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Tag: Law

Victim statements: are they having the wrong impact?

In an episode of The West Wing from 2002, the (fictional) US President. Jed Bartlet, prepares for a presidential debate by considering how he should answer a question designed to challenge his opposition to capital punishment: “If your youngest daughter, Zoe, was raped and murdered, would you not want to see the man responsible put to death?” Read more »

Testing times for the Director of Public Prosecutions

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Alison Saunders, says that juries apply a “much higher test” than prosecutors do when deciding whether to pursue a case. If that is true, it seems bizarre. More likely, it betrays a lack of logic on the part of the DPP. Read more »

Journalists in a tiz at Supreme Court’s win-win decision

I’m not sure quite how to say this. So I’ll say it twice: Read more »

Leveson – Is the battle already lost?

What are the chances of being able to write a 2,000 page report on press regulation and walk away with all-party support (or even all-Party support)? Plainly, not very high. This final stage of the inquiry could have been – should have been – handled differently. Read more »

Harry’s Bottom and the Right to Privacy

Today’s big argument is said to be about privacy and the public interest. I think there must be more to it that that. Most commentators seem to be going round in circles. Read more »

Leveson could legislate for a non-statutory regulator

The press are against statutory regulation of their activities. That is the message they have been sending to the Leveson Inquiry. But most people fear that, without a legislative underpinning, press regulation will be toothless. How then to reconcile those two opposing views? Do it like this … Read more »

You mean we’re NOT supposed to avoid tax?

Tax avoidance has become a hot topic. The Times newspaper has recently unmasked a scheme in which income tax is avoided by the ludicrously simple means of saying the salary is only a loan which might have to be repaid (but never actually is). One of the newspaper’s columnists, David Aaronovitch, has been writing about the immorality of tax avoidance (both links behind a paywall).

I used to think it was easy to spot the moral dividing line when it came to tax avoidance. If our government had created the exemption, that meant they positively wanted us to take advantage of it. Anything else was almost certainly a loophole and morally objectionable, even if it was legal. But does that distinction still apply?  Read more »

Leveson and the Living Trees

Like many people, I have been following The Leveson Inquiry intermittently. As someone with a background in regulatory policy, I am particularly interested in the way that many witnesses have expressed a concern that regulation of the press has become inseparable from regulation of the individual because the internet has given any individual with a website (or even just a Twitter account) the power to be a journalist. I think the argument is flawed. Read more »

FA Law

On a train journey this afternoon, I was reading Lord Bingham’s The Rule of Law. Later, back at my desk, I saw the Football Association’s most recent nonsensical disciplinary announcement. There seem to be some lessons for the FA in what I was reading. Read more »

You better (not) knock, knock, knock on wood

As an accredited mediator, it’s always of interest to me when I come across an example of a dispute which is better resolved through mediation than through litigation. These stories provide useful examples of the benefits of a mediated settlement.

Even more interesting was the example I came across just a few days ago in which I could just as easily have been one of the parties in need of mediation. Read more »