A quick law news post: New Supreme Court justices – Legal aid is safe with Ken? – The government is not paying barristers quickly enough

But days until Santa arrives in British airspace.  You can even track his progress on the Norad website.

Two new judges – both men – have been appointed to the Supreme Court.  The Guardian has the details.  Jonathan Sumption QC is soon to take up his seat.  Joshua Rozenberg notes “Although there are four women in the Court of Appeal, the only one with sufficient seniority is Lady Justice Arden, 64. She was not regarded as a likely candidate this time round. Lady Justice Hallett, the next most senior woman in the court of appeal, is a candidate for lord chief justice when Lord Judge retires; her rivals are Lord Justice Leveson (if his inquiry goes well) and Sir John Thomas, president of the Queen’s Bench division.”

Carl Gardner has an interesting assessment: Al-Khawaja & Tahery v UK: Lord Irvine vindicated

In his lecture last night, Lord Irvine invited British judges to become more assertive in deciding human rights cases for themselves, agreeing or disagreeing with the European Court of Human Rights, as they see fit. Today’s judgment from the European Court in Al-Khawaja & Tahery v UK vindicates, at least in part, Lord Irvine’s claim that such assertiveness might succeed in influencing the Strasbourg court.

Lord Irvine’s speech: full text

Legal aid is safe where it matters most

Ken Clarke, Lord Chancellor, writing in The Guardian: My legal aid reforms – debated in the Lords tomorrow – pose a threat to a failing system and outdated practices, not the needy.

Access to justice is a fundamental part of a properly functioning democracy. Without legal aid, and the dedicated lawyers who deliver it, our system of justice would quite simply collapse. Few eyebrows should be raised at such statements of the obvious, and, if they are, it says something about the skewed nature of the debate that has developed around the government’s legal aid reforms. Because, as my proposals are considered in the House of Lords on Tuesday, there should be no doubt that the system is facing an existential crisis.

the full article is worth reading

We shall see what the Lords make of it.

The government has not, it seems, been paying lawyers quickly enough – ironic given the government stance in the past on businesses paying their invoices quickly. 

Peter Lodder QC has written a very blunt and direct letter to David Gauke MP, The Exchequer Secretary a a must read for all barristers, I would have thought?


Back on the morrow with rather more detailed comment and other news….

2 thoughts on “A quick law news post: New Supreme Court justices – Legal aid is safe with Ken? – The government is not paying barristers quickly enough

  1. enjoyed reading ken’s article, except for the bit where i pissed myself laughing at his pitiful attempt to describe his plans to remove access to justice for those who need it most with a sensible scheme to errr offer access to justice to those who need it most. it is truly a modest proposal.

    if anyone wants to try to affect the debates going on in the house of lords why not make your views known directly by pairing up with a peer? email pairupwithapeer@justice-for-all.org.uk and they will pair you with a peer for you to feed in all your direct professional experience of why legal aid is needed. it may not work, but if we don’t at least try to do something to defeat this iniquitous bill we will be as culpable as they and we will have failed those we claim to support without lifting a finger. please consider doing it.

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