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In My Opinion

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What’s Wrong with the Human Rights Act 1998?

Both the Law Society and the Bar Council have put their weight behind the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA). Opinion in the profession has also largely been in favour of the Act. At the end of 2012, 96% of those that responded to a poll called for the Act’s retention. Against this background, it is perplexing to learn that there are discussions about repealing the Act. The effects of this move would have constitutional significance and so it is important for all who operate within the HRA framework, including the legal profession, to keep in mind the benefits and history of the Act.  

Since the Act entered into force, the HRA has allowed individuals to enforce directly their rights in all courts and it requires public bodies to respect those rights. The HRA also contains a set of common standards which binds the devolved jurisdictions of the UK together within the Union. 

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A Clerk’s View of the Bar Today

On 12 June 2014 the Institute of Barristers’ Clerks held its annual dinner. Guests included two Justices of The Supreme Court, The Rt Hon Lord Reed, The Rt Hon Lord Toulson, the Chancellor of the High Court, The Rt Hon Lord Justice Etherton, the Lord Chancellor, The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, The Rt Hon the Lord Judge and other senior judges from the High Court and circuits.  

In his speech as Chairman of the IBC, Brian Lee gave his opinion on the many issues affecting the Bar today. Here is an edited version of that speech... 

24 July 2014 / Brian Lee / Brian Lee
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In the Thicket

On 28 October 2013 a trial began in Court 12 of the Central Criminal Court concerning the conduct of certain members of the British press. Two days later, the Privy Council approved a royal charter on press regulation.  

05 February 2014 / Philip Coppel QC
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Law and Morality: the eternal debate

Last autumn two senior judges gave speeches concerning the relationship between law and morality, thus reigniting the embers of a debate which has flared up repeatedly over the last two centuries.  

04 February 2014 / Paul Magrath
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Chair’s Column

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Justice for all; a mighty cause

In the battle of ideas and values which the maintenance of the rule of law involves, lawyers remain in the frontline

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