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Law

Boris Johnson Speech on Europe

Boris Johnson is not fit to be leader of the Tory party, never mind Prime Minister

25 August 2014 10:10

Awkward, especially here, I know, but there you have it. But, look, if any other high-profile politician were suggesting the burden of proof in criminal trials should be switched from… Continue reading

213 Comments
General View Of The Old Bailey

The law’s an ass, obviously

23 July 2014 17:17

‘The award of Queen’s Counsel is for excellence in advocacy in the higher courts,’ says the QC appointments page. ‘It is made to advocates who have rights of audience in… Continue reading

2 Comments
BRITAIN-US-UKRAINE-RUSSIA-CRISIS-DIPLOMACY

Britain has very little to fear from the ECHR. So why are so many Tories so afraid of it?

22 July 2014 15:36

On matters domestic (England and Wales division) I was sad to see Dominic Grieve turfed-out of the cabinet in last week’s reshuffle. Today he pops up in the Times to remind us… Continue reading

151 Comments
Baroness Butler-Sloss. Image: Getty

Lady Butler-Sloss should not lead the child abuse inquiry

10 July 2014 12:56

Last week, Nick Cohen suggested that Lady Butler-Sloss was not the correct person to lead the child abuse enquiry. She has now resigned from her role.  The Guardian says today… Continue reading

67 Comments
Soham Trial Nears Conclusion

How should we describe ‘assisted dying’?

7 July 2014 15:40

There is, I realise, no perfect, neutral way of describing ‘assisted dying’, the substance of Lord Falconer’s bill which comes up for its second reading on 18th July. ‘Right to… Continue reading

61 Comments
Clement Attlee ventures into the East End... Cartoon by Michael Heath. (1963)

Clement Attlee’s conversion

5 June 2014 15:28

In the early 1960s, The Spectator ran a series called ‘John Bull’s first job’ – reminiscences by various prominenti about how they started out. One of the most startling, published… Continue reading

2 Comments
Soham Trial Nears Conclusion

Who judges the judges?

18 March 2014 12:53

I like Jonathan Calvert and Heidi Blake of the Sunday Times. I will not pretend they are anything like close friends or family. I doubt if I see them more… Continue reading

29 Comments
Mel

A prenup undermines a marriage before it has even begun

25 February 2014 13:00

A friend of mine, quite a distinguished lawyer, takes the view that marriage ceased to make sense after no-fault divorces came in. What, he says sternly, is the point of… Continue reading

37 Comments
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

39 Comments
Lord Rennard Image: PA

Will the women apologise to Rennard?

21 January 2014 9:28

Well done Lord Rennard for not saying sorry. I thought at first that he should, just to get the whole thing over with, to partially placate those monstrously transgressed women… Continue reading

139 Comments
Palmer Murder Trial

Courtroom drama in 1828 – courtesy of The Spectator

20 January 2014 13:19

It’s a real pleasure looking through the first few editions of the Spectator from 1828, where the police reports and brief news items conjure up the England of Dickens and… Continue reading

3 Comments
David Cameron on a visit to Wormwood Scrubs prison earlier this week. The Prime Minister today confirmed he will oppose attempts to give prisoners the vote. Picture: Getty

If we don’t want prisoners to have the vote, then we’re going to have to leave the European Court of Human Rights

13 December 2013 19:18

David Cameron’s declaration that prisoners “damn well shouldn’t” have the right to vote is a reminder that this issue hasn’t gone away. Cameron was emphatic that the final verdict on… Continue reading

90 Comments
What would Rosa Parks have made of this shameful hypocrisy over segregation?

The segregation of women and the appeasement of bigotry at Britain’s universities (part two)

11 December 2013 13:04

On the Today programme this morning Justin Webb covered the decision by Universities UK to allow fundamentalist speakers to segregate women from men at public meetings. With a characteristic disdain… Continue reading

193 Comments
Members Of The New Coalition Cabinet Arrive For Their First Cabinet Meeting

Are Parliament’s select committees working? – I say no

5 November 2013 18:57

Our parliamentary select committees need to be taken seriously. Yet, for them to be so, we need to clarify their legal powers, use wider expertise and practice what we preach.… Continue reading

51 Comments
Women are banned from driving in Saudi Arabia. Ed West suggests that, given the appalling road safety standards in Saudi, men ought to be banned too. (FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)

Should Saudi men be allowed to drive?

