Justice system

Ched Evans playing for Sheffield United in 2011 (Photo: Ben Hoskins/Getty)

Feeling morally superior? Time to sign an online petition

5 January 2015 15:32

Purely for the purposes of argument, it would be handy if Ched Evans had said sorry for the rape for which he was convicted. He hasn’t, for the simple and… Continue reading

Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy. Would prisoners kill for her wry, pungent volumes? Image: Getty

Would prisoners kill for Carol Ann Duffy?

30 March 2014 11:34

It is of course shocking that the Justice Secretary Chris Grayling should ban prisoners from receiving books sent by their friends and relatives. We might all agree with author Philip… Continue reading

Image: Getty

How legal aid reforms are clogging up the courts

20 February 2014 18:27

Litigants in person – individuals representing themselves, rather than relying on a lawyer – have always been a feature in courts, and are the source of the aphorism ‘a lawyer… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Zimmerman verdict: the American Left only likes juries when they get the result they want

16 July 2013 17:22

There is almost nothing more emotive than a murder trial, particularly when it takes place in the United States and involves the shooting dead of a black boy on the… Continue reading

crown court

Don’t privatise justice

29 May 2013 16:23

Privatisation has been a hugely successful policy over the past 30 years. Unfortunately, though, the government seems to have learned the wrong lesson from it. The proposal to sell the… Continue reading

What effect are the large number of international cases having on the British justice system?

The View from 22 — Rough justice and autumn statement special

6 December 2012 9:07

Many of the great British institutions have taken a pounding in recent times. The BBC, Fleet Street, politicians but is it now time for lawyers to take some flack? In… Continue reading

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Rotherham’s ‘political commissars’ reinforce the need for a free press

25 November 2012 11:40

‘Clearly she has morphed somewhere in her career from social worker to political commissar.’ These are the words of Minette Marrin, writing of the social worker at the centre of… Continue reading

Home Secretary Theresa May Arrives To Speak At The Stonewall Workplace Conference

The struggle to deal with foreign terror suspects

3 July 2012 18:15

Abu Qatada, the Islamist cleric once branded ‘Osama bin Laden’s ambassador to Europe’, has dominated headlines in recent months as the government struggles to return him to Jordan. Theresa May… Continue reading


Secret justice concessions won’t silence its critics

29 May 2012 12:30

Two U-turns in 12 hours — even for this government that’s some going. Following George Osborne’s watering down of his VAT changes, Ken Clarke has rowed back some of his… Continue reading


What the riots mean for Ken Clarke

15 September 2011 14:51

The more we learn about the riots, the more it is becoming clear that experienced criminals were responsible for a lot of the looting. The Standard reports today that in… Continue reading


Clarke is right to focus on reoffenders

6 September 2011 19:53

The Justice Secretary Ken Clarke – who was away during the disturbances last month – has signalled his return with an uncharacteristically tough piece in today’s Guardian. The reference to… Continue reading


Who were the rioters?

6 September 2011 9:33

Ken Clarke reveals today that three-quarters of convicted rioters aged 18 and over had previous convictions. Hence his term about a "feral underclass" – strong language, which politicians usually reserve… Continue reading


Department of Sentencing: Riots Division

18 August 2011 0:37

I dare say some of the sentences handed down in the aftermath of the riots are on the stiff side of things. Some people are likely to be harshly punished… Continue reading


Sympathy for the Devil

15 July 2011 14:10

There are few organisations that persuade one to root for Rupert Murdoch but the US Department of Justice is probably one. Then there’s Eliot Spitzer, just the kind of creep… Continue reading

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The American Way of Justice

1 July 2011 23:24

If the New York Times or the Washington Post had a proper measure of imagination one or other of them would have asked Radley Balko to write a criminal justice… Continue reading


The dirty secrets of ‘no win no fee’

27 June 2011 15:59

Jack Straw’s column in the Times today (£) contains the following revelation: ‘Our records indicate that you may be entitled to £3,450 for the accident you had. To claim free… Continue reading


The Wages of Appeasement Are Paid in Foolishness

23 June 2011 13:52

On the other hand, some policy retreats are simply depressing. One of the telling and therefore ignored scandals of our time is the apparent veto the Sun newspaper has over… Continue reading


Miliband May Know the Detail But His Policies Are Wrong

22 June 2011 14:55

For all the talk of Cameron and his grasp of detail the fact remains that Miliband may, as Swot of the Lower Fourth, have the nuts and bolts but he’s… Continue reading


Audio of Ken Clarke’s rape comments

18 May 2011 13:52

So that CoffeeHousers can make their own minds up:


Ken Clarke contra mundum

8 March 2011 16:53

What to make of Sadiq Khan and Ken Clarke? As Pete has noted, Khan (and Ed Miliband) empathises with Ken Clarke’s instincts. But, as Sunder Katwala illustrates, Khan’s support is… Continue reading


Khan comes to Ken Clarke’s support (kinda)

7 March 2011 9:08

When it comes to the overall sway of British politics, Sadiq Khan’s article for the Guardian is probably the most important of the day. We’ve heard Ed Miliband say before… Continue reading


Bringing rights back home

7 February 2011 16:46

Thursday’s debate on the backbench motion on prisoner voting tabled by Jack Straw and David Davis is set to be a real parliamentary event – a rare occasion where the… Continue reading


Act 3 in the prisoner voting farce

20 January 2011 12:13

An ingenious man, John Hirst. First he achieved the considerable feat of committing manslaughter with an axe; and he has since proceeded to cause governments no end of trouble. The… Continue reading


Remember this?

20 January 2011 10:40

“We will want to prevent EU judges gaining steadily greater control over our criminal justice system by negotiating an arrangement which would protect it. That will mean limiting the European… Continue reading


Davis and Straw unite against prisoner voting rights

18 January 2011 13:38

David Davis and Jack Straw have joined forces to resist the enforcement of prisoner voting rights, an emotive issue bequeathed to the hapless coalition by the previous government. Beside the… Continue reading