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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Official: If you are accused of a crime, the government will pay more for someone to photocopy your case than for someone to defend you

This is not a complaint about what criminal barristers get paid. Honestly. There are plenty of such grizzlings on other posts over these pages. But this is not one of them. No siree. Well not really. Admittedly pay rates are a feature of this contemplation, but only as an adjunct to a broader, more depressing principle. And it…

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Michael and the Mystery of the Disappearing Prosecution Service

And now, the latest instalment in a new children’s series provisionally entitled “Michael Meets The Justice System”, possibly published by Penguin (and now, happily, no longer barred to prisoners), in which the reader joins brand new Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice Michael Gove on a rollercoaster of head-scratching and belly laughs as…

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Bozo the clown and the court closures

A somewhat disheartening intervention yesterday from junior justice minister Shailesh Vara, the mendacious bozo behind the false statistics on barristers’ earnings fiasco, as his written ministerial statement heralds a consultation envisaging the closure of 91 courts and tribunals. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Courts and Legal Aid made the following observation: “The estate costs taxpayers…

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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…

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What I go to court for

I am not a habitually angry person. Those who know me professionally would, I hope, attest to my happy-go-lucky demeanour and brimming joie de vivre. By way of example, I considered illustrating this blogpost with a jovial (and nostalgic) nod to Busted’s What I Go To School For. In fact: See? Jocular. Convivial. That’s me…

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The start of the end

The naysayers have been saying nay since long before I came to the criminal Bar. This is a dying industry, the wide-eyed prospective criminal practitioner is told. You’ll be squeaking into a criminal justice system that would be fraying at the seams, had the seams not been privatised and sold at bargain-basement prices to G4S…

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