Round Up

A few oddments observed over the last week or so:

Courtesy of Quinn.anya on flickr

Courtesy of Quinn.anya on flickr

Lord Justice Goldring has raised concerns about the impact of the proposed court closure programme on family justice. A number of magistrates courts which incorporate FPCs are likely to be affected. If family proceedings were consolidated into the County Court before DJs this would present less of a problem.

As previously reported the Lord Chief Justice has used his testimony to the Justice Committee to call for reform of the family justice system. As pointed out by a previous commenter it is unclear whether or not this report represents the entirety of the evidence given by the LCJ to the Commons, and no transcript appears to yet be available on the Committee’s website.

Also busy giving interviews is Justice Minister Ken Clarke (thanks Nearly Legal), probably no longer on iPlayer but still available on podcast as noted in the comments.

But by a mile the most entertaining of all is the pummelling that Anthony Douglas and David Bell of CAFCASS received recently from the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee – it is the no holds barred questioning that was particularly a joy to read. I sometimes long to let rip when questioning a particularly tiresome witness, but there are lines beyond which Counsel cannot go in cross exam without being accused of badgering. No such line appears to apply to the Commons – no pussy footing around here: straight for the jugular in the style of PMQs. Sadly I have not had time to read right to the bottom, but when I left the conversation the witnesses were sounding increasingly badgered and could scarcely get a word in edgeways.

Blawg Review has a new (newly discovered anyway) sibling in the form of ukblawgroundup, latest edition here. Incidentally, I will be hosting blawg review on 15 Nov – suggestions and submissions please to the usual email addy.

Two mini-storms via twitter: Stephen Fry has got himself in a spot of bother wiv sum wimmin for being uncharacteristically obnoxious, and much has been made of it: a sample here. And never shy blogging lawyer David Allen Green has invited the ire of blogging Tory MP Nadine Dorries in a post on the New Statesman blog. Although 70% of what he writes may or may not be true he raises some serious concerns about standards in political life which not all the agitated commenters appear to take on board.

One case that caught my eye this morning was this report on the UK Human Rights Blog of a case where a Local Authority sought to withdraw night time care services for an elderly lady who needed assistance reaching her commode in the night. Leaving aside the law (the court refused to intervene in the LAs decision) I struggle with this. I guess dignity is too expensive for us these days. Do we think its ok to require an elderly – but importantly not incontinent – lady to have to lie in her own pee at night? I don’t. I think that is an unacceptable humiliation for someone who is no doubt struggling to retain her independence.

And although it is I suppose a good sign that the searches leading people to the blog are becoming less frequently wacky or inexplicable, I do enjoy such gems as “how to do scary stuff with paper” and “is it ok to have a pink cake at a bonfire” and “shes with diamonds” and “why do weebles wobble but they don’t fall down”. Sadly, I’m neither qualified nor indemnified to answer none of these queries.

I think that concludes the myriad of things I have seen this week but failed to have time to blog about individually. Hope that keeps you busy for a little while.

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