“You’d want to see him put to death! You’d want it to be cruel and unusual, which is why it’s probably a good idea that fathers of murder victims don’t have legal rights in these situations – now we’re going back to school!” Toby Ziegler, The West Wing, Season 4 Episode 6 Four weeks after their…Read more
Can Magna Carta and “common law” give you immunity from Covid regulations?
In recent days, the news has carried reports of business owners who have been fined tens of thousands of pounds after defying the “Covid regulations” and refusing to close their business premises. Common to these cases is a belief expressed by the individuals that they were not bound by the snappily-titled Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions)…Read more
Guest post by Dame Judi Bench: The Bar exams are less exam and more Takeshi’s Castle
I am pleased to host this guest post from a pseudonymous contributor, looking at the exams fiasco facing this year’s Bar students. ——————————————– The Bar Exams in England and Wales are a funny thing. Ask the older generation and they’ll regale you with stories of their local authority paying for them, spending most of the…Read more
The UK government responded to Black Lives Matter – by protecting statues
I have written something for The Guardian about our politicians’ rush to create new criminal offences protecting statues. The piece can be found here.Read more
Don’t fall for Boris Johnson’s criminal justice con tricks
Yesterday morning, newly-appointed Justice Secretary Robert Buckland told Radio 4’s Today programme of his pleasure that the Prime Minister is taking an interest in the criminal justice system. And certainly, after three years of wilful abandonment under Theresa May, I would in principle gladly welcome some Downing Street-level political attention on the ruinous state of…Read more
Peter Hitchens’ comments about Jo Cox’s killer betray a fundamental ignorance of the basic facts
A familiar sound for readers of the Mail on Sunday is the deafening cymbal-clash of Peter Hitchens colliding with reality. This last Sunday offered a particular highlight, which, although there is undoubted wisdom in leaving him alone to figuratively wander the 21stcentury in his dressing gown shouting at clouds, cannot pass without comment. Summarised by…Read more
What Lord Hain didn’t consider when he rushed to name Philip Green
A piece for iNews today following Lord Hain’s decision to invoke Parliamentary privilege to name Philip Green in defiance of a court injunction. You can read my musings here.Read more
I’m a couple of days behind the official announcement on this, but I am thrilled to confirm that I will be publishing a second, as-yet untitled book, scheduled for Spring 2020. More details are available here: https://www.thebookseller.com/news/picador-snaps-secret-barristers-second-book-881876.Read more
The Ben Stokes trial: what went wrong?
This is one of those posts carrying a title which I genuinely had no intention nor desire to write. It is also, I make plain at the outset, rampant clickbait, as I, like 7 billion other people who were not present for the duration of the court proceedings, am in no position at all to…Read more
Why was a homeless man jailed for pretending to run the London Marathon?
A homeless man who picked up a lost race number and “completed” the London Marathon has been jailed for 16 weeks. Yesterday at Uxbridge magistrates’ court, Stanislaw Skupian (38) was sentenced by magistrates having pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing on 18 May to fraud, after he picked up a race card number dropped by…Read more