Over the next few days I’m going to recommend some good books for summer reading for anyone interested in the law, especially the criminal law.
The first is Sally Smith’s biography of Marshall Hall: “A law unto himself.” (Wildy, Simmonds & Hill £25, although available for a bit less on Amazon). Smith is a barrister, a very good one too, who since taking silk has specialised in medical cases, although she obviously knows her way around the criminal law too.
Her subject, Edward Marshall Hall – known to many simply as Marshall – was what we would now call a “celebrity:” a barrister whose oratory saved numerous men and women from the gallows. He was not always successful of course, and these days it is mainly the clients he failed to save that are remembered: George Joseph Smith, the “Brides in the Bath” murderer; and Seddon, who was said to have poisoned his lodger with arsenic in order to get his hands on her annuities. Continue reading “Sally Smith’s Biography of Marshall Hall is a wonderful read.”
Last Friday David Bryant, a 66 year old retired fireman with a distinguished record of brave public service was freed after spending 3 years in gaol for a crime that he did not commit. Yesterday his conviction was finally quashed.
His story is quite appalling, though not, I fear, in any way unique.
His accuser, unusually, has waived his right to anonymity so we know that he is a man called Danny Day. His accusation, which he first made in 2012, was that Mr Bryant and another fireman called Goodman (who is now dead) had raped him on some unspecified date between 1976 and 1978. Continue reading “The shocking case of David Bryant reveals the fallacy that we can always spot a liar”
There has been much rejoicing in the West that the attempted military coup in Turkey has been defeated by “people power.” People of all political persuasions, it has been said, including many strongly opposed to the governing AK Party, came onto the streets to defend democracy against a military putsch. They did so in answer to a call from President Erdogan in his now famous Facetime broadcast which was then repeated from minarets all over Istanbul and Ankara. There were acts of great bravery as unarmed civilians stood in the way of tanks, as well as scenes of horror, not least when bewildered conscripts appear to have been lynched.
Meanwhile, pictures have been posted of the alleged coup leaders, now being held in custody. They look haggard and worried, as well they might. Continue reading “This is no time for rejoicing: Erdogan is pulling Turkey towards despotism”
The law firm Mishcon de Reya is bringing an action to force the Prime Minister, whoever she (or just conceivably he) may be, to obtain Parliamentary approval before issuing that all-important Article 50 notification.
The question in issue is a deceptively simple one but it has divided lawyers. Can the Prime Minister invoke Article 50 as an act of Royal Prerogative; or will she need to persuade Parliament to pass legislation before doing so? Continue reading “Don’t abuse the Brexit litigants: their action shows that we live in a free country”