Tony Blair’s brother a judge, just like his wife

Friday 29 February 2008 at 1:47 pm | In News | Post Comment

Tony Blair was among the lawyers, judges and family members who attended the courtroom ceremony at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. The swearing-in was performed by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers. Mr Blair, 57, will begin his duties in the High Court’s Queen’s Bench Division today.

Law most popular subject at university

Friday 22 February 2008 at 3:21 pm | In News | Post Comment

j0395913.jpgLast week the latest figures from UCAS were made available and they show a continued rise in the number of university applicants.

As of 15 January, the date by which applicants should apply to be given equal consideration, there were 430,489 people applying for a full-time undergraduate course at UK universities and colleges – a rise of 8.9% or 35,182.

The top five subject choices remain the same at this point in the year as last year with some small changes in order.   Law by area remains top, pre-clinical medicine climbs from third to second, psychology falls to third and English studies and management studies swap places and are now fourth and fifth respectively.

For 2008 entry, the maximum number of course choices that an applicant can make has changed from six to five.

Anthony McClaran, UCAS Chief Executive said: “These figures show that for the second year running we are seeing strong growth in the level of applications for undergraduate courses. These figures provide an encouraging indication for the likely position in the summer and, of course, there will still be thousands more applications between now and then.”

The judge the jury and the apple core

Saturday 9 February 2008 at 3:56 pm | In News | 1 Comment

Kate BadgerKate Badger is accused of tossing an apple core out of the window of her parked car in the centre of Wolverhampton.

Her VW Golf was traced by the numberplate and she received a £60 fixed penalty. She refuses to pay because she was in a shop at the time of the alleged offence.

When the case arrived at the Magistrates’ Court Ms Badger elected trial in the Crown Court. Rather than back down the authorities intend to pursue the matter before a judge and jury; over an apple core.

The Litter (Fixed Penalty)(England) Order 2002 provides for the issuing of a fixed penalty for litter offences. Litter offences are controlled by the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Section 33 of the Act makes criminal most dumping, dropping and disposing of waste.

When an offender refuses the option of a fixed penalty the authorities have the option to take an offender to court. As with all criminal matters the court is the Magistrates’ Court to start with and for serious crimes the option is the Crown Court.

The Crown Court sees cases of mass dumping of dangerous materials such as asbestos which usually result in prison. The Crown Court can impose five years a fine or both, magistrates are limited to a fine of £20,000 or six months.

The person who is alleged to have dropped the apple core has the choice of trial by judge and jury. In this case, there is no likelihood whatsoever of prison or large fine, but the trial will take place in exactly the same manner as a robbery or murder. Judge, jury, barristers and court officials.

According to the Daily Mail the case has already been running for 11 months and has consumed thousands of pounds in legal fees.

Our guess is that the judge will look for his Latin translation of de minimis non curat lex (the law takes no account of trifles).

Finally, AS students will be demanding to know why the text books and their teacher have told them that the magistrates can only impose fines of up to £5,000. The answer is that pollution offences have always been an exception to that rule but teachers and text book writers try to avoid complicating matters.

Record prison population

Saturday 9 February 2008 at 12:13 pm | In News | Post Comment

Newcastle Gaol

The highest number of prisoners ever housed in UK  jails was recorded yesterday, 8 February 2008 at 81,681.

Press report here

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