• Law,  UK Politics

    Theresa May’s Politically Driven Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is heading for disaster

    This is a cross-post from Barrister Blogger by Matthew Scott The problem of who should chair the proposed inquiry into the handling of child sexual abuse by public bodies in past decades has, after some delay, been solved. Many other problems remain. Home Secretary Theresa May has announced that it is to be chaired by Fiona Woolf, the current Lord Mayor of London, assisted by Graham Wilmer MBE and Barbara Hearn OBE. Alexis Jay, the author of the recent inquiry into Rotheram Council is to act as an expert adviser to the panel. The precise terms of reference have yet to be announced but the overall purpose of the inquiry,…

  • Law

    Boris Johnson’s Presumption Of Guilt Is A Dreadful Idea That Will Create More Terrorists

    This is a cross-post by Matthew Scott at Barrister Blogger Boris Johnson considers it a “minor change in the law” that could be swiftly accomplished. There should be a “rebuttable presumption that all those visiting war areas without notifying the authorities have done so for a terrorist purpose.” It sounds all very well but it is at precisely moments like these that ill-judged legislation is most likely to be passed. Before looking at the principled objections to Mr Johnson’s idea, there are a large number of practical ones. It is easy to make sweeping “something must be done” suggestions. It is much harder to draft workable legislation. Unworkable legislation will…

  • Law

    “Bag men” sue New York Post

    The Boston Globe reports: A Massachusetts teenager and his 24-year-old friend filed a defamation lawsuit against the New York Post Wednesday in Boston, accusing the tabloid of falsely portraying them as suspects in the deadly Marathon bombings by plastering their photograph on the front page under the headline, “Bag Men.” The lawsuit filed in Suffolk Superior Court said the photographs and articles published three days after the bombings made it appear that FBI agents were pursuing Salaheddin Barhoum and Yassine Zaimi, avid runners watching the Marathon. That evening, authorities released photographs of the suspected bombers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. In the complaint, lawyers for Barhoum, a 16-year-old Revere High School…

  • Law,  Media

    Lawsuit possible over New York Post front page

    The father of one of the two young men pictured and described as “bag men” on the front page of Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post after the Boston Marathon bombings, and who had nothing to do with it, is considering suing the newspaper. Good. I hope he does, and puts a serious crimp into Murdoch’s fortune. “A lot of people, they tell me that’s your right to sue them,” says [El Houssein] Barhoum, who says he is working toward a contract with a lawyer. “I will give him my case and he will study it.” The Erik Wemple Blog is already on record as favoring this approach. Should the family…

  • Law,  Stateside

    The best justice money can buy?

    Guest post by Andrew Murphy Looks like the dreams of the anarcho-libertarians are coming true in New Jersey. Because of budget cuts in cash-strapped cities (the state has lost over 4,000 police officers since 2008), citizens are turning to private detectives to solve robberies, murders and rapes. The privatization of the judicial system is now in play. Of course when citizens find out that these detective agencies charge $150 an hour, justice becomes, more than ever, a huge gap between rich citizens and poor citizens. Which is one of the reasons why we all learned in the 19th century, that some things are better off done collectively like law enforcement…

  • Homophobia,  Law

    Bankrupt This Ugly Business

    There is nothing beautiful about the Sapphire Salon and should be driven to bankruptcy. The people who own it should be scratching their heads, driving themselves mad with worry about how they’ll pay the rent as the dust piles up on their salon chairs. Why? Well, the salon refused a booking by a gay couple. They quite literally turned them away, even though they had a pre-paid session booked. This is disgusting behaviour and I think they should be put out of business. Decent people should avoid Sapphire Salon at 182 High Rd, Highams Park, Woodford Green IG8 9E like the plague. Current customers should not go back. Those with appointments should cancel them. Companies offering beauty treatments at…

  • Law,  Terrorism

    Breivik ‘sane’

    The BBC reports: A Norwegian court has found that mass killer Anders Behring Breivik is sane and sentenced him to 21 years in jail. Breivik admitted killing 77 people and wounding more than 240 others when he bombed central Oslo and then opened fire at an island youth camp last year. He insisted he was sane and refused to plead guilty, seeking to justify his attacks by saying they were necessary to stop the “Islamisation” of Norway. Prosecutors had called for him to be considered insane. The five judges were unanimous in ruling that Breivik was sane. He was convicted of terrorism and premeditated murder, and given the maximum sentence…

  • Freedom of Expression,  Law

    Twitter crime: The state should not have the power to punish people for being offensive

    This is a cross-post from Obliged to Offend Several years ago, in a conversation with a fellow student on my university’s online debating forum, I encountered a mentality I have long since grown familiar with. The dialogue had started amiably enough. On the question of whether or not religion was a force for good in the world, I had taken the position that it was not. My opponent posited that it had. Not much of interest so far, you might say. The cordial atmosphere got decidedly chilly, however, as the conversation progressed. Student: “Those blowing themselves up and committing atrocities are using religion as an excuse for what they are…

  • antisemitism,  Law

    Antisemitism: A Primer for Judges

    This is a guest post by amie The Equal Treatment Bench book is a  looseleaf file  which the Preface says is for all judges, in all courts and tribunals, whether new or with considerable experience. It is replete with observations from the anthropological school of multiculturality, designed to refine the sensibilities of the judiciary. Under “Culturally Sensitive Communication” the judge is instructed to take  account of cultural diversity without stereotyping: “Looking down and lowering one’s voice can be a sign of respect, but not every African-Caribbean or Chinese young male will conform to this stereotype.” And to be aware of diversity in body language: A Kurdish/Turkish/Persian/Arab man will kiss the…

  • Labour,  Law

    Could you give a Straw?

    Jack Straw is facing a civil action over the alleged illegal rendition to Libya of Abdel Hakim Belhadj: In an interview with Radio 4 last year, Mr Straw said the Labour government had been opposed to unlawful rendition. “We were opposed to any use of torture or similar methods. Not only did we not agree with it, we were not complicit in it and nor did we turn a blind eye to it.” But Mr Straw added, “No foreign secretary can know all the details of what its intelligence agencies are doing at any one time.” In an interview with the BBC, human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC said: “This…