Eyes Only – What the law blogs are up to this week (Part1)…

I thought I would start with something for all the Apple fanbois out there. 

I am grateful to John Bolch at Family Lore for bringing this excellent nonsense to my attention.    Siri – where can I find a blow job

As this is supposed to be a review of law blogs in the UK and Ireland, it is probably a good idea for me to shoehorn some prefatory law into the blog post, if only to set the context.

Many of us have been entertained in recent weeks by the Tory shield munchers (or beserkers as I now refer to them) who rule over us.  Theresa  May’s #Catflapgate earned the derision of Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor Ken Clarke who described her example of the Human Rights Act in operation – and she was not making it up – as ‘laughable and childlike’.  We have just seen GOD – or Gus O’Donnell as he is sometimes known, having to remind government ministers that there are rules about conflict of interest which have to be followed and the departure of Liam Fox.   A damoclean sword hangs over Chris Huhne as he awaits the result of an inquiry into his alleged  ‘speeding offence’ antics.

And just when I thought that the next stunt  our revered Prime Minister Camcorderdirect would pull out of the hat  would be raising Chris ‘Kill a Burglar’ Grayling from the political dead to amuse those of us in the stalls  …along comes Mr Djanogly, Minister of Justice responsible for failing to understand the rules:

Justice minister stripped of powers

The Guardian reports: Ken Clarke to take charge after Djanogly failed to declare family interest in claims management companies

Taxi for Mr Djanogly?: Not content with this… it now appears that Mr Djanogly has lost his memory.  The Guardian reported yesterday:  “Minister failed to register brother-in-law’s firm under his jurisdiction.  Justice minister Jonathan Djanogly criticised for not declaring relative’s company which supplied staff to industry he regulates…

So with this legal context in mind… I present a Hogarthian romp through the law blogs… 


The UK Human Rights blog notes:  Court of Appeal upholds 7 of 10 riot sentencing appeals, including Facebook cases – Obiter J

Obiter J, who has his own blog Law and Lawyers, states : “The Lord Chief Justice (LCJ) said that the courts had an overwhelming obligation to protect the public and sentencing could not ignore the context in which the offending occurred. Context can both mitigate and aggravate offending. The offenders dealt with in these appeals knew what they were doing – they were not children or mentally ill….”

Est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres?
Admiral Byng
was taken out and shot many years ago.  The Facebook Two had their sentences of four years upheld.

Matthew Taylor also considers the riots appeals: Riot sentencing – Appeal Judgement

Bystander JP of The Magistrates’s Blog writes about  sense of relief on the riot cases appeal: Decision From The Top

Carl Gardner over at Head of Legal is always a good read.  Without Prejudice special on my Arctic Break.  I had the pleasure of doing a podcast with him last week to hear about his trip to “Nowhere Island”.  Fascinating.  The podcast is worth a listen.

The UK Supreme Court blog is a good resource for all. A recent post asks –  Roger Masterman and Jo Murkens: What Kind of a Court is the UK Supreme Court?

It cannot be conceived as the ‘ultimate guardian of the constitution’, but it clearly discharges a range of constitutional functions which are in many ways approximate to those carried out by top courts elsewhere.

I’m  not a family lawyer – but Natasha Phillips is and her Researching Reform blog often ‘Questions it’ and provides insight into the rights and wrongs of our family justice system.

Conflict of Laws is a complex subject – a specialist subject.  There is, fortunately, a very comprehensive blog on the subject called, unsurprisingly, Conflict of Laws.net.  This week: United States Supreme Court to Again Consider the Alien Tort Statute

And… if you fancy an insight from Ireland – there is Cearta.ie – the irish for rights. This week, I enjoyed reading Philosophical questions about fascism and free speech

And from Scotland… Lallands Peat Worrier states: “Immanuel Kant should be banned…” Lallands Peat Worrier often hits the nail on the head and I am a regular reader –  often late at night with a glass of the vino rosso to hand and a woodbine in my mouth.

Perhaps not human rights law… in fact… not a lot of law… but The White Rabbit is a very good read…..  This week: spooky huh? will give you a good flavour of the insights from the White Rabbit – and his invention Hiram J Whackjob may give you nightmares.

A spot of Family Law…human rights….

Lucy Reed at Pink Tape considers a problem which can only get worse: Courts Hit By Disillusioned Litigants?
John Bolch, whose Family Lore blog is more often than not practical and serious, does find time to hunt down the more surreal posts.  Not being a family lawyer, the surreal posts are the ones I read.  I enjoyed this: The website for Divorced Women who got EVEN!
The more serious analysis from John Bolch : A few more thoughts on litigants in person “As litigants in person seems to be the subject of the moment, I thought I would return briefly to S v AG, the case I reported yesterday, to point out a couple of things mentioned by Mr Justice Mostyn, typical of cases where parties are not professionally represented.”


Tom Kilroy, a GC – General Counsel or, as they used to be known – in-house lawyer,  writes: It’s criminal on the 07:43 from Woking.  Tom Kilroy writes “To operate effectively as a lawyer, you need to be unimpeachable when it comes to keeping secrets.”

