In My Opinion


Snooping bosses

Media speculation that employers can no longer monitor their employees’ communications is misleading and unhelpful, writes Siân McKinley 

27 November 2017 / Siân McKinley

Flexible Operating Hours: all hope abandon

HMCTS has announced it is pausing the flexible operating hours pilots. Morwenna Macro, who petitioned against the plans, asks whether the controversial scheme should be abandoned altogether 

02 November 2017 / Morwenna Macro
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Legal heroes: Vincent Bugliosi

Kevin Dent admires the determination & commitment of the US attorney 

19 December 2016
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Video stars

Why is it that in the year 2016, video still seems like an exotic marketing tool for chambers to use? Oliver Scott argues that it’s a natural medium for barristers 

31 October 2016 / Oliver Scott
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What vacation?

As the Legal Year opens after its long vacation, Ian Glen QC examines the holidaying realities for most practitioners  

On 31 July I appeared in front of a proper High Court Judge.  

26 October 2015 / Ian Glen KC
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Tip of the iceberg: is the family court ready for a surge in activity for FGM?

Neelam Sarkaria and Gerry Campbell argue that local authorities should be more proactive in bringing applications for FGM Protection Orders to combat the “great evil” of FGM  

“Given what we now know is the distressingly great prevalence of FGM in this country even today, some 30 years after FGM was first criminalised, it is sobering to reflect that this is not merely the first care case where FGM has featured but also, I suspect, if not the first one of only a handful of FGM cases that have yet found their way to the family courts…” (Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division 2015) 

04 August 2015 / Neelam Sarkaria / Gerry Campbell

Pistorius – the absence of justice

The world has watched over the past several months as Oscar Pistorius has been tried for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp. Sean Middleton reports.  

Debates have ranged far and wide over Oscar’s innocence or guilt, and whether he should be found guilty of murder or culpable homicide. With the verdict now in hand we all know that it is one of culpable homicide (manslaughter). Much criticism has been levelled against both Counsel and the Bench over the course of the proceedings and there seem to be more critics than legal experts. 

24 November 2014 / Sean Middleton
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A rainbow’s light on our jury system

What if Pistorius had been tried in London? - asks Ian Glen QC.  

Bail would have been out of the question. Without bail there would be no photo opportunities before the Court sat and no family embraces. The case would come on for trial at the Old Bailey within about nine months of the offence and the trial would take about three weeks. The trial could not be televised. Sentencing would normally take twenty minutes immediately after the verdict with the jury remaining to watch. Murder by shooting is punished by a mandatory life sentence with 30 years to serve before consideration of parole. Simple. 

24 November 2014 / Ian Glen KC

The Jury Trial – An Endangered Species in the United States

For the past twenty-five years, I have made my living as a trial lawyer, plying my trade in courtrooms throughout Texas (and elsewhere), defending individuals and businesses in civil litigation. But the trials have become fewer and farther between in recent years; in Dallas, where I am based, only 1,195 district court jury trials were held in 2011—just one-third the number that occurred in 1996. And it’s not because people have become less litigious, either. During the same time period, the number of lawsuits filed rose 25%. Throughout Texas, from 1986 to 2008, civil jury trials in state courts fell by 60%. For the fiscal year 2012 alone, only 0.4% of civil cases were resolved by a jury or directed verdict in Texas courts.  

This is not a problem unique to Texas, but instead is a national phenomenon. Most states report similarly precipitous declines in jury trials, and in 2010, only 2,156 civil jury trials were commenced in federal district courts—meaning that, on average, U.S. district court judges tried fewer than four civil jury trials each that year. 

24 July 2014 / John G Browning
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Chair’s Column

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Justice at the polls

The Chair of the Bar launches a Manifesto for Justice as campaigning gets under way

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