#Without Prejudice – The Law Podcast 1: Assange, EAW, British Bill of Rights, Oversupply of lawyers and Silk

We covered a great deal of ground in this first episode of this round the table podcast: Assange verdict on extradition, European Arrest Warrants – The British Bill of Rights and the ECHR – The oversupply of lawyers …and we even had time to consider Garrow’s Law and Silk the BBC tv dramas on law and lawyers.

We can tweak the sound next time…..

Listen to the podcast (Running time 1 hour)


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I’d like to thank Lawtel, WestlawCassons For Counsel, City University Law School David Phillips & Partners Solicitors, Inksters SolicitorsIken, LBC Wise Counsel, Carrs Solicitors,  JMW Solicitors – Manchester, Pannone and Cellmark for sponsoring the podcast  – and the free student materials on Insite Law – appreciated.

9 thoughts on “#Without Prejudice – The Law Podcast 1: Assange, EAW, British Bill of Rights, Oversupply of lawyers and Silk

  1. Pingback: Without Prejudice | Head of Legal

  2. An interesting discussion of the ECHR. I simultaneously agreed with Mr Gardner and Jack of Kent in their advocacy of internationalism but also with Joanne when she says that the language needs to be tightened, the Articles modernised, and with her concerns about the rights being qualified. The qualifications provide too many loopholes through which contracting states and the ECtHR are diluting individual rights, in my view.

    The case of Gary Mann is shocking and the ECtHR has failed to protect him. Cases like this lend support to Joanne’s view point and nourish those who would withdraw the UK from the international arena.

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  4. i hate to appear a total cynic (ahem) but joanne cash’s consuming passion for human rights appears to have been rather well suppressed in her practice at 1 brick court and then as a prospective tory candidate for a constituency she obviously understood in the same sort of depth i understand particle physics.
    i hope my mean-spirited attitude is put to shame by the next phase of her life fighting alongside us for the rights of the underdog. will be happy to apologise in person and buy her a beer when it happens.

  5. Pingback: The lives we are now leading…. « Charon QC

  6. Dear Charon – a most interesting podcast ! Well done.

    Assange – it was interesting to hear the panel’s views – how a certain statement was altered (never entirely a good thing to happen in any case) and David Allen Green’s comments about the dilemma a defence lawyer faces when deciding how to handle the case – (i.e. the “selective/best point” approach or the “kitchen sink” approach). Most people seem to go for the latter these days. As for the media strategy, I would merely comment that this really is not good territory for lawyers who are usually disasters in front of cameras ! Head of Legal may well be right in saying that Assange will be better placed vis-a-vis the USA if he is in Sweden since they would need the permission of both Sweden and UK to extradite him. However, do we seriously expect the UK to put up much opposition if the US says it will not execute him?

    European Arrest Warrant – is undoubtedly a mockery of justice and it beggars belief that ANY British government ever agreed to this system which is based on the palpably incorrect assumption that all States involved offer fair trial and treatment of prisoners. In my view it ought to be brought to an end unless and until adequate safeguards are in place. One simple example is the failure by some States to provide proper language translation. The Mann case discussion was good and exemplifies all that is bad with this system.

    It would have been good to hear a bit more from Joanne who, at times, had to try a bit too hard to get in ! She advocates a British Bill of Rights. That’s a topic well worth revisting on a subsequent podcast. As things stand, I do not see British politicians giving us a Bill of Rights which betters the European Convention and, if we are not careful, we might lose that external check on the UK which has sadly proved to be all too necessary. Her point about the European Court of Human Rights being overloaded is a fair one but we need to see the breakdown of nations from which the petitions are coming. However, I think that there is mileage in looking at reforms of the court’s working – e.g should it return to a “vetting commission” similar to that pre-1998 with the court only taking the most important cases? Ithink that there is also some value in looking at the margin of appreciation which applies in controversial areas or areas where the court simply cannot say what should be the prevailing view within society.

    Oversupply of lawyers – well yes but we should not be seeking to stop people studying law given its pervasive influence in all areas of life. Perhaps the professional bodies need to be more open about the numbers – e.g. it should not be rocket science to forecast say 2-3 years ahead how many pupillages there are likely to be. Seems a good use of a website here. Social exclusion exists: always has and probably always will. The trouble is that costs of University / Professional courses are going up like rockets and this will inevitably favour those from wealthy families. The discussion seemed to just do “touches and gos” on all this – again worth a further look.

    Legal TV – well, it has to entertain otherwise people won’t watch it. Thus it usually confines itself mostly to criminal trials and other “juicy” topics and there has to be that soupcon of scandal. Garrow was good and historically based. Characters have to be young(ish) and handsome with faces suitable for the silver screen (unlike my radio face). Kavanagh QC was brilliantly played with good plots. The “Main Chance” and “Justice” were also excellent in their time. I have yet to see SILK so will reserve my view but the “hearsay evidence” is far from encouraging.

    A good session – again, well done and look forward to the next. Ideas? The Court of Protection? Extradtion to USA. The family courts. British Bill of Rights pros and cons. What benefits has the European Convention given us? The role of the Court of Justice of the EU. All of these would serve to inform the listener.

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