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Showing posts from March, 2013

Is this a sensible way to do things?

It's Easter Sunday and I've been sat about for the past 14-hours waiting for clients to be interviewed in the police station.

I have one in Chiswick.  I have called the police several times through the night and day.  So far, there doesn't seem to be a police officer assigned to interview this chap.  I therefore have no idea when he will be interviewed.  I do know; however, that if officers ask for an extension to the 24-hour period they can hold him for I will be objecting on the basis that for the first 15-hours of his detention they appear to have done bugger all.

I have two clients being held in Hounslow.  They have also been in custody about 15-hours.  I understand an officer has been assigned to interview these boys.  However, the officer is based at Acton.  The obvious thing to do would be for the officer to take the 20 minute drive to Hounslow, interview them and get on with it, particularly as Acton has no cells available to hold them.  For some reason, the plan i…

Addicts

I dealt with a man at the police station today who is an alcoholic.  Unlike most addicts I come across he accepted he had a problem and genuine appeared to want to change but also recognised that he isn't capable of doing anything about his problem alone.

The first response of many people when they think about addicts is to say either that they decided to do the drug and so they brought the addiction on themselves or that the addict should do something to sort themselves out.  In reality, neither of these ideas is helpful.  First, whether the person brought it on themselves or not is irrelevant insofar as them beating their addiction is concerned.  Secondly, it's often not so easy to simply do something about it.

I am quite fat.  I need to lose weight.  I know how to do this.  Eat healthily and cut down on the booze for a while (I'm writing this with a pint in hand waiting for a takeaway delivery).  In reality it's not that easy.  I ate a lot of healthy foods a couple …

Huhne, Pryce and Grayling

Earlier today the former wife of former minister and former MP, Chris Huhne, was convicted of perverting the course of justice after the failure of her defence of marital coercion.

The failure of that defence is no great shock.  To succeed the wife must convince a jury that she was so completely under the control of her husband at the time that she had no free will and no choice but to obey her husband.  It is a defence that made sense when it was introduced in a time when women had practically no rights and were expected to obey their husbands in all things.  In the modern world it is a defence that will succeed only in the most extreme circumstances.  It is probably time for this archaic defence to be removed from the statute book.

What is more interesting, from a criminal lawyers point of view, about this case is the rank of counsel instructed.

Like all Lord Chancellors, the current inhabitant of the office was appointed because of his lengthy experience of our legal system and his…

My Week

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I hardly ever blog about what I actually do so I thought I'd take the opportunity to describe my activities over the past week.

Monday - Wednesday The week began with a trial for violent disorder at the Old Bailey.  The trial was scheduled to last 4-days for reasons unknown to me since it was really a two-day case.  But, as these things tend to do the trial managed to run far longer than it should have done.

The major problem was that the defendant is deaf and requires the assistance of speech-to-text technology.  This sounds much grander than it is.  Two stenographers take turns to type what is being said in court and that appears on the defendant's screen so he can follow proceedings.  For some reason, only one of the stenographers had a wireless keyboard while the other had only a very short wire.  They couldn't sit in the dock because then they couldn't hear what was being said.  Nor could they sit at the back of the court because they also could not hear.  The ju…