Archive for June 11th, 2012

“When freedom does not have a purpose, when it does not wish to know anything about the rule of law engraved in the hearts of men and women, when it does not listen to the voice of conscience, it turns against humanity and society.” 

Pope John Paul II

After The Home Secretary’s extraordinary performance on Andrew Marr this morning where she set out her cunning plan to bring out guidelines for the judges in relation to the interpretation of Article 8 of The European Convention – enshrined in our law by The Human Rights Act – the sardonic side of my temperament would like to substitute the word ‘government’ in the quote above for ‘freedom’.  I shall, however, resist the urge to do so.

Apart from suggesting that a corporate lawyer, with no experience of policing, let alone the more difficult and complex aspects of frontline operational policing,  take over the top job at Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) – Ms May MP is on a roll with her latest stunt on providing guidelines to the judges.

The Guardian sums it up rather nicely: Theresa May cannot dictate to judges on human rights cases, lawyers warn

Shami Chakrabarti, director of the human rights group Liberty, told the Guardian that article 8 had always been qualified and allowed the government considerable latitude over immigration control. “The home secretary is far better reviewing immigration rules than bashing the Human Rights Act or the judiciary,” she said.

Law Review Weekly

After doing a trial run some months ago, I will be producing a Law Review Weekly highlighting interesting legal news from the press and the profession, links to important judgments handed down in the previous week, commentary and analysis from the law blogs, a link to my recent Lawcasts (and podcasts done by other lawyers, where available) and a section on the human condition to look at the more surreal and bizarre happenings in law.


Recent Lawcasts with members of the profession and from the Without Prejudice panel.

Lawcast 207: Adam Shutkever and Jeremy Hopkins of Riverview Chambers on new legal services delivery

Today I am talking to Adam Shutkever, COO of LawVest, which launched Riverview Law in February  – Riverview Law is the trading name of LawVest Limited – and  Jeremy Hopkins, late of 3 Verulam Buildings where he was a clerk. Jeremy Hopkins has joined Riverview Law as Director of Operations – he also blogs, enthusiastically and amusingly, at Clerkingwell

#WithoutPrejudice 26: Spectator contempt – Hunt / Warsi and The Ministerial Code – The Case for ‘Code’

Lawcast 206: Solicitor Nicky Richmond on Property and the Insurance sector, the changing legal landscape and food.

Lawcast 205: Kim Evans – from the Flying squad to the police station as a police station representative

LawCast 204: Diane Burleigh, CEO of CILEx, on an alternative way to qualify as a lawyer

#WithoutPrejudice 25 podcast: Assange judgment – Twitterjoketrial update / Diversity – Monarch

#WithoutPrejudice ‘Special #Twitterjoketrial result podcast with David Allen Green

From Northpodlaw: Series 4 Episode 5 – Speeches and Statements

From Legal Cheek: How To Go From Corporate Law Into Human Rights Academia


In a week which ended with four days of Jubilee celebrations, Carl Gardner had a thoughtful  and strongly argued blog post on June 2nd: The case for constitutional monarchy

Former Tory Mp and criminal barrister, Jerry Hayes declared: Why For The First Time In My Life I Might Go On Strike – a very critical piece about the government’s attitude to criminal barristers, their failure to pay fees in a timely fashion and for good measure, Jerry takes a pop at Ken Clarke and the Bar Council

And what about our great trade union the Bar Council, to whom we have to pay exorbitant fees to prop up a mismanaged pension fund? Well, just don’t mention that body in any robing room. The consensus, perhaps not always fair,  is that they are a collection of greasers and chancers who are more interested in preferment than the poor bloody infantry. A few years ago when there was such dissatisfaction there was talk of setting up an alternative. So they persuaded the government to make it a criminal offence not to join by a little ruse of making you pay a fee for your practising certificate. Any barrister who does not pay up is fined or suspended. There is a very long queue of those waiting to be punished.

Jerry Hayes is always worth reading on Dale & Co – and invariably amusing.

From the UK Human Rights blog – three posts which caught my eye and worth a read:

Adam Wagner –  Criticisms remain as dust settles on secret trials bill

Rachit Buch: UK passes ‘human rights exam’, but with room to improve

Assange kills off Pupino, but ambiguity remains – Alex Tinsley

Francis Fitzgibbon QC on his Nothing Like The Sun blog considers the matter of COURT DRESS. Although written in March, it is an interesting read.

And..in a bit of a jump.. Obiter J considers the issue of Treason

Barrister Lucy Read at Pink Tape covers the In Dad’s Shoes photography exhibition

“Researching Reform and DadsHouse are launching a photography exhibition and it’s going on tour. The photos are a collection of photos of single dads and their kids. It sounds as if it’s going to be pretty organic in its development, and may gather material en route.”

Natasha Phillips of Researching Reform writes: Government wants to end Blame Culture – By Blaming Others

11 KBW in Panopticon: Important new privacy judgment: police retention of protestor’s data not an Article 8 infringement

The Admin Court (Gross LJ and Irwin J) has handed down judgment this week in Catt v Association of Chief Police Officers and Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2012] EWHC 1471 (Admin). It is an extremely important judgment on Article 8 ECHR in the context of personal information retained for policing purposes. It is also notable for its analysis of protest as an inherently public activity…..

Read more…

John Bolch at Family Lore writes: It’s not ALL nonsense around here…  – surveying the many and varied services he provides free for practitioners and students.


