With the new year well under way and showing some early promise of demonstrations of the dark side of the human condition, I thought I would start Rive Gauche this week with a story picked up by RollonFriday.com….
Foul-mouthed judge resigns rather than face the music
RollonFriday.com reports: “A crown court judge who turned the air blue after appearing in court on a dangerous dog charge has resigned. Judge Beatrice Woodcock-Bolton hit the headlines a year ago when her German Shepherd, Georgina, bit one of her neighbours in the leg. Woodcock-Bolton was hauled before Carlisle Magistrates Court where she chewed gum, described the verdict against her as a “f**king travesty” and complained that she would “never sit in a court of law again“…..”
Rather than face the inevitable sack, Judge Woodcock-Bolton resigned on medical grounds…”The Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice have decided no further disciplinary action is required.”
And then there was #Abbottgate – allowing twitter to explode in a frenzy of some real and largely imagined offence-taking. It was, perhaps, unfortunate timing but a day after the verdict and sentencing in the Stephen Lawrence trial for her to tweet “White people love playing divide and rule. We should not play their game,’ and referring to ‘tactics as old as colonialism’. I gather that Diane Abbott, after Ed Miliband gave her a ‘dressing down’, then remarked on the tendency for London cabbies to drive past black people.
For my part, whatever it is worth, I don’t think that Diane Abbott MP is a racist. Her tweet was a bit careless. But not as careless as Ed Miliband’s wonderful tweet on hearing of the death of Blockbusters game show host Bob Holness:
Sad to hear that Bob Holness has died. A generation will remember him fondly from Blackbusters.
I understand that the tweet was deleted fairly sharpish and replaced with one without the typo – but The Sun, ever keen to pick up on the the political faux pas of labour politicians caught the tweet just in time. While I have voted Labour for thirty years, I am not keen on Ed Miliband as a future PM. I tweeted this morning that he reminded me of a Police Community Support Officer keen to inspect car tax discs.
This week also brought ‘Fisting’ to the fore on twitter: Obscenity trial – the law is not suitable for a digital age
Myles Jackman in the Guardian: “I welcome the jury’s verdict but the OPA means the state is still capable of acting as a voyeur in the bedroom”
I need not trouble you with the facts of R v Peacock. The coverage has been extensive in the press. I have no doubt that meedja lawyers and others will blog about it. Suffice it to say two things: (1) That I can’t for the life of me see what business it is of the State’s to get involved in private matters between consenting adults and (2) I have not managed to get around to this particular activity in my 50+ years on the planet. It is unlikely that I will need to develop skill with this technique. It doesn’t appeal.
Obiter J, in the wake of the Stephen Lawrence trial has an interesting blog post: A look at racial murder, hate crime and the criminal offences available.
Professor Richard Moorhead, Cardiff University Law School asks: Does the legal profession need scholars?
“If we leave the question at ‘do lawyers need to be scholars?’ it is a relatively simple answer of no. We do not need practising lawyers to be devoted purely to the pursuit of knowledge. We cannot expect it of them, nor would it be in their client’s best interests. Lots of lawyers do not have to think or learn in the scholarly sense. They understand, research, diagnose, advise, act.
We should also understand that much of what legal education does is filter students. What firms are really interested in is the best candidates. They go to the universities they regard as the best, and those universities pick whom they regards as the best students. There are flaws in the judgements of universities and firms, but the reputation and quality of UK universities is a key part of the reputation of UK firms. And the ability of UK universities to attract the best students – which will be an increasingly global not national competition – will be a key part of that.”
Bitcher & Prickman cartoons are always worth a look – from US lawyer Charles Fincher Esq
A pleasure to see that family lawyer John Bolch is continuing to provide a remarkable online resource with his coverage of family law matters in Family Lore….@familylaw: Three thousand followers can’t be wrong…
Professor John Flood over at his RATs blog… continues to probe the legal profession’s future with his latest post: PI(I)GS Might Fly!
The Troika is upsetting big bar associations because it is demanding the liberalization of professions in countries it is bailing out. Key complainers are the American Bar Association and the CCBE. (Thanks to Peter Lederer for the H/T).
The Wall Street Journal Law Blog reported that the ABA and CCBE have written a letter to Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund and former head of the world’s largest law firm, Baker & McKenzie, asking her to pass on their concerns at the end of independence of the bar to the heads of the European Union and the European Central Bank…..
AND finally… The White Rabbit could not help himself….
“American born but long term UK resident photographer Eve Arnold has died aged 99. She spent a lot of time photographing Marilyn Monroe. As – erm – can be seen. I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself…..”