Rennard “sex scandal” is a fox that will run and run

 Amongst the 90% of the population who do not wish the Liberal Democrats well, many will have been delighted by the mess they have made of the investigation into the alleged sexist behaviour of the of the party’s former Chief Executive and psephological Svengali, Lord Rennard.

The police quickly completed a criminal investigation into the allegations and decided to bring no charges.

Normally that would have been the end of the matter but the Liberal Democrats have always prided themselves on openness, fairness and justice. The Party therefore carried out its own inquiry, led by the distinguished Liberal Democrat barrister Alistair Webster QC.

It has been been widely criticised as secret, unfair and unjust.

Almost as bad, far from producing finality or “closure” it appears to have set the scene for further legal wrangling for months and perhaps years to come. Continue reading “Rennard “sex scandal” is a fox that will run and run”

10 Reasons Why criminal barristers are right to strike today


The Government is right to cut public spending but the legal aid cuts proposed by Chris Grayling, the Lord Chancellor and Minister for Justice, will increase the likelihood criminals going free and of innocent people going to gaol. They will devastate both the barristers’ and solicitors’ professions. The savings to public money – even if they are achieved – are minuscule in comparison to the damage that the cuts will inflict. The cuts in criminal legal aid will be felt most by the poorest: many, perhaps most, defendants in criminal criminal cases are penniless. But a decent criminal justice system is essential for everyone whether rich or poor. Continue reading “10 Reasons Why criminal barristers are right to strike today”

Protecting the innocent is even more important than convicting the guilty

It is depressing enough that the Labour Party has established a “Victims Taskforce” intended to “transform the criminal justice system into a criminal justice service geared towards protecting the public and supporting innocent victims of crime in bringing those guilty to book.” All of us have become used to politically inspired empty gestures, especially in the field of criminal justice. The newly knighted former Director of Public Prosecutions, Sir Keir Starmer, has agreed to chair it. We should remain optimistic and assume that the Taskforce is just a pointless gimmick because the alternative that it may succeed is much more worrying. Continue reading “Protecting the innocent is even more important than convicting the guilty”