The Guardian

Facebook forced into revealing identities of cyberbullies

No-fuss sacking payouts included in employment law overhaul

The Tory folly of cutting back the Equality Act

Criminalisation of forced marriage ‘will push issue underground’

The Telegraph: Man jailed after bragging “I think I got away with it” on Facebook

The Law Society Gazette: Watchdog calls for Ombudsman to be opened up to third parties

The Independent: Oxford don’s legal fight over price rise signals trouble for phone giant. A law lecturer claims the small print in Three’s contracts may allow millions of its mobile customers to avoid higher bills.

Legal Week: Outsourcing in focus as RBS prepares to cut back legal roster
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has kicked off a much-anticipated review of its legal panel, with tender documents sent out to law firms late last month.

Legal Week: International interest in UK mergers grows as City retains pulling power
The number of international law firms in London open to a UK merger has almost doubled over the past year

The Lawyer: Employment judge first to fall foul of new misconduct rules
An employment judge has become the first to be publicly censured under new rules that will see all judges and magistrates who are disciplined for misconduct have their cases publicised by the Office for Judicial Complaints (OJC).

The Lawyer: Libel star Benaim quits Schillings

BBC: Facebook to release ID of users who abused woman online


Sponsored by the Law Society

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Society warns over patents court decision

The Law Society has warned the government that the UK could lose up to £3bn a year if a new patents court is not based in London. The warning follows a report which highlighted the potential cost to the UK’s intellectual property industry if the court was based elsewhere in Europe.
Read more

Consumer survey: solicitors offering value for money

The Legal Services Board Consumer Panel has this week published consumer satisfaction research, which suggests that an increasing proportion of consumers consider they are getting good value for money from legal services, and that 84 per cent are content with the outcome of their legal work.
Read more
Read the research (PDF)

Full Law Society professional Update page

Sponsored by CILEx

Chartered Legal Executives will help create a more diverse judiciary

Baroness Neuberger has spoken of how Chartered Legal Executives will continue to play a significant part in the future of a diverse judiciary in England and Wales.

At our Annual Presidential Luncheon yesterday, 31 May 2012, The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) awarded its Pro Bono Medal 2011 to a member who has been described as ‘one of the best human rights lawyers in England and Wales’.

Bar Council news

Ministry of Justice call for contributions to the Red Tape Challenge

Update for the profession: the Ministry of Justice has invited interested parties to respond to the legal services section of the Government’s “Red Tape Challenge” consultation, identifying which regulations they believe should be improved, retained or scrapped.

Data Protection Act 1998: Procuring Disclosure of Personal Data

Financial and accounting news sponsored by Cassons for Counsel

Which expenses can I claim against tax?

Will my pupillage awards be taxed?

Legal education news sponsored by BPP Law School

Launch of Bespoke MA (Legal Practice Course with Business)

Airmail from The Staterooms – Oversupply of law students edition…
I considered the issue of oversupply of law students, particularly in relation to the Bar, after reading Michael Todd QC’s statements about there being too many law students enrolling on the Bar professional Training Course.


Recent case summaries from ICLR

4 Breams Buildings plan to publish a monthly digest of cases.

Supreme Court decisions from The UKSC blog

Case Preview: SerVaas Inc v Rafidain Bank & Ors [2011] EWCA Civ 1256

The case concerns debts owing from a foreign sovereign state and whether assets subject to a Third Party Debt Order (“TPDO”) in the UK are immune to execution by virtue of the State Immunity Act 1978.

Supreme Court refuses Ryanair permission to appeal Aer Lingus ruling

The Supreme Court has refused Ryanair permission to appeal the Court of Appeal’s decision of 22 May. The Court of Appeal upheld the Competition Appeal Tribunal’s decision that the OFT was entitled to refer the issue of Ryanair’s minority shareholding in Aer Lingus to the Competition Commission after the EC Merger Regulation process had concluded.


AND finally… a look at the surreal and possibly bizarre side of the legal world…

I enjoy reading the more bizarre stuff Legal Cheek manages to find each week – always worth the hike over to their website.

This is an astonishing story… ‘He Daubed The Word “Bitch” On Wall In My Garden, Which Doesn’t Seem Like Something The DPP Would Do’

Inevitably..with examinations.. there is an opportunity for the top vocational law schools to demonstrate their competency in a very public way.  At this time, each year – the examination season – it is only a matter of time before some law school ‘cocks up’.

Rollonfriday.com notes: Exclusive: Students twiddle thumbs for 90 mins after BPP exam cock-up

There was embarrassment at BPP this week when LPC exams were delayed by an hour and a half because, err, there weren’t enough desks.

Students turned up to take their exams on Wednesday at Royal Mint Court, but found that some of them didn’t have anywhere to sit. Those lucky enough to have a chair sat patiently while the invigilators tried to sort things out. Eventually some extra desks were tracked down and the exams finally started an hour and a half late. As one weak-bladdered student said, the exams were three hours long and “four and a half hours is a long time to sit still“.

But it is not only the law schools.  Here we have an example of ‘judicial misfeasance’  – again from RollonFriday…

Judge in Breivik case caught playing on computer during evidence

And.. not to be outdone… Thieving lawyers face jail in UK, Ireland and US: “More lawyers around the world are facing jail this week after pleading guilty to various charges of thievery.”

And the villains are not letting us down…

Burglar tries to break in Judge Lillian Sing’s car
Judge Lillian Sing got a taste of judicial medicine the other day when a convicted car burglar she was trying to help walked out of her San Francisco courtroom and, within minutes, was busted for allegedly breaking into her car.

Marvellous stuff and on that note, I will leave you with an observation from Charles Pugsley Fincher




My thanks to all the sponsors above and to Riverview Law


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