5 November 2013 15:47

It’s important that newspapers make themselves sounding boards for unpopular opinions, especially in an age when identity is sacred and people are judged by having the right views rather than… Continue reading

37 Comments
AUSTRALIA-US-INTERNET-CRIME-SECURITY

Is Sunny Hundal the best person to lecture on journalism?

25 October 2013 17:02

Farewell then Sunny Hundal. The libellous blogger and tweeter has announced that he is no longer going to keep up his self-published website ‘Liberal Conspiracy’. One reason – far beyond… Continue reading

75 Comments
Judges Procession To Westminster Abbey To Mark The Start Of The Legal Year

Sir Brian’s PR offensive continues

22 October 2013 17:24

Sir Brian Leveson, who has ascended from his inquiry podium to President of the Queen’s Bench Division and Chairman of the Sentencing Council, seems to be getting a taste for… Continue reading

10 Comments
An Alternative View Of The Liberal Democrats Annual Party Conference

Real feminists stand up for women

18 October 2013 12:42

As Edmund Burke wrote: ‘Manners are of more importance than laws. Upon them, in a great measure, the laws depend.’ Testify, brother – and if our lawmakers have no manners,… Continue reading

29 Comments
Our abortion laws are wholly absurd. (PETER MUHLY/AFP/Getty Images)

Britain’s abortion laws are inherently absurd

8 October 2013 10:04

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, yesterday declared that it was right not to prosecute doctors who authorised abortions which, according to a Telegraph investigation, were requested because of the gender of… Continue reading

24 Comments
Equality legislation alone is not going to stop soldiers being threatened in their own land. (ANDREW COWIE/AFP/Getty Images)

Ed Miliband ducks the question. If squaddies are victims, who or what is threatening them?

27 September 2013 12:28

A country’s laws say much about its people’s character, though not in the way its lawmakers intend. Perhaps the oldest written law in English history, dating back to King Ethelbert… Continue reading

22 Comments
Judges Attend The Annual Service At Westminster Abbey To Mark The Start Of The UK Legal Year

We must revisit the Equality Act to stop vexatious court cases

8 August 2013 18:04

What have the Churchill £5 note, the Home Office ‘racist vans’ and the ‘Bedroom Tax’ got in common? All were alleged breaches of section 149 of the Equality Act 2010,… Continue reading

31 Comments
Bikers for Britain has launched today, to get a better deal from the EU for motorcyclists.

Why bikers need a better deal from the EU

8 August 2013 13:25

Since I was elected to Parliament in 2010, I have taken every opportunity to push back against the EU’s move towards ever closer union. I have also been a long-time… Continue reading

16 Comments
The House of Lords is beyond reproach, apparently. (ALASTAIR GRANT/AFP/GettyImages)

When is corruption not corrupt? When the establishment says it isn’t

5 August 2013 17:54

Mr Justice Tugendhat delivered a ferocious verdict last week. Undercover reporters from the Sunday Times claimed they had found Peter Cruddas, co-Treasurer of the Conservative Party, offering influence in return… Continue reading

41 Comments
An exploratory shale oil drilling site. (FRANCOIS BECKER/AFP/Getty Images)

Government fights misinformation over shale planning process

5 August 2013 15:00

The government is busy quelling worries about the planning process for exploratory shale drilling, following this disobliging article in yesterday’s Observer. The government stresses that its planning guidance document, which… Continue reading

23 Comments
The "bedroom tax" case has been rejected by the High Court.

The “bedroom tax” judgment has implications far beyond bedrooms

30 July 2013 12:17

The High Court has rejected the “bedroom tax” claimants’ case. In a ruling issued earlier this morning, Lord Justice Laws said that ‘the PSED [Public Sector Equality Duty on the benefit reforms] was fulfilled;… Continue reading

35 Comments