Review of some UK Law Blogs….(1)

A painting I did some years ago. As with all my paintings – it took under 30 minutes to do.  When I painted at school 42+ years ago and sold many – one of my nicknames was “Risotto” (Ready in 20 minutes)

And here is another painting I did – digitally manipulated in some gizmo I found on the net….



And on that note…on to a few law blogs…

David Allen Green on his Jack of Kent blog writes: The damning Commons justice committee report on the criminal courts charge

“One of the most illiberal and misconceived measures adopted by the Ministry of Justice – perhaps by any government department in recent years – was the criminal courts charge.

Today the Commons justice committee has published a short but critical report. You should read it – the web version is here and a PDF is here.

The MoJ cannot easily ignore this; and it may be that is the point.  It is very helpful for a Tory-majority select committee to give “cover” to the MoJ in reversing this measure.  Indeed, you can easily imagine the polite conversation…..”

Clare Rodway on her The Conversation blog:When The Times announced that Jonathan Ames would be editing its new daily news shout “for all that’s legal”, alongside Frances Gibb, I knew The Brief was going to be a success. I can’t think of anyone with a better blend of establishment (Sorry J, I know you’d prefer me not to say this, but it’s true!) and maverick credentials. Jonathan has been a legal hack for almost as long as I can remember.  He was long time editor of The Law Society’s Gazette; he has edited more than one overseas/international legal magazine, including a stint based in Dubai; he has been contributing to  The Times Law section on a Thursday for years; and he is equally famous for his recent role at the highly irrelevant Legal Cheek and his iconoclastic tweeting under the pseudonym @judgejohnhack. I knew his handling of The Brief, launched this September, would be informative, insightful and entertaining in equal measure. And in the two months since its first despatch, the evidence backs me up….”


A good friend and one of my favourite iconbusters when it comes to blogging is Jerry Hayes.  His blog has nearly as much law in it as mine – not much – but it is ALWAYS worth a visit if you wan’t a laugh.  This post is typical of his style…



Jerry Hayes writes: “I wonder what Donald Trump sees when he gazes lovingly into the mirror. I suspect it is a young, slim, virile leader of men who has the courage to say what most people really think. Oh, and with a dashing mane of hair. The poor fellow. If only he knew what we see. An overweight ego maniac with a preposterous hairdo and a mouth that pouts like a cats anus.

But according to well respected political philosopher, Katie Hopkins, he has shown great leadership despite talking ‘hot air’ and that his policies are ‘unworkable’. I sometimes wonder, although not too often, what the Hopkins mindset is before writing a piece. I suspect that it is along the lines of, ’ I am the most hated woman in Britain. This is how I earn my living. I offend the metrosexual Guardianistas and anyone who has anything to do with the biased British Bolshevik Broadcasting Corporation. I articulate what the unemployed, underachieving benefitista really thinks. Immigrants are taking their jobs, Muslims are taking over the country and let’s get out of bloody Europe. I will do anything and say anything to go that extra mile to piss off the smug, self satisfied entitled Fleet Street Bubble’.

And of course, that strange, shouty, scary lower pond life of bitter folk with dragging knuckles who infest the sewers of the Guido comments section thinks that she is wonderful. So apparently does Donald Chump……”

Carl Gardner writing on his Head of Legal blog:

The strange, slow death of the criminal courts charge

“The criminal courts charge is, or was, one of the less well thought-through criminal justice reforms of recent years. Since April this year, courts have had a duty under section 21A of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 to impose a fixed charge “in respect of relevant court costs” on those convicted of offences.

When I say “fixed”, I mean it: regulations set out in a table the amount courts must charge, regardless of the convicted defendant’s means. Notably, the charge for being found guilty after a trial (e.g. £520 for a minor offence in the Magistrates’ Court) was much more than for pleading guilty (£150)—a situation that risked pressurising poor defendants into pleading guilty solely to cut their losses. That’s obviously undesirable, and raises questions about the fairness of trials in our courts. For that reason among others the Commons Justice Committee last month recommended the early abolition of the charge. The new Lord Chancellor Michael Gove’s decision to do just that has been broadly and warmly welcomed.

But it’s an odd sort of “abolition”—for two reasons……..”


A few more Law blogs later tonight… Off for a walk.



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