Archive for the ‘DLLL’ category

Daily Mail Reader Show Signs of Independent Thought

July 30th, 2011

I saw a headline in the Mail last week and without even seeing the story I knew how they’d rearranged the facts to fit the story they wanted to write.  I thought about its potential as a blog post.  A blog about the nonsense of the Employment Support Allowance test compared to the Disability Living Allowance test often crosses my mind, and then is dismissed as being achingly dull because I’d have to quote huge chunks of the descriptors to illustrate the pointlessness of it all.
Happily, you’ve been spared this torture because an excellent blogger has taken the story to pieces themselves, and resisted the temptation to quote chunks of social security statutory instruments with it, so you should read it there :

 Reason for hope – Angry Mob.

It even concludes with the startling revelation that a resistant strain of Daily Mail reader may be emerging in the comments section.


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Possible to stab gently with a bottle?!

July 22nd, 2011

Researchers study the science of stabbing with a broken bottle Wired UK.

I’ll admit to being a little lost by the introduction of this article.  I would think how and at what point in the fight the glass is broken is more indicative of the state of D’s mind than the force D used, but an interesting snippet anyway.  It is based on a legal journal article that has an enormous pay-per-view charge, so I suppose I’ll remain ignorant.

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Carry on Eating

May 31st, 2011

Alex Aldridge wrote an article for the Guardian this month lampooning the dining requirements of training as a barrister.  Most surprising for me was the number of barristers who appear to read the Guardian who rushed to correct him in the comments, which probably ended up being far more informative than the article – surely a first!

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January 1st, 2011

So, this blog sees in it’s third year, hitting a new level of inactivity.  I’d always wondered why law student blogs seemed to vanish at about the point that the author started the BVC.  Well, having started the BPTC I now have the answer – there comes a point, normally around 2am, that I realise that I’m passed the point of caring about how well I understand the law I’m trying to learn, without going off in search of the more obscure reaches of the field with which I try to fill these pages.  Clearly this is pathetic and so I shall try to be less whiny in 2011.

Lets begin with a fresh Daily Little Law Links..

1.  This great Supreme Court decision at the end of last year is a relief.  Those caught by the old rule were unfortunate enough and often totally ignored by the Government until it realised money was owed.  Its not a blanket rule, but it’s a step in the right direction and well done to the CPAG for bringing the case.  Head over to Nearly Legal for a summary.

2. The Register has a very interesting piece about a new Apple patent relating to product review systems.  The article doesn’t actually use the word bribe, but I bet it crossed their mind.

3. Finally, have a quick glance at The Guardian’s Best Legal Reads of 2010.

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Daily Little Law Links

August 20th, 2010

This bunch are not as fresh as my usual posts, but are a range of things over the last few weeks that are worth bringing to your attention.

For me, studying copyright law seemed like quite a treadmil; the more I learned, the more complicated it got.  I’m pleased to know I was not alone in this, because a recent High Court judgement found even the Copyright Tribunal were a bit confused as to what they were supposed to be doing.  The press coverage is here, and the case report here.

Next, the recent edition of New Scientist looks at statistics quoted when considering DNA evidence.

The DNA analyst who testified in Smith’s trial said the chances of the DNA coming from someone other than Jackson were 1 in 95,000. But both the prosecution and the analyst’s supervisor said the odds were more like 1 in 47. A later review of the evidence suggested that the chances of the second person’s DNA coming from someone other than Jackson were closer to 1 in 13, while a different statistical method said the chance of seeing this evidence if the DNA came from Jackson is only twice that of the chance of seeing it if it came from someone else

Take a look at the full article here.

A survey by Sailpoint found that departing employees are now quite likely to pilfer client data, and our US cousins are slightly more inclined to do this than us.  23% of polled UK employees said they would take customer lists with them.    The initial report is here, and there is more discussion at The Register.

On a personal note, I learned today that I do not have the right sort of personality to work for the government.  I think I’m quite proud of that.

