The strange, slow death of the criminal courts charge

December 7, 2015

The criminal courts charge is, or was, one of the less well thought-through criminal justice reforms of recent years. Since April this year, courts have had a duty under section 21A of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 to impose a fixed charge “in respect of relevant court costs” on those convicted of offences. When […]

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Summary judgment: what the Supreme Court held in Sharland

October 14, 2015

In Sharland v Sharland, the Supreme Court today granted the appeal of a woman who wanted to reopen her divorce settlement on the grounds of her husband’s fraud. Here’s my technical legal analysis, in a few words, of the precedent this case lays down to bind the courts in future. RATIO—Where one of the parties […]

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Fraud unravels all: the Supreme Court divorce judgments in Sharland and Gohil

October 14, 2015

The Supreme Court has today given two judgments (Sharland v Sharland, and Gohil v Gohil) about re-opening divorce settlements on the grounds of fraud. Sharland lays down a new test in cases involving fraud, which should mean more settlements are reopened in future. Alison Sharland agreed a divorce settlement with her husband, who’d told the […]

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Pannick on the Reyaad Khan drone strike

September 17, 2015

In the Times today Lord Pannick QC discusses the recently announced RAF drone strike that killed Reyaad Khan and another British “Islamic State” fighter. He agrees with me that article 51 of the UN Charter permits defence against an imminent attack from a non-state organisation. A state, he writes does not have to wait for […]

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Stop the redestruction of Inner Temple Library!

September 16, 2015

The last time Inner Temple’s library was wrecked, it was Hitler’s bombs that did it. On the night of the 10th—11th of May 1941, London faced the most devastating attack of the Blitz. That night, the House of Commons chamber was left a smoking shell. St Clement’s Dane’s, on the Strand, was gutted. Much of […]

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If you think it was murder, say so

September 11, 2015

How many articles and blogposts have referred to Orwell’s classic essay Politics and the English Language? Well, here’s another. I’m put in mind of it by recent use of the sinister phrase “extrajudicial killing” to describe the lethal RAF strike on British “Islamic State” fighters. Bad writers, according to Orwell and especially scientific, political, and […]

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The killing of Reyaad Khan: Britain’s letter to the UN

September 10, 2015

A row has broken out since the publication of the letter from the UK to the UN, in which the British permanent representative reports the drone strike that killed Reyaad Khan to the UN Security Council as required by article 51 of the UN Charter. The letter says— the United Kingdom … has undertaken military […]

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Law and the killing of Reyaad Khan

September 7, 2015

This afternoon in the House of Commons the Prime Minister told MPs that Reyaad Khan, the “Islamic State” fighter from Cardiff, was killed in Syria in a targeted RAF drone strike. His death was reported some days ago but it was not clear till now that it the RAF had targeted him. The case raises […]

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Pannick on Mr Justice Peter Smith

September 3, 2015

Today’s Times has a piece by Lord Pannick QC (behind the Times paywall) on the extraordinary behaviour of Mr Justice Peter Smith in a case involving British Airways earlier this summer. The case, he says, raises serious issues about judicial conduct which need urgent consideration by the Lord Chief Justice. The case was reported on […]

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Sir John! Sir John! Are we there yet?

August 31, 2015

View image | One of the absurdities of this year’s “silly season” has been another of Britain’s periodic bouts of Chilcot-bashing. When there’s a period of slow news, it seems, journalists remember that Sir John Chilcot was tasked six years ago with inquiring into what we all call simply “Iraq”; and that his report’s […]

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