Book recommendation: Politics of the Judiciary by J. A. G. Griffith

This classic account of how the judiciary cannot act neutrally, but must act politically, now in its fifth edition. John Griffith’s controversial book has been fully revised and updated to consider the latest developments in relations between politicians and the judiciary: Michael Howard’s conflict with the judges, miscarriages of justice, the Criminal Justice Act, the increased use of Judicial Review, the effects of anti-trade union legislation of the 1980s, and so on.

Available from Amazon.

July 23, 2014 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Pupil pretensions

“You gotta love it,” said TheBusker. “Pupils and their little airs and graces. It’s almost as if the less important the barrister the more pompous they can be.”

“That’s certainly the case for OldSmoothie,” said BusyBody.

“So what have they been up to today?” asked TheVamp.

“I overheard one chastising another for not tying the pink ribbon around his brief in the correct way,” said TheBusker.

“I didn’t even know there was a correct way,” said TheCreep looking a little concerned that he might have missed such an important detail.

“Ah, you under-estimate the creativity which exists in the world of pupil paranoia,” said TheVamp.

“Anyway, the pupil was pretty much telling her friend that if she didn’t tie her briefs up properly she’d end up playing for Accrington Stanley,” said The Busker.

“I can think of a few chambers that match that description,” said BusyBody.

“All in a manner which suggested that she was passing on some huge state secret,” said TheBusker.

“I particularly like the start of April when the pupils are finally set free on their unsuspecting clients,” said TheVamp. “Finally they have their own cases tied in its own pink ribbon and you spot them ostentatiously tying up their papers on the tube.”

“And leaving the ribbon hanging out of their pockets when they go down the pub,” said BusyBody.

“As if this somehow screams ‘Look at me, I’m a barrister, don’t you know. A real0life, living, breathing barrister,’” said TheVamp.

“When no-one other than fellow barristers would even realise what it was,” added BusyBody.

“It’s funny. They walk around for that first month deluding themselves that they’re like some kind of legal rock star,” said TheVamp.

“Until they start to realise that the small car cases they’re doing in the likes of Slough and Harlow are never going to be practice for prosecuting war criminals in The Hague,” said OldSmoothie, “but are only ever going to lead to slightly bigger car cases in the same courts.”

“Oh, I think that might be to overstate your own career trajectory, wouldn’t you say?” said UpTights.

BabyBarista is a fictional account of a junior barrister practising at the English Bar, written by barrister and writer Tim Kevan. For more information and to read posts from the last few years visit babybarista.com. Cartoons by Alex Williams, author of 101 Ways to Leave the Law.

July 22, 2014 · Tim Kevan · No Comments
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Monday morning with Alex Williams’ cartoons

qccartoon
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.

July 21, 2014 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Weekend video: First Four Minute Mile – HQ (Roger Bannister:1954)

July 19, 2014 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Book recommendation: Politics of the Judiciary by J. A. G. Griffith

This classic account of how the judiciary cannot act neutrally, but must act politically, now in its fifth edition. John Griffith’s controversial book has been fully revised and updated to consider the latest developments in relations between politicians and the judiciary: Michael Howard’s conflict with the judges, miscarriages of justice, the Criminal Justice Act, the increased use of Judicial Review, the effects of anti-trade union legislation of the 1980s, and so on.

Available from Amazon.

July 16, 2014 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
Posted in: Uncategorized

Sponsorship in court

“With all the cuts being made, I think barristers should be allowed to be sponsored just like any other performer,” said OldSmoothie today.

“What, with you as the face for your local kebab shop?” said UpTights.

“And you as the face of your plastic surgeon. Literally.” He then continued, “I just think it’s a complete waste having these plain black gowns and not being able to put any logos on them.”

“Why stop there?” said TheVamp. “It could be The General Council of the Bar as sponsored by some fizzy drinks company or other.”

“And judges could add the sponsors name to the end of their titles,” said TheBusker. “Lord Bloggs of whatever bank or building society it might be.”

“You can’t possibly have commercial interests diluting the independence of the Bar in that way,” said HeadofChambers.

