OldSmoothieAfter a terrible day at court yesterday OldSmoothie had some advice:
‘It’s like snakes and ladders BabyB.  You climb to the top of one ladder only to go hurtling down to the bottom just a few moves later.  Happens to us all.  You may have been a big cheese at university but as the most junior tenant you go back to being pondlife.  Which means that you’ll sometimes get treated as such.  RackItUp might be at the top of the ladder at the moment but give it a couple of years and he’ll be a judge and go hurtling down to the very bottom of the pond and be passed all the cases the others judges never even want to go near.  Just snakes and ladders BabyB.  That’s all it is.’

Small consolation I must say.

May 24, 2016 · Tim Kevan · 4 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

May 23, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Immigration Law developments by Danielle Cohen

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The substance of this post was first published on

In the last year there have been some judgements in Immigration Law, Asylum Law, Practice/Procedure which deserve our attention.

One such case was Mehmood which concerned the application of the doctrine of substantive legitimate expectations in the context of a statutory appeal against the Secretary of State’s refusal to grant the appellant indefinite leave to remain. The appeal has its origins in a decision made on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Home Department in November 2013 to refuse the application of a Pakistani national for indefinite leave to remain in the capacity of a Tier 2 Migrant. The appeal to the First Tier Tribunal was refused and the permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal was confined to a single issue, namely whether the decision is unlawful as frustrating a substantive legitimate expectation generated in a written communication on behalf of the Secretary of State.

Lying at the heart of this appeal is an exchange of electronic communications between the appellant’s solicitors and the UK Border Agency in September 2011. The migrant was assigned COS with an expiry date of 26th April 2014 but his application for further leave to remain has been approved with the expiry date of 27th April 2013. The solicitors queried that, and the response was that the client got an extension for the period of time it needed to take him to the total stay in the UK of five years, where he would be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain. Ie., for the total of five years. However, the application for indefinite leave to remain was refused because the Secretary of State argued the appellant had no leave to remain in the UK between 2nd August 2010 and 7th September 2011, a total of 400 days. Therefore, he has not spent a continuous period of five years lawfully in the United Kingdom and the application for indefinite leave to remain was refused. This was the sole reason for refusing the application.

The appellant’s argument was that the communication of 10th October 2011 by the UKBA raised the appellant’s legitimate expectation that he would later, at the appropriate time, secure indefinite leave to remain. The appellant did not make the case that he is eligible for the grant of indefinite leave to remain under the Immigration Rules. Indeed the unexpressed premise of his case is that he does not satisfy the requirements of the Rules. Rather, he is driven to rely on a principle, or a doctrine of public law, in order to make good his case. This doctrine of legitimate expectation is the response of the Common Law to failure by public authorities to honour promises and assurance made to citizens. Its central tenants are fairness and abuse of power. These two basic ingredients of what the law has come to recognise as a substantive legitimate expectation are satisfied where there is an unambiguous promise or assurance by a public official and to which the affected citizen responded. The current thought on the subject is that in order for there to be a legitimate expectation the promise has to be a specific undertaking directed at a particular individual or group.

In this case the application of this test raises the question of whether the Secretary of State represented or promised, that upon the expiry of the authorised period of leave on 27th April 2013, the appellant would be granted indefinite leave to remain. The Judge considered that the UKBA communication fell short of satisfying this requirement. In other words it just stated the rationale underlying the grant of leave to remain to the appellant. There was no suggestion that this was other than a correct exposition of the Rules and related policy guidance operative when the statement was made.

Crucially the statement said nothing about continuous residence explicitly. In addition the UKBA communication was not made in a vacuum. Rather, the context included the relevant provisions of the Immigration Rules and therefore the Judge considered that the communications could not be construed as conveying that the continuous residence requirements of the Rules would, in the appellant’s particular case, be waived or relaxed. It contained no unambiguous or unqualified promise or assurance to this effect. Therefore the appeal was dismissed.

May 19, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Proposition to Raise Smoking Age To 21, Making Case For Intentionally Delaying Legality

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So, to rehash, you can get married, drive a car, and go to war to fight and die for your country, at the age of 18. What you can’t do is drink yourself silly, and now perhaps take a drag of a cigarette. There is a new proposition on the docket to make it illegal to smoke before the age of 21. How successful will it be and what is the reason behind upping the smoking ante?

What we see with the drinking age is that it does very little to curb teenage drinking. Much like guns, you can have all the laws on the books that you want, but if they aren’t enforced, it will do little to curb behaviors. Those who are pushing for the new laws believe that changing the age may not only affect teenage smokers, but it will create change for an entire generation of older smoking individuals.

Most people who begin smoking, do so in their teens and carry on for many decades until, and only when, they can kick the habit. Making stupid decisions when you are in your teens is nothing new, but smoking may be one that has some real and lasting consequences for the American public.

Statistics found by a family law attorney Dallas, shows that if it is possible to delay first-time smokers until they are past their teenage years, it will significantly impact their attitudes about smoking and whether they want to form the habit to begin with.

