Archive for August 21st, 2009

Bar Council Statement in Response to Ministry of Justice Consultation on Legal Aid Funding Reforms
(20 August 2009)
Desmond Browne QC, Chairman of the Bar Council, commenting on the publication today of the Ministry of Justice consultation ‘Legal Aid: Funding Reforms’ said:

‘It is a total misuse of language for Lord Bach to talk about “efficiency savings”. These are cuts in spending, pure and simple, to what is an integral part of the welfare state. It is horrifying that the Ministry can even contemplate such measures during the 60th anniversary of the Legal Aid Act. Cuts on this scale will not merely drive down quality, they will force practitioners out of legal aid work. The Minister knows this has already happened with family legal aid work, as the Bar recently demonstrated with a report from King’s College, London.


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Man convicted of Jersey child abuse

Independent: A former carer at a Jersey children’s home was found guilty yesterday of indecently assaulting teenagers while he worked there in the 1970s.

Gordon Wateridge, nicknamed “the Perv” by his victims, carried out a string of assaults against teenage girls at the Haut de la Garenne home. The 78-year-old was found guilty of eight charges of indecent assault and one charge of assault following a trial at Jersey Royal Court.

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ASBO for buskers who only knew two songs

Independent: A busking duo who tormented a Birmingham village by continuously playing just two songs have been given an ASBO banning them from performing in the area.

Guitarist James Ryan and dustbin lid-player Andrew Stevens would regularly perform late night renditions of the only songs they knew – Wonderwall by Oasis and George Michael’s Faith – in Moseley village, Birmingham.

However, the plug has been pulled on their impromptu gigs after frustrated locals said the performances turned Moseley into a ‘nightmare of loud noise and fighting’….

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Schoolgirl victim of racist bullying says tormentor’s sentence is ‘pants’

Telegraph: The victim, a 14-year-old mixed race girl, was repeatedly insulted with racist terms for six months by a 15-year-old, BNP supporting fellow pupil.

Last month the boy became the first school child to be convicted of racially aggravated harassment of a fellow pupil following a trial at Lincoln Youth Court…..

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Prince Charles’s architecture foundation could face investigation

Guardian: Prince Charles‘s architecture charity could be investigated over allegations he has used it “as a private lobbying firm”, it emerged today.

The Charity Commission is considering whether to launch an inquiry into the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment over whether the prince has an undue influence on its direction, in breach of charity rules…..

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Loophole may help Danny Fitzsimons to escape the death penalty

Times: The lawyers representing Danny Fitzsimons, the British security guard accused of killing two of his colleagues in Baghdad, have discovered a legal loophole allowing him to stand trial in Britain rather than Iraq, where he faces the death penalty.

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Barack Obama attacks decision to free Lockerbie bomber

Guardian: Barack Obama last night denounced Scotland‘s release of the convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi as a mistake, and revealed the US had opened talks with Libya urging the regime to keep the terminally-ill man under house arrest until his death.

Megrahi, who is thought to have only three months to live, was freed on compassionate grounds yesterday. But as the Afriqiyah Airways jet taking him home to Tripoli took off from Glasgow airport at 3.26pm, it left in its wake a torrent of international condemnation.

Obama led the strong US criticism of the decision. “We have been in contact with the Scottish government, indicating that we objected to this,” he said. “We thought it was a mistake.”…..

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