December 2008

Have a great Christmas and New Year!

December 24, 2008

The Christmas rush has, I’m afraid, “got” to this blog somewhat – sorry. It’s not the greatest blogging period of the year, of course. But rest assured, normal service will be resumed as from 5 January at the latest. In the meantime – have a good time!

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Ireland’s re-referendum – an absolute scandal

December 12, 2008

It’s hard to find the words for how I feel about the proposed second Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty: cynical, depressed, angry, frustrated, concerned – all those, and more. This suggestion is an absolute scandal, revealing the authoritarian instincts of political leaders in Europe, and endangering the future of the EU. Brian Cowen should […]

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Shadow Attorney

December 11, 2008

From reading Iain Dale’s Diary I see the Tories still haven’t filled their vacancy for shadow Attorney – six months seems to me a bit of a gap if you take the role at all seriously. Appointing Lord Trimble would at least show they take the job seriously now – and I think the Attorney’s […]

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Lord Lester: it was bound to end in tears

December 11, 2008

The Guardian today has a story about Lord Lester’s disgust and disappointment as Labour’s human rights record. Oh, well. You’ll remember he resigned as a government adviser last month. I doubt the government is all that heartbroken at his going; they got the small amount of political kudos they wanted from his appointment last year, […]

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Asst. Commissioner Quick’s letter to Jacqui Smith

December 4, 2008

An anonymous commenter has drawn my attention to the police’s letter to the Home Secretary explaining the business about search warrants: here it is, and the letter is also reproduced on the BBC News website. I’ve got a bit fed up of nonsensical, irrelevant talk about privilege around the blogosphere, suggesting that no warrant could […]

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S and Marper v UK

December 4, 2008

The European Court of Human Rights has today ruled against the UK in this important case about retention of DNA samples and profiles as well as fingerprints. S had been charged with attempted burglary when 11 in 2001; he was acquitted, but his DNA was retained under section 64 of PACE. Marper was charged with […]

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Unimpressed by the cowardly Speaker

December 3, 2008

I’m distinctly unimpressed by the Speaker’s statement on Greengate-Galleygate, as are Iain Dale, Guido Fawkes and Fraser Nelson. The question of warrants is a red herring. The only issue is whether the arrest was lawful under section 18 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act. The relevant PACE Code of Practice is here – see […]

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A proper debate is needed – on the real issues

December 3, 2008

The Damian Green affair obviously dominates today’s opening of Parliament – and so it should. For once, Parliament’s grand gaudy show coincides with a chance for it to really show what it can do: hold government to account, express the opinion of the public and make political misdeed have political consequences. The Speaker will make […]

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Unity’s article at Liberal Conspiracy

December 2, 2008

I profoundly disagree with Unity’s article yesterday about the Damian Green business at Liberal Conspiracy. I think in his loyalty to the Labour government he’s allowed his re-reaction to the Conservative reaction to this affair to spill over into outright support for the worst sort of traditionalist Yes, Minister Whitehallism. I’m quite pleased with my […]

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Afua Hirsch on Green and Galley

December 2, 2008

My former lecturing colleague, the Guardian’s new legal correspondent Afua Hirsch, has written today at Comment is Free about the Green/Galley affair – she doesn’t think it’s likely to go anywhere – and the line between whistleblowing and misconduct.

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