Many laws do little to change the behaviors of those who set out to do harm. The thing about smoking is that those who begin, often have no idea about the harms that they are doing. Not thinking about their future is the cornerstone of being in this age group.

So, one puff of a cigarette can’t possibly translate into their thinking as a lifetime of health consequences, monetary downfall, or the monkey on their back that follows them into adulthood and beyond. For them, it is just one puff of a cigarette.

California may be the second of many states to raise their legal smoking age for purchasing cigarettes to 21, up from 18, in hopes that it may stop the addiction that we see in this age group. Not only at stake are the cigarettes but the electronic ones as well.

Most teenagers think that E-cigs are nothing more than a fashion statement. Often left out of the campaign against tobacco, lawmakers are finally adding them to the naughty list. Just as unhealthy and addictive in nature, it is about time that someone included them.

In addition to the proposed hike in age, are restrictions on where cigarettes and e-cigs can be used. No longer can they be pulled out while you are trying to enjoy a good meal at a restaurant, e-cigs are now the target of regulation just as they should be. Also, there will be a hefty tax added to tobacco products in an attempt to dissuade many from partaking in them.

If the proposition passes, as many believe that it will, there will be an increase in cigarette taxes by $2 per pack. An enormous slug to the wallet of many, the only thing standing in the bill’s way is the signature of Gov. Gerry Brown, who has been on record as being for the new proposed changes.

Studies have shown that nicotine is not only a carcinogenic, but it can alter the cognition of young people when smoking. With statistics reported by the Institute of Medicine, that as many as 90 percent of all smokers begin before the age of 26, stopping kids access early on may be the biggest way to tackle the problem of smoking throughout their lifetime.

There are estimates that as many as 223,000 deaths can be prevented from moving the age from 18 to 21. That not only impacts our public health system significantly, but it also targets a real dilemma for our future generation.

Singing the praises for the new proposed changes are not only public health officials, but also reformed smokers who wish that someone had limited their access and saved them from years of monetary loss and health degradation.

Of course, there are those who believe that the new laws would infringe on the rights of 18 to 21-year-olds, but sometimes you have to save people from themselves, don’t you?

May 17, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Objectifying life

OldFatherTimeSometimes legal practise seems like a never-ending round of technical points. Nit-picking at the margins to bring a little more injustice to the world. It’s no wonder some lawyers get depressed.  It’s as if they live in the shadow of the real world.  Looking at it through their own peculiar prism and seeing only a watered down reflection of reality.  Breaking it down into neat and tidy little issues.  Objectifying life.  Sucking the poetry from our souls and leaving a world in which everything is boiled down to some cynical legal platitude.  Where even real life heroes are made ordinary.  A world in which they are the masters.  A world where they know everything and yet, nothing at all.

Today I’m done with it and I’m dropping the wig and going off on holiday for a few days.

May 17, 2016 · Tim Kevan · 4 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

May 16, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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How to: move into a different field of law

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Studying the world of law isn’t easy, not least because it contains an almost infinite number of angles. So broad is the church of law that people choose a discipline and stick to it, and will flail hopelessly if pushed into another sector.

It’s a fact that telly shows like Ally McBeal and Judge John Deed conveniently avoid in a bid to give their characters a radically different case each week. You keep viewers interested by ignoring the inconvenient truth that a law professional will largely be covering near-identical cases from day-to-day.

None of this means, however, that a lawyer or barrister can’t move into a different field – but the process takes time and, in many instances, a vastly different pool of knowledge.

Building from foundations 

Despite the differing disciplines of, say, financial law and divorce law, each builds on a solid foundation that can provide you with a stable jumping-off point.

This means that, although you won’t be experienced in the field you’re aiming for, you can take a few shortcuts along the path towards knowledge.

One of the easiest ways to achieve this is to try distance learning courses, many of which cater specifically to the world of law.

Benefits of distance learning

Anglia Distance Learning, a sister institution to Anglia Ruskin University provides a number of qualifications in the field of law, including:

  • Law and Human Psychology
  • Criminology and Law
  • Business and Law

And plenty more. But the real advantage of these courses doesn’t just lie in the knowledge you’ll accrue. It lies in the inherent flexibility of distance learning.

Unlike your uni days, you won’t have to attend endless classes and dominate your day with learning. Instead, you’ll be able to pack in your studies in between your day job. You can log onto courses via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), which will provide you with all the course texts and teaching materials you need.

The end result to all this studying will be a breadth of knowledge and a fully-accredited, bona fide qualification in law.