It is not a good idea, therefore, for lawyers to work on confidential matters on a train where others can see.  You never know.  You could be sitting next to me – and I can read  papers even if they are  upside down.

Tom states: If you think that a secret is something you tell one person at a time, you’re in the wrong job. If you’ve got work life problems, resolve them. If you’re on the train working on my file on your laptop, you’re a criminal and you’re fired.

He’s right!

And how hip is this? : Barristers instructed online through groundbreaking motoring offence website

Neil Rose’s blog Legal Futures is a ‘go to’  blog for the latest on developments in our legal system – or, more specifically, for news and analysis of developments in legal practice and the opportunities under the Legal Services Act.

No review of law blogs involving legal practice could be comprehensive without referring to the world of Babybarista who, this week, writes of Truths and half-truths

or… for that matter…. Anonymous Assistant: The Attractiveness Scale

Or Venal & Grabbit: Refer-A-Friend

Now.. back to the serious stuff from Clerkingwell.co.uk : The Legal Services Act – what now for Chambers ?

@legalbizzle on his blog writes:The Angry Pencil: a pathology of customer complaints

“There are people who can’t let a bandwagon go unjumped on. I imagine them sitting in front of the TV, laptop and printer at the ready, waiting for the merest hint of a legal loophole or compensation-worthy scandal to be broadcast.”


I am unburdened by the responsibilities of a big salary or, for that matter, BIG Law… but Tim Bratton, GC of the FT, considers:  Big Law Salaries – can we have a pep talk?

Professor Richard Moorhead from Cardiff University covers a wide range of matters on his blog Lawyer Watch.  In this section : Millionaire Lawyers: Are they worth it? is worth a look!


#twitteratigate dominated a small section of my twitter timeline recently. Brian Inkster at The Time Blawg had the edge : The Lawyer excludes Scotland and top Twegals from UK Legal Twitter list! #Twitteratigate2. 15-Love to Brian Inkster methinks.

But.. back to the nitty gritty world of real law.

The keys rattled and the big blue door swung open as @crimsolicitor was let into the custody block for what was the fifth time that day.   The smell always caught him as he came round the corner.  Every custody block has its own special blend of a very familiar smell; unwashed people, smelly shoes, microwave curries and the cheap air freshener they use to hide all the smells.

Crimsolicitor writes: The Abandonment and Abduction of Hansel & Gretel – Part 2

AND… if you wish to be kept up to date with daily legal news – The Inner Temple Current Awareness blog is the place to go – very comprehensive.

Professor John Flood at RATs gave this salutory warning in: Lawyers on Tap or Lawyers’ Water Torture

It is a truth seldom told to students, but the legal profession is facing its most profound changes. As the recent UCL debate on legal education showed, legal academics are frightened by the future. So much so, they refuse to acknowledge it. Life will continue the same.

It won’t.

Although October 6 was meant to be Legal Big Bang it turned out to be Unheard Whimper. This is frequently allied to the steady drip. All so subtle, it is virtually unnoticed.

Read more…

The BPP Legal Awareness blog picked up on the same conference: #UCLLawDebate: Do lawyers need to be scholars? Panel discussion on 11 October 2011

On the subject of education..

Pupillage advice is at hand from Justin Time at the Pupillage blog: A question of pupillage – a cautionary tale  and from Simon Myerson QC at Pupillage and How To Get It – an essential read for prospective barristers.

Professor Richard Moorehead on Lawyer Watch often has comment and analysis on legal education.

I find that one can never have too much education.. and when it comes to bribery – Barrister James Vine’s TheBungBlog is a fine resource! : THE BRIBERY ACT. RICHARD ALDERMAN GOES WEST


Ms TS provides an insight into the world of the trainee solicitor: A bit of a rant: how not to be a good trainee

“Now, the new trainees have only been in the office for 6 weeks. so I wasn’t expecting miracles. I handed over the easier bits that needed doing – a bit of client research, article ideas – the type of marketing that trainees usually get involved with. Unfortunately I didn’t get the quality level I was expecting….”

WardblawgG considers the vexed question: Ranking Law Firms on Twitter by Klout: When will it end?

I’ll pop back tomorrow and have a look at some more blogs.  I’m not the only one having a look at UK law blogs.  Vic Moffat did a very comprehensive review at the end of September: UK Blawg Roundup #8 – Change! and David Allen Green plans to do a review of blogs each Friday in The Lawyer

The good news is that law blogging in the UK seems to be alive and kicking….

Back on the morrow with more.

8 thoughts on “Eyes Only – What the law blogs are up to this week (Part1)…

  1. As ever – many thanks for the mention … and, if I may say so, a masterful round up !!

    “………. I can read papers even if they are upside down….. ” – an essential skill for Mr Carver (The Smoke that Thunders) !!.

  2. Pingback: Eyes Only – What the law blogs are up to this week (Part 2)… « Charon QC

  3. Pingback: Eyes Only – What the law blogs are up to this week (Part 3)… « Charon QC

  4. Pingback: UK Legal Blawging Coming of Age?

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