June 2012

We must say no to this bad Lords reform

June 29, 2012

Walter Bagehot, in his high Victorian classic The English Constitution, wrote that the danger of the House of Lords certainly is, that it may never be reformed. Already the view’s been expressed that if you have a problem with the coalition’s House of Lords Reform Bill then, since the perfect is the enemy of the […]

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US Supreme Court upholds the Affordable Care Act

June 28, 2012

The big news from America today of course is that the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of President Obama’s main legislative achievement, the “Affordable Care Act” or as some critics call it “Obamacare”. At its heart is what’s called the “individual mandate”: a legal requirement for individuals to buy health insurance, or pay a […]

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Lord Kerr on the Assange case

June 28, 2012

Two weeks ago now at Inner Temple, the Supreme Court Justice Lord Kerr gave the fifth annual Boydell Lecture – and chose as his title A European Understanding of “Judicial Authority” as highlighted in Assange v Swedish Prosecution Authority. The text’s now been published, and it gives an interesting insight into the case – on […]

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“Twitter joke” appeal: interview with John Cooper QC and David Allen Green

June 27, 2012

Following today’s second appeal hearing in the “Twitter joke trial” case, I spoke to Paul Chambers’s solicitor, David Allen Green of Preiskel & Co., and to his barrister John Cooper QC. During the interview you’ll hear John Cooper suggest you might want to have the relevant legislation, section 127 of the Communications Act 2003, as […]

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Without Prejudice “Twitter joke” appeal special

June 27, 2012

Today I’ve been live-tweeting from the appeal hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in the “Twitter joke trial” case, where Paul Chambers is appealing his conviction under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 for sending a tweet of a “menacing character”. Yesterday Charon QC interviewed Paul Chambers’s solicitor David Allen Green about the […]

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Julian Assange: can he get out of this?

June 26, 2012

We’ve learned to expect the unexpected in the case of Julian Assange: his case always seems to throw up one more unusual legal twist. Which is astonishing in what is, in reality, a straightforward case of a proper and lawful European Arrest Warrant. I was surprised that his case was even heard by the Supreme […]

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Without Prejudice

June 8, 2012

On Without Prejudice this week, Charon QC chairs as Kim Evans, commissioning editor of The Justice Gap and I discuss: the conviction of the Spectator over Rod Liddle’s piece on the Stephen Lawrence retrial; Hunt, Warsi and the ministerial code; the meaning of “quasi-judicial” (I have a fairly good rant against the term), and Richard […]

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The case for constitutional monarchy

June 2, 2012

I’m not a “royalist”. Nobody in Britain is now in the old civil war sense of course, and I’m not one in the newer sense of loving the pageantry and froth that goes with royal occasions. In fact I used to be a republican, when I was sixteen and put pure abstract perfection above sense […]

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Without Prejudice

June 1, 2012

Without Prejudice returns in its panel format this week! Charon QC chairs as David Allen Green, law student Jessica Vautier (who joins us for our discussion of social mobility in law and minimum salaries for trainee solicitors) and me discuss: the judgment in Julian Assange’s Supreme Court case, and what happens now; briefly, Abu Qatada; […]

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