If you’re like me, then reading legal journals or the legal pages of newspapers means, far too often, looking at yet another uncritical profile of or interview with some office-holder, often telling you how determined he or she is about his or her shiny new agenda in his or her shiny new job. They usually tell you how amazed they are to have it, too, having grown up… or something like that. I’m usually asleep by the third paragraph so I can’t remember what they say exactly.

So what a great pity that Frances Gibb’s interview with the Attorney in yesterday’s Times should have a bit of that feeling about it. I think we’ve all got over the fact that she’s female by now, and I’m not interested in her surprise at having the job, really. But more importantly, what’s the point of this interview? To focus on rape prosecutions is reasonable enough, but I think the Attorney gets away far too lightly with the fact that

Several proposed reforms on rape have fallen by the wayside or been overtaken by events.

Where are the hard questions about what’s happened to those reforms?

Nor am I impressed that a fair chunk of the interview is taken up with talk of the number of women “at the top” of the legal profession. I’m depressed by the focus on “the top”, and the Attorney’s touching belief that

You can now start as an administrative assistant and work up to being a High Court judge.

But more importantly, why ask her about this stuff? It’s not her ministerial responsibility. Why not ask her something about her job: like, why’s the government retreated on reform of her role? Is it true that she’s won this battle?

And where does she stand on extending pre-trial detention for terror suspects?

2008-03-19T13:58:00+00:00Tags: |