courts

Even in a niqab, the defendant must be heard

September 19, 2013

I’m no friend of the niqab. It’s the symbol of an oppressive ideology, and I look forward to its disappearance from the streets of Britain (which I think likely in my lifetime) and everywhere. I doubt a total ban’s a good idea here, but I support the right of employers and schools to prevent their […]

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The niqab ruling: my detailed comments

September 19, 2013

Here’s Monday’s ruling by His Honour Judge Peter Murphy, that a female Muslim defendant at Blackfriars Crown Court may not give evidence wearing a niqab, or face veil. If you click on the highlighted phrases in the document, either in the viewer below or in fullscreen view (click on the bottom left of the viewer) you’ll […]

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Grieve: Contempt of Court Act “fit for purpose”

December 1, 2011

This evening the Attorney General Dominic Grieve has been speaking at City University on the subject “Contempt – a balancing act”. Here’s the draft text of his speech – it differed only slightly in delivery. In the document viewer below you’ll find my note of the most important additions and changed he made, and some […]

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Lord Carey and “religion-sensitive” judges

April 19, 2010

I agree entirely with Afua Hirsch’s piece in the Guardian today – at least on religitigation, Lord Carey and his call for “religion-sensitive” judges. She’s right: to create a panel of specially faith-sensitive judges would be a wholly retrograde step and needs to be opposed. If a judge gets the law wrong, you can appeal […]

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A new Supreme Court – and a new era

October 1, 2009

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom opens officially today – and with it, a new chapter in this country’s legal history. The Guardian has a leader about it today, and the opening is likely to be covered widely in the media. Sittings actually begin on Monday, when the Justices will begin to hear the […]

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Televising the courts: Keir Starmer is right

January 19, 2009

I’m a few days late in reacting to the new DPP Keir Starmer’s statement that he’s not opposed to televising criminal trials, subject to safeguards. I back him wholeheartedly; this has been exactly my view for years. I well remember in the days before I was a lawyer, visiting my local Crown Court in Warrington. […]

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