May 13, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Went off to court today and was against a very stuffy opponent who was immaculate in every way.  Even though I wasn’t out of the ordinary he made me feel like the scruffiest tramp ever to grave a courtroom.  Anyway it was open court and we were all decked out in our wigs and gowns.  As we waltzed into court, for just a second the flowing robes felt almost like a suit of armour all set for gladiatorial combat.  Such a shame then that by the end of the hearing even what little dignity with which I had started was in tatters.  You see, there I was.  Sitting opposite my opponent.  Looking all serious and intent when all of a sudden I got a terrible urge to sneeze.  Well, as you can imagine.  I suppressed it immediately.  Except it didn’t go away.  It was one of those sneaky little sneezes which slips around everything you throw at it and comes back even stronger for the next round.  At one point I gave in to it and held my head back about to sneeze as the whole courtroom looked at me and then as if it was just being mischievous it went away without actually happened.  But, you guessed it.  It hadn’t actually gone away.  It’d just side-stepped for a minute and was back in action and hit me without any warning with an almighty thunder.  Boy, I think it was so loud that they could hear it in the other courtrooms.  In itself though, that would probably have been okay.  I could just about have lived with that by burying my head in my notebook and imagining I wasn’t there.  The problem with this particular sneeze was that it had taken me unawares whilst wearing a wig.  The significance of this was that as my head was levered backwards I didn’t have time even to consider that in fact when it was triggered forward it would literally be bombs away.  You guessed it.  As I play it back in my mind, it is all in slow motion but at the time it happened in an instant.  Yes, my wig was displaced from my head and sent flying not onto the floor in front of me or anywhere so convenient.  It went flying through the air only to land on the judge’s desk, knocking over her jar of ink and her water glass and sending it all everywhere.  But just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, after having wiped off most of the water and ink, the judge then peered down at me and asked,
‘Mr BabyBarista.  Do you have an application which you would like to make.’

You what?  An application?  It was like having to go round to the next door neighbour’s and ask for your football back.
‘Er, yes, Your Honour.  Can I have my wig back.’
‘What’s the magic word, Mr BabyBarista?’
‘Please, Your Honour.  May I have my wig back.’
‘You may.’

Even at that stage I got no assistance from either the judge himself or her usher.  Instead, all concerned sat and watched as I had to make the long walk of shame up to the bench and slowly gather up my bit of horse hair.

So anyway.  On balance.  Wigs?  I still say get rid of them.

May 10, 2016 · Tim Kevan · One Comment
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Reasons to Have a Civil Marriage Ceremony in Montreal, Canada

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One of the most exciting times in a person’s life is getting engaged. Finding someone that you want to spend the rest of your life with is both great and a bit overwhelming when it comes time to plan the ceremony, There are so many different things that a person will need to think about when planning a wedding. In some cases, a mariage civil Montreal will be the best bet for a couple for a variety of reasons. The following are some of the reasons why a couple may want to have a civil ceremony rather than something more traditional.

Neither Person is Religiously Affiliated

One of the main reasons why a couple will want to have a civil marriage is due to the fact that they do not have a religion they follow. If neither of the people involved in the marriage is religious, then they will need to Contactez-nous pour disponibilité to get some help with their civil union. By getting this type of assistance, a person will be able to get the results they are after without having to do a lot of work in the process.

Different Religions

Another reason why a couple may have a civil marriage ceremony is due to the fact that they are from different religious backgrounds. In some instances, a couple will want to avoid a religious ceremony due to the religious differences, which is why they opt for something a bit simpler. There are times when the couple will incorporate some things from their religion into this ceremony in order to make a bit more personalized. Taking the time to talk with your partner is the only way to ensure that the right wedding is planned and executed.

For More Creativity

In some cases, the reasons for a civil ceremony will be based on the couple’s need to be more creative rather than religious with their nuptials. Having this type of ceremony can allow a couple to get their creative juices flowing and to have the wedding of a lifetime. Usually, the more creative a ceremony is, the more time it will take the couple to plan it. The energy that is invested in getting this type of wedding planned will pay off in the end. It can be of assistance to get some professional help with this type of ceremony due to the complexity that is involved.

May 9, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Advice on Dealing with Ticketed Offenses in Canada

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There are so many dangers that are on the roadways that people drive on everyday. As a result, many residents find themselves with tickets, wondering what their next move should be. While the optimum plan is to follow all laws and rules of the road, the fact is that this does not always happen, which is why you should know what to do when you are facing a ticket or other type of violation. Whether driving without a drivers licence or speeding, there are a variety of things you will need to consider.

The Point Assessment Process

In addition to facing a fine for a speeding ticket, you will also receive a certain number of points against your license. Even in instances where you are convicted of a vehicle related violation in some other state, points can still be accessed against your drivers license. The instances that this applies to include:

  • Drug or alcohol related offenses.
  • Leaving an accident scene that resulted in an injury.
  • Manslaughter or homicide that involves a vehicle.
  • The use of a vehicle during a felony crime.

Why Hire an Attorney?

When you are facing a speeding ticket, or some other type of vehicle violation, you may think you should simply pay the fine and get on with your life. However, when you pay the fine this is an admission of guilt, which means that you will face the penalties that are allowed within the law.

The first thing to understand is that the police officers who will pull you over are well-trained and they will usually appear if you decide to take your ticket to court. While they are reasonable and fair, they can also be reluctant to offer any type of reduction in your ticket. A common complaint from most traffic attorneys is the fact that it is challenging to predict what will happen when a case goes to court regarding a speeding violation.

The fact is that if you are able to afford the service of an attorney for your traffic case, this is something you may wish seriously to consider. This may help you with making the best from your particular case. By hiring the attorney, you will be able to get the professional guidance that you need to do this.

May 9, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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