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…

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Michael Gove is a sincere, intelligent man who is doing the right thing. And we trust him at our peril.

Gawd bless that nice Mr Gove! Why, in only a few months he has already been fulsomely complimentary about how smashing we barristers are, has made some tremendously liberal squeaks about rehabilitating prisoners, and successfully squared up to Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond on how it’s a rum idea to offer to teach the Saudis how to dismember their own prisoners. And now,…

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Witnesses in criminal cases deserve to know the truth

The criminal courts are horrible. That is an inalienable truth. It is also a succinct way of summarising the findings of a report published last week by the Criminal Justice Alliance following a 20-month study of the Crown Courts. The paper – Structured Mayhem: Personal Experiences of the Crown Court – relies on observations of…

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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….

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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…

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Sexism? Welcome to the Bar, love.

When I was a baby barrister, one particular instructing solicitor used to send me his most unappealing, horrible clients on the basis that, in his words, “You look like a child, and judges will find it harder to slam my clients with your little babyface peeking up at them”. At the time I accepted the backhanded compliment with…

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Bozo the clown shows that the government doesn’t even understand its own grotesque Criminal Courts Charge

Do not mistake this for a witch-hunt. It is not. Rather, it is a ninny-hunt. In fact, if there was sufficient slogan space on the t-shirts that I, as a modern-day Thomas Danforth, would distribute to the villagers along with their flaming torches, it is a Legally-Illiterate-Ninny-Who-Has-Inexplicably-Found-His-Hands-On-The-Oxidated-Levers-of-Justice hunt. Shailesh Vara MP, the under-secretary of state at the Ministry…

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Witless for the Prosecution: A brief response to the CPS’ response

Last weekend, the Sun on Sunday gobbled up the juiciest, lowest-hanging fruit on the legal stories tree (if such an arboreal metaphor exists) and published a mini-splash on the various maladies rotting the Crown Prosecution Service. The article, “Witless for the Prosecution”, relied upon seemingly anecdotal evidence from two anonymous CPS whistleblowers – one a…

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