Law, Justice and Journalism

Archive for February, 2011|Monthly archive page

Blogging for lawyers

In City University London, Events, Law on February 22, 2011 at 3:49 pm

By Judith Townend

Lawyers and legal researchers may have spotted the ‘#lawblogs’ thread on Twitter in the past week, concerning last Thursday’s event at One Crown Office Row chambers.

The panel featured David Allen Green (Jack of KentNew Statesman), Carl Gardner (Head of Legal) and Adam Wagner (UK Human Rights Blog), and was chaired by Catrin Griffiths, editor of The Lawyer.

Emily Allbon, City law librarian, has written an account on LawBore and I’ve written up some brief thoughts on my site, Meeja Law. Other coverage includes:

Public funding for the representation of next of kin at inquests and open justice

In Journalism, Justice, Law on February 15, 2011 at 5:56 pm

By Sam McIntosh

In the recent case of R (Humberstone) v Legal Services Commission (the Lord Chancellor intervening) ( [2010] All ER (D) 255 (Dec), [2010] EWCA Civ 1479), the Court of Appeal held that the Legal Services Commission (LSC) was wrong to deny a mother public funding for legal representation at the inquest into the death of her son, Dante Kamara, who had died of an asthma attack aged 10 years.

The case is important because legal representation for next of kin at inquests into deaths for which the state may bear some responsibility can be a vital safeguard against them becoming incestuous dialogues amongst members of the establishment, where the next of kin’s (and the public’s) concerns are given short shrift.  For this and other reasons, the effective participation of the next of kin in an inquest has important implications for open justice and democratic accountability.

The judgment clears up a recurring ambiguity in previous case law concerning deaths which engage article 2 (the right to life) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).  The judgment also criticises the presumption made by previous case law, and official guidance, that the next of kin’s right to publicly funded legal representation at article 2 compliant inquests will only arise in exceptional circumstances. Finally, the case demonstrates a rather concerning attitude on the part of the LSC when exercising its discretion: an attitude which may become increasingly entrenched in the current atmosphere of cuts to public funding.

Blog carnival: Murphy v Media Protection Services / FA Premier League v QC Leisure

In City University London, Law on February 4, 2011 at 1:05 pm

The Court of Justice of the European Union has released Advocate General Kokott’s opinion on Murphy v Media Protection Services and FA Premier League v QC Leisure [PDF].

To mark it, the City University London Legal Research blog has published a series of posts discussing the implications of the case (more commonly known in media reports as the pub landlady’s fight against Sky). The European Court of Justice’s judgment is expected later this year.