“And how is it different to the five non-executive directorships you hold on the boards of companies owned by various of your school chums?”

“Er, well, er…”‘ He was struggling for an answer and then a light seemed to come on and he said, “It’s very different, actually. No-one ever knows about the directorships. It’s all about justice being seen to be done even if it’s not always in fact done.”

“Don’t you just love it when witnesses use the word actually,” smiled TheBusker.

“Immediately you figure they’re either lying or at the very least being disingenuous in the extreme.”

“Er, quite,” said TheBusker.

BabyBarista is a fictional account of a junior barrister practising at the English Bar, written by barrister and writer Tim Kevan. For more information and to read posts from the last few years visit babybarista.com. Cartoons by Alex Williams, author of 101 Ways to Leave the Law.

July 15, 2014 · Tim Kevan · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Uncategorized

Monday morning with Alex Williams’ cartoons

qccartoon
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.

July 14, 2014 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Weekend video: Elizabeth Gilbert: Success, failure and the drive to keep creating

July 12, 2014 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Book recommendation: The Cuckoo’s Calling (Cormoran Strike) by Robert Galbraith

When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case. Strike is a war veteran – wounded both physically and psychologically – and his life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model’s complex world, the darker things get – and the closer he gets to terrible danger . . . A gripping, elegant mystery steeped in the atmosphere of London – from the hushed streets of Mayfair to the backstreet pubs of the East End to the bustle of Soho – The Cuckoo’s Calling is a remarkable book. Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is the acclaimed first crime novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

Available from Amazon.

July 9, 2014 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Hearing voices

“My opponent’s voice completely changed when he went into court today,” said TheVamp. “One minute, he was negotiating all down to earth and normal and then suddenly…”

“His voice flew to the back of his throat?” said TheBusker.

“Yes. As if on entering the court he suddenly felt the need to sound posh.”
“I’ve had that quite a few times,” said TheBusker. “It’s as if they’ve watched too many ancient courtroom movie scenes and think that’s how a barrister should speak.”

“Straight from Uxbridge to Oxbridge,” said OldSmoothie.

“He was definitely that type,” said TheVamp, ignoring the last comment. “Every few words of his cross-examination seemed to involve an ‘I put it to you’.”

“Ouch,” said TheBusker.

“Along with mentioning ‘the great common law of England and Wales’ and worst of all ‘passed by our sovereign mother of all parliaments’ in the context of the Road Traffic Act.”

“Sounds like a solicitor-advocate to me,” said OldSmoothie.

“You’re hardly one to start casting aspersions about airs and graces,” said BusyBody. “The king of long-winded pomposity himself.”

“Well, I did wonder whether he was terribly experienced,” said TheVamp. “Although the truth came out when he admitted that he was currently doing his fourth third six.”

“Wouldn’t that mean it was his sixth six?” said TheCreep.

“Exactly.”

“I have to say that I’d take the ones that turn posh to the old advocates whose voice just turn impatient and bitter,” said BusyBody.

“Or those whose voices go so high with nerves that they can’t quite get a sentence out without it sounding like a question,” said HeadofChambers.
“Or the whiny young barristers who take everything their opponent says personally,” said UpTights.

OldSmoothie’s jaw dropped at the lack of insight from the original courtroom screech but even he refrained from pointing out such a clanger.

“I once had an opponent who deliberately used to whisper her submissions,” said OldRuin. “It always proved extremely effective in getting the judge to wake up and take a note of the points being made.”

“I think my favourite is when a judge puts on his headmaster’s voice,” said TheVamp. “You can generally tell when that happens that all he wants above anything else in the whole world is just to get home and do something less boring instead. At that moment you know that he’ll do everything in his power to make the parties settle.”

“And give you all the rest of the day off,” said TheBusker.

“Exactly.”

BabyBarista is a fictional account of a junior barrister practising at the English Bar, written by barrister and writer Tim Kevan. For more information and to read posts from the last few years visit babybarista.com. Cartoons by Alex Williams, author of 101 Ways to Leave the Law.

July 8, 2014 · Tim Kevan · No Comments
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