I could weave this into a coherent whole, but that is not my inclination.
Twitter users breaching injunctions could be the subject of contempt actions by the Attorney General. But in spite of Dominic Grieve’s ceremonial flexing of hypothetical muscle my money is on this rarely used power remaining so. Certainly I am aware of some shocking breaches of court orders in relation to publication of quite inappropriate material arising from family proceedings and the Attorney General has not there been inclined to act there, although the same erosion of the rule of law is in issue. I can quite understand why Grieve appears to find the prospect of exercising his powers to act in such cases as unpalatable a proposition as is evidenced in his remarks quoted by the Guardian.
Inforrm Blog has an interesting piece by Judith Townend today: Superinjunction Spring: publicity issues in the Court of Protection, which covers also the family courts (quoting moi).
Meanwhile other news stories congregate to cast gloom on us as the juggernaut of legal aid reform bears down on us (the Legal Aid Bill is widely anticipated this week):
- Asil Nadir securing legal aid is a gift for those who would like to justify the proposed decimation of it (thank goodness Sound off for Justice got in a rebuttal / counter PR before it got off the ground)
- Ken Clarke has been smacked in the face with a wet flip flop as Cameron has ditched his cost saving prisoner sentencing reforms. I heard some government bod on World at One today confirming that the MoJ settlement remains unchanged, and so this of course means that the cuts which cannot now be made through this mechanism must be made from somewhere else in the MoJ budget. Gulp. No prizes for guessing where from (Can’t afford prizes).
Eminent journalist Christopher Booker has been at it again in his latest triumph: How our judges deny human rights to children taken into care. It is an excellent piece of prose, so…evocative. For me the most heinous failing of social services was highlighted by Booker’s (not at all gratuitous) mention of the fact that the child in question had reported being hit by “her African foster-carer (the girl is white)“. If ever a factual nugget clinched the profound wrongness of social services about everything it is this (the use of stereotyping and subliminal cultural prejudice to persuade the reader is such an economical way of writing). If the facts are correctly and completely reported by Booker we should expect a fully public judgment from the Court of Appeal in short order outlining the heinous failings of social services, and rebuking both them and the court of first instance for allowing this to take place and returning the child home.
Richard Moorhead writes a compelling piece about the need to quality assure advocacy standards in criminal courts (a topic which I know is “hot” but which I have not kept up to speed with): No Evidence of Advocacy Failings?