Archive for June, 2010

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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Family Law Blog – Pink Tape

June 18th, 2010

Inspired by Law Actually’s blog post, and in search of distractions to fill the awaiting-result void, I thought I would try to populate the blog-roll. So, first up, for no better reason than it made me laugh twice in one day recently is Pink Tape, a family law blog.

http://pinktape.co.uk/2010/05/27/lightning-fast-lawyers/

http://pinktape.co.uk/2010/05/24/shut-your-facebook/

Having told everyone who would listen during my law degree that I never want to do family law, I confess it feels like it is drawing me in.  The above blog is written by a family law barrister based in Bristol and is a mixture of tales from work, comment on family law stories in the media and reviews of big issues facing family law.  Also, having clung to London like a limpet for most of my life, the idea of practising in the West Country also sounds very nice.  Do I like the blog, or am I my subconsciously incredibly envious of the author?  Probably both.  Anyway,  I always enjoy reading it, do take a look.

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Software Update

June 18th, 2010

Excuse the pointless post, but I’m a hopeless “early-adopter” and will be running the WordPress 3.0 shortly.  If this blog disappears for a few weeks / months I suggest you avoid running the update yourself.

See you soon!

UPDATE: It seems to have survived…

UPDATE 2: – I thought I had fixed a problem with comments a few months ago, but it appears not.  I have shut off the offending plug-in, I hope that resolves the problem!

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Drugs and Prison

June 2nd, 2010

The Daily Express excelled themselves again yesterday with their front page:

£44M SCANDAL OF JAIL JUNKIES– TAXPAYERS are forking out more than £44million a year to maintain the drug habits of thousands of prisoners”.

There is an issue here that merits discussion.  Crime and drug use are greatly intertwined, and if we are arresting addicts, giving them custodial sentences during which their addiction in maintained rather than treated, and then they are released with the same dependence they were arrested with, clearly something has failed.  However, the Daily Express doesn’t bother with analysis, as it’s too busy inventing numbers.  The “£44m” from the headline is the what the Daily Express claim the Integrated Drug Treatment System (IDTS) will cost in 2010/2011.  This much does become clear in the article; the headline’s implication that inmates are shooting though £44m of methadone is accidental I’m sure.  However, The Daily Mail say IDTS will cost £109m (also note the posed photo of the ‘prisoner’ who seems to have access to quite a garden from his cell).  This is quite a leap from the £23.9m that clinical services, INCLUDING IDTS cost in 2008/2009 according to answers to Parliamentary questions compiled by this blog.

Also,  this quote:

Shocking figures out yesterday show that every day the state pays for one in six of the entire prison population to be given methadone or other heroin ­substitutes.

The report by independent think-tank Policy Exchange warned that by next year 73,000 prisoners will be receiving the medication

The UK prison population last week was 85,147 (Home Office Bulletin) so where does “one in six” come from?  Also, the report they refer to makes no such warning, as it would mean that 85% of the prison population would be given methadone!

Is it laziness, or just writing the story they want to see?  It will come as no surprise that both articles soon get around to blaming the Human Rights Act, and their devoted followers use the comments section to suggest the reintroduction of the death penalty as a solution.  The Guardian attempts something a little more balanced, but comes awfully close to suggesting that it’s all the prison staff’s fault.

The best solution is to read the original report from the Policy Exchange and have your own sensible thoughts on this problem – the media certainly won’t be providing any.

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