Law Review: Legal tweeters on TV – Miscarriages of Justice – Politicians interfering with the judiciary?

The start of a new week brings a few themes and a matter of some concern.

It was interesting to see a few legal tweeters on this College of Law Media Unit film: See @BrianInkster @StephenMayson @ChristianUncut and @TheNakedLawyer

Twitter is attracting a fair number of practising lawyers.  @John_Cooper_QC pops in fairly frequently with a mix of musings and observations.  I was particularly interested to read a quote from a fascinating article in The Guardian: Miscarriages of justice are slipping off the public radar

“It was reported over the weekend that John Cooper QC had called for an overhaul of the CCRC. The silk, who advised Barry George, was talking at the annual Ewan Davies law lecture following the case of George Davis, whose conviction for a robbery in 1974 was last week ruled unsafe by the appeal judges. Davis first applied to the CCRC for a review of his conviction in July 2001 and a second time six years later. “The commission promised so much, but is just not delivering,” Cooper said. “Innocent people have been, without a doubt, locked up, some for over 10 years, for crimes they did not commit and the commission is failing to help them.”

I tend to sit up and listen or read when those at the coal face are critical about the legal system.  The article by Jon Robins is well worth a read.

The UK Human Rights Blog notes… Film those pesky judges?.. I’m in favour of the filming of the proceedings in the Supreme Court.  I am not so sure that it is a wise idea to film criminal proceedings – for the reasons advanced in this article from The Guardian.  I can see the value of filming the sentencing in criminal cases.  I suspect that filming of complex or even not so complex civil cases will not attract the money men who will pay for the TV rights.

Adam Wagner of The UK Human Rights blog has an excellent piece today…. Who should appoint our top judges?

Recently, I have become a collector of visceral reactions by politicians to judgments. The Prime Minister David Cameron is leading the field, having been “uneasy“, “appalled” and even feeling “physically sick” over recent rulings. And this week the Scottish First Minister has appointed a panel of experts to see whether the UK’s Supreme Court’s “aggressive” interference with Scottish law can be stopped. But where is this criticism leading?

I happened to listen again to my podcast with Lord Falconer on “Assisted Dying and The Supreme Court” last night.  Co-incidentally, John Cooper QC is writing a paper for a seminar on the complex issue of assisted dying and I wanted to check the content was of some current value before  passing the link on to him. If you haven’t heard the podcast, Lord Falconer talks about the reasons behind the foundation of the new UK Supreme Court.  It is well worth a listen to and is about a third of the way through the podcast, if you care to listen to it.   Having gone to the trouble of separating the judiciary from the executive and parliament – I am not so keen to see politicians getting too closely involved in the appointment of or confirmation hearings for  judges.

One thought on “Law Review: Legal tweeters on TV – Miscarriages of Justice – Politicians interfering with the judiciary?

  1. Of course the judiciary must remain independent and free from direct interference by politicians .
    That does not mean they should be immune from criticism from politicians and anyone else for that matter;
    That criticism becomes fully justified when judges twist their interpretation of the Human rights Act into producing outlandish results without due regard for the intentions of the legislators.
    Article 8 was drafted with the clear intention of protecting the individual and the family from unwarranted interference by any public authority.
    Article 8:-
    1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
    2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

    Judges allowed a convicted foreign terrorist to stay in this country ,and a burglar to escape a prison sentence,both on grounds of their right to undisturbed family life without regard to the exceptions listed above ,one being PUBLIC SAFETY ! They also allowed a prisoner to conceive a child while still in prison at great expense using IVF all on the NHS! This with no regard to the exception above of “protection of health and morals”.

    Worse still parents whose children have been taken from them by social services for “risk” are gagged on the grounds of privacy for their own children.Again the judges ignore the obvious intention of the legislators to protect individuals and their families from interference by public authority and turn it into a means of stopping those believing themselves agggrieved by the State from openly criticising the very same public authority that the Article was intended to protect them from !
    Parents complaining that a public authority has interfered with their family life by taking their children from them will not get a sympathetic hearing from judges if they seek protection by taking refuge in Article 8!On the contrary the judges will carefully weigh the privacy of children and even babies against the right of parents to protest and inevitably by deliberate choice will come down on the side of the gag as opposed that of freedom of expression and the right to protest.
    Don’t blame the Human Rights Act for outlandish decisions ,blame the judges for their perverse interpretation of the articles .

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