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Daily Little Law Links

July 16th, 2010

This story, from a Canadian newspaper, contains some stunning accusations about the US refusing Dutch help to tackle the capped oil leak in the Gulf.  If many of the points it raises are true, it may allow defences of contributory negligence, or a failure to mitigate the loss against the US Government (assuming BP would be willing to take the PR hit). Highlights include an alleged block on the use of Dutch equipment that would remove 99.9985% of the oil in the water at sea in preference for the US method of scooping up all the water along with the oil and taking it back to shore.   An interesting read. (Hat-tip to Samizdata*)

The phrase “Act of  God” is an infamous get-out clause.  However, this article lists some US cases where God is being replaced by the infinitely more attractive litigation target of energy companies.  Very briefly, I think the argument goes something like: “Katrina destroyed my house, Katrina was caused by green-house gases, you release green-house gases, therefore you destroyed my house.”  I would imagine they are going to be testing causation to extreme with that.  (Hat-tip US site Legal Geekery)

To complete my stateside round-up, news that erroneously gripping iPhone users have cleared the first hurdle in their class action against Apple.

*This site is often blocked by corporate firewalls in the UK, I think because of their literal stance on the second amendment to the US Constitution.

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Daily Little Law Links

June 30th, 2010

In a disappointing fudge, it looks like 28 days detention without trail is here to stay, at least for another 6 months.

As a law student, I have a pretty high tolerance for reading nonsense, but I confess that I am often guilty of a thoughtless “click here to show you have read and agree to our terms and conditions” when I have (at best) scanned the headings.  Apparently, I am not alone – it seems the Financial Services Authority agrees with my approach.

‘Emails are as private as postcards’ – trite but sound advice.  Or should that be ‘fully search-able postcards that will later be used as evidence against you’?  Surely the thousands of emails that go back and forth everyday within organisations make it impossible to use email as a practical investigative tool, right?  Not if you know what phrases to look for, as the former CEO of Lehman Brothers discovered.

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Industrial Unrest

March 31st, 2010

A quick post to flag up the point made by Iain Martin in this article about the pending Rail Strike.  I confess that I too had missed the possible impact of this strike (as a dedicated central London commuter) until my better half was discussing “contingency planning” at work over over the coming days.

Let’s see how it plays in court…

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Daily Little Law Links

February 25th, 2010

There is a higher education theme to today’s post.

The Times reports on the case of a lecturer who claimed unfair dismissal from Bournemouth University, which found another marker to review student papers after they had been failed by this lecturer and his colleague. Considered narrowly, the judgement seems to be a good example of an implied trust and confidence term being found, and more broadly raises questions about standards in universities. Law graduates, perhaps more than most subjects, are partially reliant on the perceived teaching quality of their alma maters’ in securing employment, so the doubts raised by this case are unhelpful. At least in theory Qualifying Law Degrees are monitored by the Bar Standard’s Board.

Which neatly leads on to Charon QC’s blog post on the BSB’s inspection of BPP. As this is quite an obscure subject, Charon’s take (as one of the founders of BPP) makes interesting reading. I find myself firmly on the fence with my thoughts. On the one hand, the free-marketeer in me thinks they should be allowed to sell the course to as many as they feel able to teach effectively. The BVC (now BPTC) fees are very high among all the London providers and well beyond the cost of studying a Master’s degree. More places and more providers would increase competition and theoretically lower prices. On the other hand, the next step for these students is a pupillage and there are (I think) roughly five BVC graduates competing for each available pupillage every year. Those four unsuccessful candidates are left with a very expensive postgraduate qualification of limited value for employment away from the Bar. Finally, basic self-interest makes me quite nervous about the idea of them being ultra-careful about the number of offers made this year (though I might reconsider that if it was me forced to sit on the floor during lectures!).

