, the next most senior woman in the court of appeal, is a candidate for lord chief justice when Lord Judge retires; her rivals are Lord Justice Leveson (if his inquiry goes well) and Sir John Thomas, president of the Queen’s Bench division.”

Carl Gardner has an interesting assessment: Al-Khawaja & Tahery v UK: Lord Irvine vindicated

In his lecture last night, Lord Irvine invited British judges to become more assertive in deciding human rights cases for themselves, agreeing or disagreeing with the European Court of Human Rights, as they see fit. Today’s judgment from the European Court in Al-Khawaja & Tahery v UK vindicates, at least in part, Lord Irvine’s claim that such assertiveness might succeed in influencing the Strasbourg court.

Lord Irvine’s speech: full text

Legal aid is safe where it matters most

Ken Clarke, Lord Chancellor, writing in The Guardian: My legal aid reforms – debated in the Lords tomorrow – pose a threat to a failing system and outdated practices, not the needy.

Access to justice is a fundamental part of a properly functioning democracy. Without legal aid, and the dedicated lawyers who deliver it, our system of justice would quite simply collapse. Few eyebrows should be raised at such statements of the obvious, and, if they are, it says something about the skewed nature of the debate that has developed around the government’s legal aid reforms. Because, as my proposals are considered in the House of Lords on Tuesday, there should be no doubt that the system is facing an existential crisis.

the full article is worth reading

We shall see what the Lords make of it.

The government has not, it seems, been paying lawyers quickly enough – ironic given the government stance in the past on businesses paying their invoices quickly. 

Peter Lodder QC has written a very blunt and direct letter to David Gauke MP, The Exchequer Secretary a a must read for all barristers, I would have thought?


Back on the morrow with rather more detailed comment and other news….

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