Game over for Julian Assange’s sexual offence charges? Perhaps not!

UPDATE (9 September 2015): the Crown Prosecution Service and the Ministry of Justice have been in contact with me to say that the provisions of Section 72 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 only apply to crimes committed against people aged under 18. This means that the entire premise of this blog post is wrong. […]

The legality of invoicing a child for not turning up to a birthday party

A Twitter conversation between a BBC and ITV hack over the threat of court action for non-payment of a birthday party no-show invoice caught my attention. BBC Newsnight’s Jess Brammar wrote “PM [that’s Radio Four’s PM programme, not the Prime Minister] have just trailed a BBC legal expert analysing the child’s party invoice. *burns everything*”. ITV’s Damon […]

A journalist with a police caution for domestic violence describes Ched Evans opponents as “morons”

Writing in the week’s Spectator (cover date 10 January 2015, but online now), the columnist Rod Liddle describes opponents of Ched Evans as “morons”. He starts his column with an attack on pseudonymous campaigner Jean Hatchet, saying that her name is “almost certainly too good to be true for a perpetually infuriated radical feminist.” He then […]

There ain’t nothing like a dame for tomorrow’s gay knights

It is custom and tradition that the wives of knights are called ladies. It is an honorary title: if your husband is a Sir, then you can be called a lady. And if your husband has a peerage – whether or not it is a hereditary or a life peerage – then you should be […]

Devolution and constitutional reform: Is it time to restore the Kingdoms?

Much has been said in the aftermath of Scotland’s “No” to independence about ensuring that the English get a fair deal in any further devolution package. But most of what has been said has ignored the basic question about what our democratic institutions are for. And ‘solutions’ are being put forward without any real debate […]

Abu Qatada’s fair trial

Commentators have been quick to denounce the Home Secretary Theresa May following the aquittal of Abu Qatada on terrorism charges in Jordan. Media silk John Cooper  was one of them, asking on Twitter: “Will Theresa “3 Silk” May comment on the millions of taxpayers money spent to extradite Qatada on evidence now rejected by the […]

Police Interceptors highlights mockery of justice

Watching the fly-on-the-wall documentary Police Intercepters on 5* tonight, it’s impossible not to think that the English justice system is not fit for purpose. In one case, a couple were caught cultivating cannabis in their loft with a full hydroponic kit – lighting, insulation, the works. The commentator explained that the CPS dropped charges against […]

Ex-gay ad may prove embarrassing to London Mayor Boris Johnson

London Mayor Boris Johnson may yet come to regret getting involved in the decision to pull an advert for the “ex-gay” group the Core Issues Trust after the Court of Appeal today ruled that he should be ordered to give evidence about his role in the decision. The Trust had agreed a contract with Transport […]

Can magistrates do away with the oath?

The Magistrates Association will today debate a motion put forward by Bristol JPs Ian Abrahams and Kate Rowe to replace the oath and affirmation sworn by witnesses before they give evidence with a simple promise. The motion, to be debated this afternoon at the Association’s AGM in Cardiff, states a: This Annual General Meeting believes […]

Coroner rebuked for “shame on media” comments at Lucy Meadows inquest

The coroner who presided over the inquest into the death of Lucy Meadows has been rebuked by the Office for Judicial Complaints for carrying out private research into the case and for his outspoken attack on journalists covering the hearing. Lucy Meadows killed herself in March, just a few months after she began to live […]

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