As usual Mr Grayling is wrong, this time on Human Rights

With the Conservative conference in full swing there is no easier way to get applause than to attack Europe. There is a powerful and coherent case to be made for withdrawal from the ghastly morass of the EU. It is a case that is made every week by intellectual heavyweights such as MEP Daniel Hannan.

Withdrawal from the EU would, of course, be extraordinarily difficult, not least because of the need to win a referendum, which would be presented as a vote of confidence in David Cameron’s “renegotiation” of EU membership terms.

It may be partly for this reason that others, such as Chris Grayling and Theresa May have switched their attention to away from the EU and wish to commit the Party to fight the next election committed to the somewhat easier option of repealing the Human Rights Act – the “Labour Human Rights Act as Mr Grayling has recently taken to calling it – and withdrawing from the European Convention on Human Rights. Continue reading “As usual Mr Grayling is wrong, this time on Human Rights”

Sex selection: like it or not the law allows abortion on demand

The CPS has decided not to prosecute doctors apparently willing to perform abortions for the purpose of sex selection. Following an investigation instigated by the Daily Telegraph, the police presented the CPS with what appears to have been strong evidence that two separate doctors were prepared to perform an abortion on an undercover journalist simply because she said that she did not want to give birth to a girl. Continue reading “Sex selection: like it or not the law allows abortion on demand”

Pictures of London Crown Courts


Barristerblogger has always been rather short of pictures.


However our top photographer  has sent in a series of inspiring pictures of London court facilities with the suggestion that I should publish them to a wider audience.


Sadly I am now a rare visitor to London courts but it is interesting to see how the inspirational architecture and facilities are playing their part in keeping up the morale of a profession which might otherwise be feeling a little jaded. Continue reading “Pictures of London Crown Courts”

Veiled defendants should be allowed to give evidence

The judgement by Judge Peter Murphy that a defendant cannot give evidence while wearing a niqaab covering her face was written with crystalline clarity. He acknowledged all the difficulties of trying to balance sincerely held religious convictions with the imperatives of justice. He gave due consideration to the Bench Book, the Judicial Studies Board publication that is meant to give practical guidance to judges, and rightly concluded – in very measured and judicial terms – that it offered only anodyne and useless pieties. He analysed any number of British, European and Commonwealth cases on the subject. Nevertheless his judgement was wrong and, unless overturned by the Court of Appeal it threatens to wreak grave injustice on devout Moslem women. Continue reading “Veiled defendants should be allowed to give evidence”

The decision to prosecute Michael Le Vell


The acquittal of Michael Le Vell has reminded us, as though it were necessary, that not all rape suspects are guilty. But however terrible his ordeal has been, the fact that he has been acquitted certainly does not mean the CPS was wrong to bring the case to court.

There are, nevertheless legitimate questions to be asked about how decisions to prosecute cases of this sort should be taken. Continue reading “The decision to prosecute Michael Le Vell”