Weekend video: Magna Carta’s Legal Legacy: Conversation with Chief Justice Roberts & Lord Judge

July 4, 2015 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Book recommendation: Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? by Michael Sandel

Is killing sometimes morally required? Is the free market fair? It is sometimes wrong to tell the truth? What is justice, and what does it mean? These and other questions are at the heart of Michael Sandel’s Justice. Considering the role of justice in our society and our lives, he reveals how an understanding of philosophy can help to make sense of politics, religion, morality – and our own convictions. Breaking down hotly contested issues, from abortion, euthanasia and same-sex marriage, to patriotism, dissent and affirmative action, Sandel shows how the biggest questions in our civiv life can be broken down and illuminated through reasoned debate. Justice promises to take readers – of all ages and political persuasions – on an exhilarating journey to confront controversies in a fresh and enlightening way.

Available from Amazon.

July 1, 2015 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Old school settlements

FanciesHimself the junior clerk was negotiating a fee for one of OldRuin’s cases today with a long-time solicitor friend of OldRuin. Apparently he was looking for an increase in the fee and the answer came back: “I’ll up the offer from pounds to guineas. I’m in favour of guineas and I think OldRuin should be too.”
Now this obviously caused a great deal of confusion for FanciesHimself but after he consulted OldRuin he discovered that the solicitor was right. OldRuin did indeed like guineas (and any other offer in old school currency it seemed). He was also utterly charmed by the approach as was clear from the tone in which he told the story at chambers tea today. “I wonder  whether I should have made a counter-offer in groats, just to make him smile,” he said.
“Shame it wasn’t in gold sovereigns,” said HeadofChambers.
Then TheBusker said: “Maybe we should all start being a little more imaginative in our settlements. Captain Cook used red feathers as currency in Tahiti and then there were beaver skins in the States…” he paused and then added, “Though I suppose they wouldn’t have been as convenient in your back pocket as the feathers.”

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June 30, 2015 · Tim Kevan · 3 Comments
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Monday morning with Alex Williams’ cartoons

This cartoon is by Alex Williams who draws the Queen’s Counsel cartoons for The Times and in numerous books including The Queen’s Counsel Lawyer’s Omnibus. He offers almost all of his cartoons for sale at £120 for originals and £40 for copies and they can be obtained from this email info@qccartoon.com.

June 29, 2015 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Weekend video: Lord Pannick QC explains the relationship between equality and the rule of law

June 27, 2015 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Book recommendation: Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

Go Set a Watchman is set during the mid-1950s and features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Scout (Jean Louise Finch) has returned to Maycomb from New York to visit her father Atticus. She is forced to grapple with issues both personal and political as she tries to understand both her father’s attitude toward society, and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood.

Available from Amazon.

June 24, 2015 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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The People’s Barrister

OldSmoothie’s trying every way possible to get the Tories to make him one of their new peers and somehow he thought his attempt at a publicity stunt today would help. You see, he feels that despite his inherent brilliance as an advocate and his incredibly successful career (not), he still doesn’t get the attention he deserves (actually, he does). But not to be bowed by the put-downs of the rest of chambers today he bounced (flounced) into chambers like some manic child who’d eaten too many brightly coloured sweets full of strange chemicals.
“I’m going to become the people’s barrister,” he declared with a grand wave of his hand as he entered the clerks room.
HeadClerk raised his eyebrows and commented in a stage whisper: “Ouch. They must be trying him on a new combination of drugs.”
Then when OldSmoothie looked at him impatiently he enquired politely: “And how are you going to do that OldSmoothie?”
Still almost breathless with excitement he said: “My new robes, that’s how. Want to see?”

Then, without waiting for an answer he scuttled into the conference room next door. By this time, he had somewhat of an audience including several clients who had arrived to meet their barristers. After about a minute he re-appeared in a white gown emblazoned with the red cross of St George and then on top he had his little horse hair wig which he’d also painted with the same insignia.
“More Lord Sutch than Lord Smoothie wouldn’t you say,” said BusyBody who had been watching his performance.
“Oh, you can mock now but I think you’ll change your tune when you see how patriotic a jury can be during a World Cup.”
To which HeadClerk replied almost apologetically: “Er, OldSmoothie, may I introduce you to your client today?”
OldSmoothie turned around and moved towards the man next to HeadClerk with his hand extended in greeting and a big smug cheesey grin.
“OldSmoothie, this is Heinrich. He’s from Germany.”

June 23, 2015 · Tim Kevan · 3 Comments
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Weekend video: The Importance of Law – Helena Kennedy

June 20, 2015 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Book recommendation: A Certain Justice (Inspector Adam Dalgliesh Book 10) by P.D. James

From P.D. James, one of the masters of British crime fiction comes the tenth novel to feature commander Adam Dalgliesh. A Certain Justice is a chilling murder mystery packed with forensic detail, set in the treacherous legal world of London. Venetia Aldridge QC is a distinguished barrister. When she agrees to defend Garry Ashe, accused of the brutal murder of his aunt, it is one more opportunity to triumph in her distinguished career as a criminal lawyer. But just four weeks later, Miss Aldridge is found dead at her desk. Commander Adam Dalgliesh, called in to investigate, finds motives for murder among the clients Venetia has defended, her professional colleagues, her family – even her lover. As Dalgliesh narrows the field of suspects, a second brutal murder draws them into greater complexities of intrigue and evil. P.D. James, the bestselling author of Death Comes to Pemberley, Children of Men and Death In Holy Orders, once again explores the mysterious and intense emotions responsible for the unique crime of murder, with authority and sensitivity. A Certain Justice is set in the legal world of London and possesses all of the qualities which distinguish P.D. James as a novelist.

Available from Amazon.

June 17, 2015 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Small is beautiful

“You will often find that the size of the bundle of papers is actually disproportionate to the size of the case itself,” said TheCreep as he patronised a couple of the pupils who were listening politely.
“Shame that’s not true in other areas, my love,” said TheVamp as she passed by and tapped him on the head Benny Hill-style just to underline his shortened stature.
“What on earth are you talking about?” asked TheCreep in a voice which was pompous even for him.
“Oh, MrCreepyWeepy, you’re so touchy these days. Not getting enough attention in the lurve department are we?”
“I can always count on you to lower the tone. Even when I’m teaching them a very valuable lesson.”
“And what exactly was that lesson then CreepsyWeepsy? That ‘small is beautiful’, by any chance?”

June 16, 2015 · Tim Kevan · One Comment
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