Tag Archive | "lord chief justice"

New Lord Chancellor


In the past two years we have been privileged to serve four holders of the post of Lord Chancellor – Chris Grayling, Michael Gove, Lyn Truss and now, David Lidington.

All four have one thing in common. None is legally qualified.

The demotion of Lyn Truss to Chief Secretary to the Treasury stands out as the only senior casualty in the mini reshuffle following the general election. She has paid the price of the fury caused by her lacklustre defence of a judiciary dubbed ’Enemies of the People’ by the right-wing press over the Article 50 case.

David Lidington was elected Member of Parliament for Aylesbury in 1992 and has held a number of positions including Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from 2003 to 2007 and Shadow Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs from 2007 to 2010
He served as Minister of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) from May 2010 until July 2016, the longest-serving Europe Minister in British history. He was Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Council from July 2016 to June 2017. He was a staunch member of the Remain campaign.

Lidington has generally voted against laws to promote equality and human rights. In May last year he voted in favour of repealing the Human Rights Act 1998. He has also consistently voted against allowing terminally ill people to be given assistance to end their life. He has generally voted against gay rights and voted against allowing same-sex couples to marry.

Lidington has also consistently voted in favour of restricting the scope of legal aid, and for allowing national security-sensitive evidence to be put before courts in secret sessions.

His voting record also shows support for stronger enforcement of immigration rules and mass surveillance of people’s communications and activities.

Commenting on Sunday Lidington said: “Democracy and freedom are built on the rule of law, and are protected by a strong and independent judiciary. I look forward to taking my Oath as Lord Chancellor, and to working with the Lord Chief Justice and his fellow judges in the months ahead, to ensure that justice is fairly administered and robustly defended.”

In May 2009, the Daily Telegraph revealed Lidington had claimed nearly £1,300 for his dry cleaning and had also claimed for toothpaste, shower gel, body spray and vitamin supplements on his second home allowance. He decided to repay the claims for the toiletries, saying: “I accept that many people would see them as over-generous.” He was also criticised by local newspaper the Bucks Herald for claiming £115,891 in expenses in one year, almost double his salary.

Posted in Law Updates, Legal AidComments (0)

“Justice system is now unaffordable to most”


Not just my view, but the considered opinion of the Lord Chief Justice (LCJ), Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, in his annual report to Parliament. A fine way to mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.

“In consequence there has been a considerable increase of litigants in person for whom our current court system is not really designed,” he said, adding that steep increases in court fees, which judges formally opposed, have meant that the judiciary “whilst accepting the decisions by parliament to increase fees, remains deeply concerned about the effect on access to justice.” Read the full story

Posted in Criminal Justice, Legal AidComments (0)

Trial Without Jury


A defendant’s right to a fair trial was not prejudiced by holding a criminal trial without a jury, where the danger of jury tampering was very significant and was not sufficiently addressed by proposed protective measures. Read the full story

Posted in Criminal JusticeComments (0)

The Meaning of 42 – Part 2


An earlier blog (10.06.08) contrasted ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’, where 42 is the answer to the meaning of life, the universe and everything, with the Government, for whom 42 is more a problem than an answer. Read the full story

Posted in Civil LibertiesComments (0)

Home Thoughts from Abroad


Soon the new English Premiership season will be under way. The vast majority of players will have come from abroad to play for mainly foreign owned clubs. The national team has looked abroad not only for its manager but also for most of his assistants. Sometimes it seems that the major English contribution to the whole circus is to pay through the nose at the turnstiles. Read the full story

Posted in Criminal JusticeComments (0)

Bare-headed Judges


A new bare-headed look will prevail from October 1 when judges hearing civil and family cases in England and Wales consign their 300-year-old horsehair headgear to history. From the autumn, most judges will adopt a simple continental-style black gown. The new robe has coloured bands to indicate seniority, Read the full story

Posted in Civil LawComments (0)


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