Lastly, yesterday I ranted about the Prime Minister and said that the topic warranted a post to itself. Well, MTPT has done just that, including comment on the guidelines, which were released today. Do have a read…

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Daily Little Law Links

February 24th, 2010

Some stories and brief thoughts, every one of these deserve a longer post!

  • This story from Big Brother Watch (and the report that it links to) is close to my heart – I very nearly did my dissertation on exactly this but was then distracted by libel, so I’m glad to read someone else’s take on who can now enter your property without a warrant. Rather positively from someone who murmurs about repealing the Human Rights Act 1998, Mr Grieve QC MP (Shadow Justice Sec.) seems equally alarmed and ready to close these particular doors.
  • Think about this scenario: Bernard, from Germany gets a rare temporary job in the London office of his bank. Over the year, the job becomes permanent and so he sends for his wife, Steffi and 13 year old daughter, Iris. Iris enrols in the local school and Steffi, supported by her well-paid husband, stays at home and bakes cakes for a few years. Two years after his permanent move, Bernard is dispatched temporarily to the New York office. Steffi and Iris remain in the UK, being uncertain of the duration of the placement and not wanting to disrupt Steffi’s schooling. Bernard then loses his job in New York, but cannot stand to be parted from his new mistress, Anna and moves into her apartment in New York as well as filing for a divorce from Steffi.

Steffi has no qualifications and is still learning English. Her parents in Germany are dead and her only other living relative is a sister living Australia. Iris is about to sit her GCSE Exams.

Should we a) Immediately deport Steffi and Iris back to Germany or b) Pay Steffi Job Seekers Allowance and Housing benefit until she finds a job so that Iris has a roof over her head to finish her education? Fortunately, as a lot of people read the Daily Mail, it doesn’t actually matter what you think, because the European Court of Justice (ECJ) decided years ago that the most important thing in my little story is the stability of Iris’s education. Iris cannot live alone, and so the state must support her mother to facilitate her continuing education. This is the idea that has been affirmed in yesterday’s judgement of the ECJ which the BBC report here and the Daily Express splashed the story on their front page as:

WHY BRITAIN IS SPONGERS’ HEAVEN” followed by “MEDDLING EU judges sparked outrage last night after giving scrounging foreigners the green light to sponge thousands of pounds from British taxpayers.

To bring my little story closer to the facts of the case, and the true reason for the ire of the Express, imagine Steffi was originally born somewhere in Africa. The judgement can be found here: London Borough of Harrow v Ibrahim C-310/08

  • We’ve heard a great deal about the PM in the last few days, but for me it is this that I find most offensive: Gordon Brown: don’t legalise assisted suicide.
    The link is to an article about the PM writing in the Telegraph about the dangers of softening the law on assisted suicide, targeted at the Director of the Crown Prosecution Service who is about to release new guidance on the issue. It is not his position that offends me, but his cowardice. As Prime Minister and leader of a party with a large majority in Parliament, he is free to create almost any law he wants. The idea of him as a noble bystander, pleading with the CPS to protect our grandmothers is repulsive. If he felt that strongly about it, legislation could be passed in weeks to make it absolutely unquestionably illegal to assist anyone’s death in any way, by any means. He doesn’t feel that strongly, and he doesn’t want to come out on the wrong side of a lose-lose debate in an election year, despite the CPS and the Supreme Court saying the law needs clarification (that’s judicial speak for “Parliament – do something!”). I don’t care who he’s rude to, or what he throws around his office, but to duck this issue is just shameful. Because of this, the Director of the CPS has to unpick the existing mess and decide who (legally) gets to live or die – I really don’t think the Prime Minister has any right to tell him how to do it.
  • Finally, and surely of no interest to anyone outside legal education, the Bar Standards Board has published its report into how BPP coped with its over-subscribed year in 2009/2010. I think the report reads quite well for BPP, though the students clearly benefited from the BSB’s intervention. Hopefully more reports will go up before this year’s offers go out next week. The page containing the report is here.
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