This morning the Supreme Court handed down judgment in R v Jogee; Ruddock v The Queen  UKSC 8 , and everyone’s mighty excited. This case – dealing with the principles of what is (lazily) referred to in the media as “joint enterprise” – is leading the lunchtime news bulletins and will probably fill up much of the…Read more
It’s not the police’s job to “believe victims”
I make plain at the outset that I will forever, until the untimely end of my days and beyond, harbour a residual affection for anyone, of any political persuasion, who tells Diane Abbott to fuck off. At any time of day, in any given context, this is surely always the right thing to do. But…Read more
Is the CPS really considering putting a dead man on trial?
So, Lord Greville Janner has defiantly – and incomparably selfishly – gone and shuffled off this mortal coil before the various allegations against him can be the subject of a trial of the facts in April next year. There, one would think, this wholly sorry example of the criminal justice system misfiring at almost every turn grinds…Read more
Fantastic Dr Fox may be not guilty, but he’s also far from vindicated
As Robert Duvall didn’t quite say, I love the smell of an acquittal in the morning. Nothing else in the world smells like that. Granted, I’ve only enjoyed the olfactory pleasure vicariously, but as a barrister there are few feelings as gratifying as taking the fight to the state on behalf of a client and…Read more
So you’ve witnessed a crime…10 things you should know as a witness (but probably won’t be told)
This is a little later than promised. But, following on from the Criminal Justice Alliance report last month, chronicling the collected misery of witnesses in Crown Court trials, herewith a litany of dirty little secrets masquerading as home truths, which I as a witness would want to know in advance. Just to make the heartbreak…Read more
Gayle Newland’s sentence was both entirely proper and wildly disproportionate
And so here we are again. The relentless churn through the predictable life-cycle of the tabloid-tickling criminal case. Unusual case through to polarising verdict, through to “controversial” sentence and culminating in a red-top digging out a different case sentenced by the same judge to make whatever point fits their agenda. The unusual case du jour…Read more
Who needs Donald Trump when you have Philip Davies MP?
In my time I’ve shot the breeze with some fairly rum types. The kind of cads you probably wouldn’t want to be sat next to at one of those Islington-metropolitan-elite dinner parties to which people with my views are allegedly invited. Men who’ve killed random people for sport. Parents who’ve raped their five-year-old children. Premiership footballers….Read more
Is it worse to rape little Asian girls than little white girls?
A quick apology – I’m coming to this story a little late. That is partially my fault, and partially the fault of Lord Ashcroft and his delicious third-hand allegations of porcine impropriety. It has been a distracting few days. This ground was stomped upon a little by various commentators at the end of last week, but,…Read more
Self defence, or the doctrine of The Bastard Had It Coming
Since the reported RAF drone strike on organic Islamic State export Reyaad Khan in Syria last month, there is a certain fascination in beholding the alacrity with which various media outlets have manned their respective positions on the morality of the killing, each bolstering their post with an assurance that the attack was completely lawful/monstrously…Read more
Why on earth should the DPP resign over Lord Janner?
I don’t normally blog on serious matters of law. Doing so tends to involve a level of effort, research and legal analysis way beyond my limited capacity, and in any case there are a number of top notch blogs (as listed in the blogroll) with which I can’t, and wouldn’t, compete. But as the allegations…Read more