COVID-19 In Prisons – A Major Public Health Risk

  The coronavirus pandemic presents formidable challenges for prisons worldwide – challenges they will struggle to meet, with potentially grave consequences for the health of prisoners, prison staff, their families, and all of us. This is a fast-moving situation: since the outbreak was declared a pandemic on 12 March, prisoners and prison staff have tested…Continue Reading

Probability and the law

What constitutes a reasonable doubt? The Mail on Sunday and its polemical columnist Peter Hitchens have raised the question again, deploring the recent guidance that encourages judges to frame the issue for juries as ‘are you sure?’ As various commentators have pointed out, this interpretation appeared in the 2010 Crown Court Compendium but has a…Continue Reading

Harry Dunn: UK-US diplomatic relations strained  

On 11th May, an INTERPOL Red Notice was circulated against US citizen Anne Sacoolas, marking the latest development in the ongoing battle by the family of Harry Dunn to have Sacoolas returned to the UK to face prosecution for causing his death by dangerous driving. The case continues to highlight significant concerns over the operation…Continue Reading

Managing your chambers – a choice 

  Much will be written, and many comments made about how different chambers respond to the new norm as we come out of this pandemic. Given the economic backdrop, the choices that individual chambers make will be key. Over the course of the last two decades many barristers’ chambers have adopted a more “managerial “approach…Continue Reading

Family court gridlock and online hearings

Remote hearings have rapidly become ‘the new normal’ in family justice. There are a plethora of remote platforms; an ever-evolving array of judicial guidance and an increasing number of Court of Appeal[1] and High Court[2] decisions for each of us to interpret on any given day. The pandemic has forced the profession to adapt at…Continue Reading

Coronavirus, Chambers and the Bar

My chambers has worked remotely for over eight weeks now. Kings Chambers covers a wide range of civil litigation but not family or criminal law. Our offices are in Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham. Apart from ten furloughed staff, who are all being paid in full, all 160 barristers and employees, including four pupils, are working…Continue Reading

Drama in the courtroom: Defending the rights of children diagnosed with autism

Abstract   Children diagnosed with autism have the right to access evidence-based practices that are necessary for their education and welfare. Oftentimes, parents of these children are not satisfied with the education provided by the State and they challenge education or health authorities in tribunals. Usually, these tribunal hearings revolve around the inclusion/exclusion of the…Continue Reading

Operating companies & Covid-19: Beware of tomorrow’s litigation!

  The news of Covid-19 lawsuits being filed is spreading around the world.  In France, the latest news is that some employees of Amazon have filed a criminal complaint for manslaughter, stating that they are not sufficiently protected against the risk of developing Covid-19.  In the United States, Walmart is the target of the first…Continue Reading

Examining Expert Evidence

This article considers how to deal with expert evidence when the other side discloses it during the course of litigation. The issue is that many advocates, particularly those who are junior (or those like myself are commencing their second sixth), may not challenge the expert sufficiently in order to test his evidence. This might be…Continue Reading

On Interpretation and Judging

I have written extensively about legal issues and indeed questions of interpretation of legal texts. There is a much-cited article of mine in the Irish Bar Review on Historical Interpretation of the Constitution of Ireland. Or at least much cited in Ireland. Over time this knowledge base has deepened, and I believe the key to…Continue Reading

Latest message from Chair of the Bar Council on Covid-19

Dear all, I cannot believe that Easter is over and another week of lockdown has gone by in our ‘new normal’. Last week was busy so I wanted to update you on what the Bar Council has been doing to support the Bar through this crisis: Survey summary:Thank you all for responding to the survey.…Continue Reading

Neurodiverse people at the Bar

 It’s time to recognise neurodiversity at the Bar properly. The BSB publishes an annual summary of diversity data for the Bar and its 2019 report breaks the stats down by gender, ethnicity, disability and “other”. This reveals for example that although the proportion of female pupils (55%) is greater than that for males (46%), female…Continue Reading

Unnatural Selection – Forensic Science on the Endangered List*

With a career in forensic science that stretches back to 1974, it’s inevitable that I sometimes look back to see if there’s anything in the past which might conceivably help to solve the problems of today. I first started doing this in 2009 as we emerged from a particularly difficult period when the industry had…Continue Reading

COVID-19 and the state of exception

  INTRODUCTION The World Health Organization Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on 20 March 2020, revealed reports of more than 210,000 cases of COVID-19 and over 9,000 people deaths caused by COVID-19. Around the world, desperate measures have been adopted to tackle the outbreak of COVID-19, which has been labelled as a ‘once in a century event’. Some…Continue Reading

COVID-19 and Health & Safety: what are the workplace implications and knowing your ‘RPE’s from your ‘FFFP3’s

Introduction Despite WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warning back on 4th March 2020 of a “rapidly depleting” stock of gloves, medical masks, respirators, and hand sanitizer the situation continues to be a cause for real concern when it comes to frontline workers battling COVID-19. Dr Rinesh Parmar, chair of the Doctors’ Association UK, told…Continue Reading

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